Phillies

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Rhys Hoskins hits two home runs and Phillies hang on for victory

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Rhys Hoskins hits two home runs and Phillies hang on for victory

BOX SCORE 

For the second day in a row, Rhys Hoskins hit a go-ahead home run, the defense cut down a run at the plate and the Phillies won a one-run game at Citizens Bank Park.

This one was a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in front of 28,212 on Monday night.

The Phillies are 7-2.

Hoskins broke a 2-2 tie with a solo homer against Anibal Sanchez with one out in the sixth. The homer came on a full-count curveball. On Sunday, Hoskins belted a decisive two-run homer on a full-count curveball from Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. That homer lifted the Phils to a 2-1 win.

Hoskins likes hitting with a full count. He has 12 homers and 30 RBIs in 136 career at-bats with a full count.

Hoskins concluded his night with a second homer, a solo shot in the eighth inning. It proved to be huge after Pat Neshek gave up a homer in the ninth and the Nats cut the Phils’ lead to one.

Hoskins has five homers and 15 RBIs on the young season.

The keys

• Hoskins did it again.

• For the second day in a row, the Phillies cut down a run at the plate. This time, right fielder Bryce Harper cut off a ball in the gap and fired to shortstop Jean Segura, who threw a strike to J.T. Realmuto to nail Ryan Zimmerman. Huge play in a close game.

• With a man on first base and one out in the fourth, Odubel Herrera got a first-pitch, 89-mph fastball from Sanchez. Herrera jumped all over the low-octane fastball and drove it out to right to tie the game at 2-2.

• Nice work Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan and David Robertson. They combined for three scoreless innings out of the ‘pen. Neshek got the final three outs — Juan Soto, Zimmerman and Kurt Suzuki — with the tying run at second.

Velasquez’ night

Vince Velasquez’ first start of the season wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, either. He battled some command issues and ran a high pitch count in a rough second inning, but still managed to hold the Nats to two runs over five innings. He walked none and struck out two.

The runs that Velasquez allowed came in the second when he gave up a leadoff double to Juan Soto and a one-out homer to Suzuki on a 2-2 slider. Velasquez looked uneasy working with a runner on base and his tempo slowed down significantly leading up to the homer by Suzuki. Other than that, not a bad place to start for Velasquez, who needs to put together some consistency to secure his spot in the rotation and hold off competition from Triple A or even outside the organization.

Rehab outing

OK, so it wasn’t a rehab outing, per se, but manager Gabe Kapler got struggling Dominguez back on the mound in a 2-2 game in the top of sixth inning. Dominguez, who has struggled with command and velocity in the early going, delivered a clean inning and popped the ball up to 98 mph, which was a good sign.

In real rehab matters, Roman Quinn (oblique strain) continues to play for Single A Clearwater. Kapler said Quinn was healthy, but the Phillies would not rush him back, partly because Herrera was playing so well and it might be tough to get Quinn in the lineup immediately. Kapler said it was possible that Quinn could get some at-bats at Double A or Triple A before being activated. Beginning Friday, the Phils play 17 straight days. Quinn will likely get some starts during that stretch, Kapler said.

Lineup tweak

Kapler gave slumping Cesar Hernandez his first night off and went with Scott Kingery at second base. Hernandez, hitting .179 in the first eight games, could be right back in there Tuesday night. He has been hitting seventh in the lineup. Kapler said it was not out the question that he’d look to hit Hernandez ninth at some point in the season. That would allow Maikel Franco to move to seventh and continue to hit in front of the pitcher while Hernandez at the bottom could give the Phils something akin to back-to-back leadoff men. Just a thought.

Kingery had a pair of singles.

Up next

Aaron Nola makes his third start of the season on Tuesday night. He faces Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals roughed up Nola for six runs in three innings last week in Washington.

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Sources: Phillies to interview Buck Showalter on Monday

Sources: Phillies to interview Buck Showalter on Monday

The Phillies are quickly getting into their interview process for a new manager.

According to multiple sources, Buck Showalter will interview for the position on Monday. The meeting between Showalter and Phillies officials will take place in the metropolitan New York area, where Showalter is currently working as an analyst for the YES Network.

It is believed that Phillies officials will also speak with Joe Girardi while they are in the New York area on Monday. Girardi lives in that area.

Veteran skipper Dusty Baker is also on the Phillies' list of candidates, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday. A source confirmed that and said Baker would interview with the Phillies later this week.

At a news conference on Friday, Phillies officials would not definitively say what they were looking for in their new manager, but it is believed that they would prefer to hire someone with big-league managerial experience and that has made Girardi and Showalter the presumed frontrunners.

Girardi managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017. His Yankees team beat the Phillies in the 2009 World Series, prompting Phillies owner John Middleton to famously say, "I want my bleeping trophy back."

Showalter has managed the Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He is a three-time American League manager of the year and has ties to several people in the Phillies front office, including club president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant general manager Ned Rice. MacPhail led the Orioles baseball operations during part of Showalter's time in Baltimore and Klentak and Rice both worked in the front office. Rice, in fact, worked closely with Showalter during their time in Baltimore.

The Phillies fired Gabe Kapler last week and are one of eight teams with a managerial opening.

At Friday's news conference, MacPhail said Klentak would lead the search for a new Phillies skipper. 

"I don't think there's a relationship more important in a baseball organization than the manager and GM," MacPhail said. "If those two aren't simpatico, you really have issues. I believe it's John's and my goal that Matt go out and start the search. At the end, he's going to have to have the approval of John and I, just like with Gabe. John or I could have vetoed Gabe; we chose not to. But I can't imagine us hiring somebody that Matt is not fully on board with. John and I will have some influence on the guys that fit that criteria who we think might be the best fit, but it's got to emanate from the GM."

Showalter managed the Orioles though 2018 and is eager to manage again. Sources say he is intrigued by the Phillies job and has done homework on the roster.

Girardi interviewed with the Chicago Cubs last week and the New York Mets plan to interview him this week. He will manage somewhere in 2020.

Baker has 22 years of big-league managerial experience and is a three-time NL manager of the year. He last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017 and led that club to 97 wins and the NL East title.



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Source: Phillies set to interview Dusty Baker, one of Bryce Harper's former managers

Source: Phillies set to interview Dusty Baker, one of Bryce Harper's former managers

The Phillies will interview Dusty Baker for their managerial opening later this week, a source confirmed. The news was first reported Sunday by the Chicago Tribune.

Baker, 70, is currently a special advisor to the CEO for the San Francisco Giants.

He has 22 years of managerial experience and is almost universally well-liked. He's a player's manager who is 227 games over .500 in his career. He managed Bryce Harper in 2016 and 2017; the Nationals won 95 and 97 games those years but Baker's contract was not renewed after a pair of NLDS losses. It was a surprising move.

Baker is one of several prominent veteran managers on the market. Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon and Buck Showalter are also prime candidates to claim one of the eight available jobs. Maddon has been linked heavily to the Angels, while Girardi has been linked heavily to the Mets.

The Phillies will interview Showalter Monday in the New York area, according to multiple sources.

At Friday's press conference, Phillies GM Matt Klentak spoke of the organization's desire to have its next manager believe in their core baseball principles. It will likely be a manager who utilizes more of a blend of data and gut-feel. Baker has more than two decades of big-league experience and this would be the most analytically-driven organization he's ever been a part of. The fit is still worth exploring.

It makes sense for the Phillies to cast a wide net in their search. Managing partner John Middleton referenced Craig Counsell on Friday as the kind of high-quality manager whose value can be uncovered during this sort of process.

For more on other potential Phillies managerial candidates, look here.

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