Rhys Hoskins has been having a bad time of late. His current slump—he’s batting .130 in August coming into Wednesday night—was at the heart of Sean Rodriguez’s ill-advised rebuke of Phillies fans; Tuesday night, in a stupid and disheartening loss to the horrid Pirates, Hoskins dropped the relay throw on what would’ve been an inning-ending double play in the top of the ninth, allowing the eventual winning run to come home. That’s generally not the sort of thing that’s gonna convince Phillies fans to cut you some slack. As much as anyone in baseball, Hoskins needs something to go right. Per MLB.com:
“Yeah, I mean, it’s no secret,” Hoskins said about his August struggles. “Just got to keep coming to the ballpark every day looking to help the team win. I don’t really have much else to say. It sucks, sure. But it doesn’t suck when we win. It sucks even more when we lose.”
The ball he lashed to deep left in the third inning Wednesday night must’ve felt great—a massive cathartic relief, on top of the satisfaction of smoking a ball down into the corner with a man on base—and the assist he got from physics and gravity and possibly a ghost tells you the universe is finally throwing the poor guy a bone. Hoskins’s ball climbed the wall in the corner and then not only skipped onto a narrow strip above the chain-link section atop the padded wall, but rolled a good 10 or 15 feet along this strip back toward center field, buying Bryce Harper a couple extra seconds to chug his way around third and breeze home:
This was Hoskins’s second extra-base hit of the evening, after he smoked a triple to center in the second inning, so maybe things are turning around! Certainly he should experience much better success now that benevolent cosmic forces are playing The Incredible Machine with balls he puts in play.