Phillies

Phillies-Athletics thoughts: No longer the worst team in baseball

Another night, another homer and two more walks from Rhys Hoskins. This has to stop at some point, right? 

Hoskins is 34 games into his major-league career and is hitting .314/.442/.805 with 18 homers and 39 RBIs. At no point has he gone into a slump, aside from his 0-for-12 start.

Hoskins has reached base 17 times in his last six games, going 8 for 20 with six homers, 12 RBIs, nine runs and nine walks. His 1.346 OPS since the 0-for-12 start is right in line with Barry Bonds' in his 73-homer season.

The Marlins couldn't solve Hoskins. Over these last 31 games, few pitchers have — the guy has 24 walks and 23 strikeouts while hitting for ridiculous power over that stretch.

Now, the Phillies welcome the Oakland Athletics to Citizens Bank Park for their final interleague series of 2017.

• Hoskins' 39 RBIs are the most ever for a player in his first 34 games. Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Albert Pujols previously held that record with 37.

• At 57-89, the Phillies no longer have the worst record in the majors — the Giants do at 57-91. To avoid 100 losses, the Phils will have to go 6-10 or better the rest of the way.

• The Phils hit .344 with eight homers and 11 doubles in the three-game sweep of Miami.

• The Phils are a combined 23-12 against the Braves and Marlins this season.

• At 4-13, the Phillies have the worst interleague record in the majors in 2017.

• Four hits from Cesar Hernandez in his return to the lineup last night. He's hitting .293 with a .365 OBP after hitting .294 with a .371 OBP last season. 

Among players who have as many plate appearances as Hernandez the last two seasons, only nine can match his BA and OBP: Charlie Blackmon, Joey Votto, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Altuve, Corey Seager, Christian Yelich, Buster Posey and D.J. LeMahieu. 

• The Phillies have scored at least eight runs in three straight games for the first time since June 2015. Prior to that, they hadn't done it since 2010.

• Not ready yet to say Jake Thompson has turned a corner; he did allow 10 baserunners in 5⅓ innings last night despite not allowing a run. But two of his last three starts have been pretty good, which should at least give him a bit of confidence heading into the offseason.

• Pitching matchups for this weekend's series against the A's:

Friday: Mark Leiter Jr. (3-5, 4.84) vs. Daniel Mengden (0-1, 7.07)

Saturday: Ben Lively (3-6, 3.86) vs. Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.48)

Sunday: Henderson Alvarez (Phillies debut) vs. Sean Manaea (10-10, 4.65)