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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Phillies Notebook: Hoskins making history

Posted by Eric Fisher On August 29

Perhaps we should start calling him Baby Rhys.

Hoskins has been hitting home runs at an unprecedented rate. And that’s not hyperbole.

He reached 11 home runs faster than any rookie in major-league history. He has hit more home runs in a month than any Phillies rookie in history, breaking the record of 10 set by Ryan Howard. Keep in mind that Hoskins didn’t make his major-league debut until Aug. 10, so he almost missed one-third of the month.

And while we’re discussing history, there’s this gem from mlb.com’s Todd Zolecki and Ben Harris: the record for home runs in a season for players who did not appear in their first game until Aug. 1 or later is held by Ted Williams, who hit 13 after Aug. 6 in 1953 following his return from the Korean War, which ended on July 27. With more than one month remaining in the season, Hoskins is two homers away from tying that mark.

He’s a little more history. Hoskins’ 25 RBI are the most in baseball history through 19 games since 1925, when Mandy Brooks had 28.

Hoskins enters Tuesday’s game against the Braves tied for sixth on the Phillies in home runs. In 19 games.

No player could maintain this pace for an entire season. That would equate to 99 home runs in a 162-game season. The question is how long can Hoskins, whose streak of games with a home run ended at five when he merely doubled home the go-ahead run against the Braves, continue his torrid pace.

The real question, though, concerns how Hoskins will perform on a consistent basis in the majors. In that respect, the 10-game hitting streak and .309 batting average Hoskins brings into Tuesday’s game against the Braves is as important as his home runs.

Hoskins is making consistent contact. And that contact usually includes a whole lot of power.

In a season with few positives, it’s tempting to go a little over the top and anoint Hoskins as the Phillies’ savior. I’m guilty of making references to all-time greats Babe Ruth and Ted Williams in this Phillies Notebook. That’s some pretty lofty company for the Phillies rookie.

We must remember that Hoskins hasn’t even played a full month in the big leagues. But it’s difficult to resist getting excited while wondering about what Hoskins could achieve in a full season.

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TRIPLE THREAT: Not content to contribute merely by blasting home runs, Rhys Hoskins made a shoestring catch in left field Sunday to start a triple play during a 6-3 victory over the Cubs.

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IRONMAN: Shortstop Freddy Galvis has played in all 130 games this season.

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EXPERIENCING THE RUNS: Phillies pitching has allowed 99 runs through its last 15 games (entering Wednesday’s games against the Braves). What’s hard to believe is that the Phillies have won three of their past four games, and there are four games during this stretch in which the Phillies have allowed 2 or fewer runs.

What’s clear is that the Phillies don’t have a reliable starter after Aaron Nola (10-9, 3.46 ERA) – and even Nola had two bad starts during this two-week stretch. Jerad Eickhoff (4-7, 4.36 ERA) has pitched better lately, and Mark Leiter Jr. turned in an exceptional outing, but Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta and Jake Thompson have joined the revolving door of a rotation after the ineffective Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin sustained injuries.

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SOUTHPAW RELIEF: Two exceptions to the Phillies’ poor pitching lately have been left-handed relievers Hoby Milner and Adam Morgan. Milner, with his sidearm delivery has a 2.25 ERA in 23 games since being called up to the Phillies. He has not allowed a run during 12 August appearances. Morgan (2-1, 4.57 ERA), who has rallied after an awful start to the season, has allowed one run in 10 appearances during August.

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KINGERY A HIT: Prospect Scott Kingery had a 23-game hitting streak snapped Saturday during a 3-0 loss to Pawtucket. Kingery, a second baseman, is batting .298 entering Tuesday’s game against Syracuse.

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HAPPY TO SEE BRAVES: Do you think the Phillies are happy the Braves are in town? The Phillies are 12-2 against the Braves after Monday’s 6-1 victory. The 12 wins are nearly one-fourth of the Phillies’ win total (49) this season.

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STANTON HITS 50: Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has hit 50 home runs this season. With 17 home runs and a .381 batting average during August (entering Tuesday’s game against the Nationals), Stanton may be the only player having a better August than Rhys Hoskins.

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ARIZONA-BOUND: Seven players, including a pair of players picked up at the trade deadline, will represent the Phillies in the Arizona Fall League. Reliever J.D. Hammer, acquired in the trade that sent reliever Pat Neshek to the Rockiers, and reliever Garrett Cleavinger, acquired in the trade that sent Jeremy Hellickson to the Orioles, are among those headed to Arizona. Outfielder Cornelius Randolph, the Phillies’ first-round draft pick in 2015, is also going to Arizona after three mediocre, at best, seasons.

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SWEET DEAL: The Phillies are offering tickets to all 15 September home games for as little as $50. That’s a steal. Watching Rhys Hoskins bat in 15 games is easily worth that price.

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Phillies open an 11-game road trip Thursday with the opening game of a four-game series with the Marlins. They follow the Marlins series with three games against the Mets and four against the Nationals.

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