Phillies

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

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

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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 on 'surreal' rookie year, position switch, expectations

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Rhys Hoskins on 'surreal' rookie year, position switch, expectations

For a couple of weeks in August, Rhys Hoskins might have been Philadelphia's most popular athlete. Fans marveled at the nightly power display that the young slugger put on in the middle of the Phillies' batting order. Carson Wentz and the Eagles had not yet begun their magnificent season. Hoskins was the man in town.

It hit him one night after a game. He stopped in Center City for some late-night eats. A man and his young son approached. They offered their congratulations and asked for an autograph.

"That's when I was like, 'OK, this might be something that's about to be part of my life,' " Hoskins said. "But it was cool because I used to be that kid."

Hoskins was back in the area Monday night for the 114th Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Dinner. He was honored with a special achievement award for a torrid major league debut in which he clubbed 18 homers and drove in 48 runs in just 50 games last season.

Hoskins was raised in Sacramento, California but moved to San Diego this offseason. His 18 homers in 2017 were the most ever hit by a player who did not make his season debut until after Aug. 1. Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who hit 13 homers after returning from the Korean War in 1953, was the previous record holder.

Williams was a San Diego native.

"Surreal," Hoskins said of that 50-game stretch last season and the buzz that has followed him into the offseason. "Indescribable."

He is now a recognizable face, a signature talent, in a sports-crazy town.

And he's ready for it.

"Enjoy it," he said. "Take it by storm and enjoy it. It's supposed to be fun and that's probably the best approach to take. I think my thought is what happened may never happen again. Tomorrow something might happen. Tomorrow I might never be able to step on a baseball field again. So I think you have to take it by storm and enjoy it.

"If you had asked me a year ago if I would be walking down the streets of Philadelphia and would people recognize me I'd probably laugh at you. But that’s where we are now.

"It's just a testament to how passionate the people of Philadelphia are and how much they love their sports."

Hoskins will report to Clearwater for spring training at the end of this month. He wants to get a head start so he can ramp up his workouts in left field. A first baseman by trade, he began playing the position occasionally last season. He will move there full-time in 2018 as newly signed Carlos Santana takes over at first base.

Hoskins got a 30-game taste of left field last year. He is OK with the move.

"Having Carlos is exciting for the city and exciting for the team," Hoskins said. "We add a guy who has proven himself in this league for five or six years at a very high level so to kind of insert that into the lineup and into the clubhouse, especially with such a young team — I think we're going to feel that exponentially throughout the year.

"Left field is a challenge. It's a challenge that I'm definitely excited about. I started to feel more comfortable out there toward the end of the year.

"I think I can be just fine out there. I'm not necessarily going to be a Gold Glover. I just don’t have the speed that some guys out there do, especially in today's game. But I think I'll be just fine and contribute to the team defensively as much as I can and make the plays that I'm supposed to."

Hoskins will turn 25 on March 17. He projects to bat cleanup in new manager Gabe Kapler's lineup.

"He's energized, intense and thorough," Hoskins said of the new skipper. "He can captivate a room. I'm curious to see how that dynamic works in the clubhouse. I think he's going to be a pretty exciting guy to work with."

Phillies sign 3 to clear up arbitration cases

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Phillies sign 3 to clear up arbitration cases

Updated: 3:15 p.m.

The Phillies wrapped up all of their potential salary arbitration cases when they agreed to 2018 contracts with infielders Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco and relief pitcher Luis Garcia on Friday.

Earlier in the week, the team agreed on a contract with catcher Cameron Rupp.

Those were the club's only arbitration-eligible players.

Hernandez, a second-time arbitration-eligible player, will make $5.1 million in 2018, up from $2.55 million last season. 

Franco and Garcia were both eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.

Franco will make $2.95 million, up from $560,000 last season. The 25-year-old third baseman had a disappointing season in 2017, hitting just .230 with a .281 on-base percentage. He did hit a team-high 24 home runs.

Franco has great potential and club management will be looking for him to put it together in 2018. But even a strong season from Franco probably won't sway the club away from making a run at Manny Machado, who is scheduled to hit the free-agent market next winter.

Garcia, who turns 31 later this month, will make $1.2 million in 2018, up from $550,000 last year.

Back in October, new manager Gabe Kapler mentioned Garcia as a player who had caught his attention. Consistency had long eluded the hard-throwing right-hander but he found it in 2017 and had his best season. He added a splitter to his power fastball-slider mix and posted a 2.65 ERA in 66 games. He gave up just four earned runs in 22⅓ innings over his final 23 games, and three of those runs came in one outing.

Hernandez, the team's 27-year-old second baseman, has been one of the Phils' top players the last two seasons. He hit .294 and posted a .372 on-base percentage over that span.

The Phils are deep at second base and top prospect Scott Kingery is expected to be ready to arrive in the majors during the first half of the 2018 season. With Kingery coming, there is a chance the Phils could cash in on Hernandez's value and trade him for pitching sometime between now and Kingery's expected arrival.

Hernandez will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season.

Hernandez's former double-play mate, Freddy Galvis, was traded to San Diego in December. Rookie J.P. Crawford will move in at shortstop in 2018. Galvis settled his potential arbitration case with the Padres on Friday when he agreed to a one-year deal worth $6.825 million.

Rupp, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, will make $2.05 million in 2018. He is one of three catchers on the 40-man roster along with Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp. Alfaro is out of minor-league options and will be given the chance to be the team's No. 1 catcher in April.