Phillies-Marlins observations: Nick Williams delivers in 15-inning win

Phillies-Marlins observations: Nick Williams delivers in 15-inning win


The legend of Rhys Hoskins grew a little larger Tuesday night and the Phillies beat the Miami Marlins, 9-8, in 15 innings.

Hoskins helped the Phillies come back from a 7-2 deficit with his 15th homer, a solo shot in the seventh. Three innings later, he tied the game with his 16th homer, a bomb over the wall in center on a 100-mph fastball from Brian Ellington.

The Phillies won it in the 15th on an RBI double by rookie Nick Williams. The bullpen was spectacular with 10 innings of one-run ball.

The time of game was four hours, 57 minutes.

The late innings were wild. The Phillies thought they won the game in the bottom of the ninth, but an overturned call meant they only tied it.

Miami went ahead on a homer by Marcell Ozuna in the top of the 10th and Hoskins tied it with a two-out homer in the bottom of the inning.

• Miami rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton had three assists.

He gunned down Cesar Hernandez at the plate in the bottom of the ninth to prevent the Phillies from scoring the winning run.

Actually, the Phillies thought they had scored the winning run on Hyun Soo Kim's pinch-hit single to right. As Phillies players mobbed Kim at first base, dousing him with bubble gum and tearing his shirt off, the Marlins challenged the initial safe call at the plate — and won. That left Kim with a game-tying single and the grounds crew scurrying to clean up the remnants of the Phillies' premature celebration at first base.

Stanton, known for his booming bat, had assists at second, third and home.

• Rookie Nick Pivetta had another tough outing. He was tagged for eight hits and seven runs over five-plus innings. Derek Deitrich got him for a two-run homer on a hanging 3-2 changeup in the fifth. Pivetta has allowed 18 hits and 13 runs in his last two starts. The 24-year-old right-hander was forced to the majors because of injuries and has endured a tough learning experience that he ultimately should be better for. Pivetta has good power stuff. He needs to locate it better and clean up up his changeup. The Phillies are going to a six-man starting rotation the rest of the way. Pivetta would line up to have three more starts if the Phils stay on turn.

• Dillon Peters, Miami's rookie lefty, held the Phils to six hits and two runs over six innings. He's made three big-league starts, two against the Phillies. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Phils on Sept. 1.

• Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto twice doubled home Justin Bour from first base. The Phils may have had plays at the plate both times, but catcher Jorge Alfaro did not handle either relay throw. Now, neither play was easy — one throw tailed a little to Alfaro's left and the other was a short hop — but these are the types of plays that a top defensive catcher needs to make at times. Alfaro also had a passed ball in the game. Alfaro had an RBI single in the eighth inning, but his defense remains a work in progress. He will get plenty of playing time over the final three weeks of the season.

• Odudel Herrera deserves props for the effort he displayed on the bases in beating out an infield hit — with a hard dive into first base — in the third inning and with a hustle double in the fourth. Herrera did not start on Sunday and came back from Monday's off day in the schedule with some serious hop in his step. He had three hits.

• Rookies Williams and J.P. Crawford both tested rightfielder Stanton's arm and lost. Williams was thrown out trying to stretch a single. Crawford was caught via a relay trying to stretch a double. Stanton had his third assist of the game in the ninth inning.

• Hoskins will get more time at first base down the stretch. He continued to show excellent plate discipline with two walks, including one with the bases full in the third inning. And, of course, he homered twice. Hoskins came to the majors on Aug. 10 and hit his first homer four days later. His 16 homers since Aug. 14 are the most in the majors over that span. Amazingly, he could end up leading the Phillies in homers. He trails team leader Tommy Joseph by five with 18 games left.

• Hoskins found himself in the spotlight in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Phillies had rallied for three runs to make it a one-run game and he came to the plate with two outs and two men on. He scorched a line drive to left field against reliever Drew Steckenrider. With any type of elevation, it would have been a three-run homer. But the ball stayed on a line and died in Ozuna's glove.

• Crawford started at second base for the first time and made an eye-popping play. It took 22 plate appearances for him to draw his first walk. (He had two in the game.) His second double of the game plated a run in the eighth.

• Right-handed reliever Victor Arano made his major-league debut and recorded two outs in the seventh. Arano, 22, was acquired from the Dodgers in the August 2014 trade that sent pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers. Arano was slowed this season by an elbow injury, but he's back on track and throwing in the mid-90s. He could be someone to keep an eye on down the road.

• Aaron Nola (10-10, 3.71) pitches against Marlins right-hander Dan Straily (9-8, 3.95) on Wednesday night. The Marlins have given Nola some trouble in his career. He is 1-3 with a 5.24 ERA in six career starts against them.

Rhys Hoskins' home run over-under is pretty low

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Rhys Hoskins' home run over-under is pretty low

If you're a believer in Rhys Hoskins, there is some money to be made.

Gambling site Bovada released a slew of player prop bets for the 2018 MLB season and Hoskins was the lone Phillie represented.

Hoskins' over-under totals are 28.5 home runs and 90.5 RBIs.

It's safe to assume more will bet the home run over than the under. Hoskins hit 18 homers in just 50 games and 212 plate appearances last season. That's a full-season pace of 56 home runs.

Now, that doesn't mean Hoskins is going to hit 50 this season, or even 40. The league now knows about him. Pitchers will have more of a game plan than they did when Hoskins was cranking jacks at an insane rate last August and September.

It's worth noting that Hoskins did slow down in the season's final two weeks, hitting just .135 with no homers and nine RBIs in his last 16 games.

But based on his raw power and the unique ability to work deep counts and draw walks, Hoskins will get himself into many hitter-friendly counts this season and throughout his career. He's a safe bet for 25-plus homers, and if I was forced to make picks I'd go over for both homers and RBIs. 

Hoskins will have plenty of RBI opportunities with guys like Carlos Santana, Odubel Herrera, J.P. Crawford and eventually Scott Kingery batting before him.

Brushbacks, hit batsmen, ejections in Phils' spring training game

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Brushbacks, hit batsmen, ejections in Phils' spring training game


CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Phillies bring extra pitchers over from the minor-league complex for bullpen depth every game in spring training. For the pitchers, it’s a nice little recognition of a job well done. They often don’t get in the game, but they get to put on a big-league uniform and put a day’s worth of big-league meal money in their pocket.
Parker Frazier got even more than that on Thursday. He not only got in the game. He got ejected.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a spring training game,” Frazier said with a laugh afterward. “I’ll take the first for something.”

Home plate umpire Tom Hallion gave Frazier the boot for hitting Detroit’s Derek Hill with a pitch in the eighth inning of a 6-2 loss. Frazier hit Hill with an off-speed pitch, so it clearly was not intentional. But Hallion had already issued warnings to both benches after Zach Eflin had hit Jose Iglesias and Detroit’s Matthew Boyd came in close twice against Odubel Herrera. In addition to Frazier, Hallion also ejected Phillies reliever Pedro Beato for hitting a batter in the ninth. Manager Gabe Kapler and bench coach Rob Thomson were ejected with Frazier and Beato, respectively.

It made for a crazy scene, especially in a spring training game.

Herrera believed that Boyd intentionally threw at him as retaliation for Iglesias getting hit. Boyd at first threw over Herrera’s head as Herrera tried to call timeout. He then came inside on Herrera. Herrera sidestepped the pitch and took first with a walk.

“He can’t hit me,” a defiant Herrera said afterward. “I’m too quick.”

Frazier definitely wasn’t trying to hit Hill, not with a slider.

“It was a slider that didn’t slide,” he joked.

Frazier is the 29-year-old son of former big-league pitcher George Frazier. He’s a career minor leaguer who has been in pro ball since 2007 and pitched in the Rockies, Reds, White Sox, A’s and Diamondbacks organizations. He pitched the last three seasons in independent ball and is in Phillies camp for the first time.

Frazier’s fiancee and future in-laws were in from Oklahoma for the game. They expected to see him pitch at the minor-league complex, but instead got to see him experience an eventful day in big-league camp.

After being ejected, Frazier returned to the clubhouse. A text from his fiancee awaited him.

“They wanted to know what happened,” he said. “I told them accidental hit pitch.”

Kapler wouldn't discuss what he said to Hallion after Frazier's ejection. He said he would respect the umpire's decision because those are the rules.

But Kapler made it clear that he didn’t believe his pitchers were trying to hit anyone.

“We have a minor leaguer in the game and he’s just trying to make a good impression,” Kapler said. “He threw a slider that backed up and hit somebody. Beato is also trying to make a club and make a good impression. There’s no reason to not throw strikes. Balls will get away. It’s part of the game.”