Rhys Hoskins has to do something to defend himself. Opposing pitchers have thrown at Hoskins multiple times so far this year. He’s just being thrown at, but the pitches are dangerously close to his head.
Two nights ago, in the top of the ninth inning, the Mets led the Phillies 9-0. With two outs, Hoskins stepped to the plate. Mets Pitcher Jacob Rhame threw the first pitch behind Hoskins’ head. Then with a full count, Rhame threw a pitch that almost hit Hoskins’ head a second time. So Hoskins throws his bat angrily towards the dugout and takes a step towards the mound. He then stops and takes off his shin guard, giving Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud enough time to stand between Hoskins and the mound.
If you look at the scenario and Rhame’s reaction, there was no real reason to throw at Hoskins. However Phillies pitchers hit two Mets’ batters the night before. I would like to believe that both pitches may have just gotten away from Rhame, or that the first pitch was a message and the last pitch was accidental. Was Rhame retaliating for the previous game? If so why are you throwing at his head?
“He didn’t miss up and in or out and up to a lefty the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide,” Hoskins stated. “I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, which is fine. That’s part of the game. Again I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”
Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler was more direct in his response to whether he thought it was intentional to the pitches. “It sure looked like it to me. Damn sure looked like it.”
Bryce Harper had this reaction regarding the incident: “I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the ass. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”
Harper is no stranger to being thrown at. From the infamous Cole Hamels incident to Charging the mound vs. Hunter Strickland hitting Harper in the rear end following Harper hitting a three-run homer off of him in the playoffs three years ago. Harper stated referencing the Strickland incident, “Strick hit me in the butt. I still went and got him”
Hoskins must do something
Hoskins is eventually going to have to charge the mound and make a statement. The suspension will be worth it if he sends the message that there will be consequences if you miss inside. The top of the ninth in a blowout with two pitches being thrown at you was the ideal time.
Hoskins, however, did retaliate, though it wasn’t with his fists. In the series finale, he went 2 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI leading the Phillies to a 6-0 win. He hit his first major league triple and homered off of, yup you guessed it, Jacob Rhame.
Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports