LAKE BUENA VISTA — This morning I reported that Nationals manager Matt Williams sounded receptive to defensive shifts. I wonder if I put an idea in his head, because he made a doozy of one today. This was what the Nats’ infield looked like in the eighth inning today with the game tied, one out and the bases loaded:
For those scoring at home, that’s the right fielder playing second base, more or less, with three infielders on the left side against Braves’ infielder Philip Gosselin (there is a left fielder, he just got cropped out of my pic). Very bold!
Only problem: Gosselin tripled over the center fielder’s head, clearing the bases. But still, bold.
Wednesday night’s Phillies-Mets game did not feature any beanballs or benches-clearing brawls, but it did feature Rhys Hoskins getting his revenge against Jacob Rhame. Last night, Rhame threw a fastball up-and-in at Hoskins. Rhame maintained his innocence, though Hoskins was skeptical.
Hoskins got a chance for revenge against Rhame in the ninth inning with the Phillies already ahead 4-0. Bryce Harper drew a leadoff walk. Hoskins then worked a 1-1 count before drilling a 95 MPH fastball over the left field fence for a two-run home run. Hoskins milked his accomplishment, taking a 34-second stroll around the bases. For a point of comparison, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo notes that noted speedster Bartolo Colón had a 30.5-second trot around the bases after homering in 2016. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki notes that Hoskins’ longest home run trot prior to this was clocked at 28.88 seconds. Wednesday’s trot was the first this season above 30 seconds across the league.
The dinger is Hoskins’ seventh of the season. He also walked and tripled in Wednesday’s 6-0 win. On the season, Hoskins is now batting .273/.402/.580 with 20 RBI and 18 runs scored in 107 plate appearances.