The Phillies didn’t just lose Rhys Hoskins for the rest of the season on Thursday. They also likely lost any chance they had to reach the postseason.
How important is Hoskins? The Phils are 53-47 this season with Hoskins in the lineup and 10-17 without him. Hoskins leads the majors in slugging percentage since the All-Star break and joined Bryce Harper as the only Phillies in the second half to provide a real offensive threat. Now they’ll have to win without him. They trail the NL East-leading Braves by 5 1/2 games and have 35 games remaining.
Hoskins played just seven games in August yet had four homers in the month, more than every other player on the team except Harper and Odubel Herrera. The offense was sent into a tailspin earlier this month when Hoskins hit the injured list. He provided a spark when he returned, but now he’s out again. It’s hard to imagine the offense producing without him.
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Brad Miller continues to struggle as Hoskins’ replacement and other observations by Scott Lauber from Thursday night’s 8-7 loss to Diamondbacks.
The Phillies scratched Zach Eflin from Thursday’s start after his knee flared up. Not good.
Friday: Aaron Nola faces the juggernaut Diamondbacks, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday: Kyle Gibson starts against powerful Arizona, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday: Ranger Suarez pitches the series finale vs. the world-beating D’backs, 1:05 p.m.
Monday: Phillies start a three-game series in Washington, 7:05 p.m.
Stat of the day
The Phillies’ odds to make the playoffs, according to FanGraphs, dropped to just 12% after Thursday night’s loss. It’s their lowest odds since July 9, when the Phils were given a 10.3% chance to reach October.
The Braves’ odds spiked to a season-high 86.2% after they were off for two straight days and the Phils lost both nights. FanGraphs projects the Phillies to finish with 82 wins, meaning they’ll win 19 of their final 35 games.
From the mailbag
Send questions by email or on Twitter @matt_breen.
Question: Sorry to disappoint you but the Phillies being in the worst division in baseball will probably not make the playoffs and really don’t deserve to. This is an overpaid underachieving team. Harper is the only player i would protect on this team. All others should be available for trades. Very disappointing season as usual. Its hard to blame Dombrowski he’s tried to upgrade thus team. But the additions really haven’t helped. Their supposed ace is a 500 pitcher with an era near 5. Hoskins has delivered with Homer’s and rbi but his overall batting average is below par. Another disappointing season — Lawrence F. via email
Answer: This wasn’t really a question, but it felt like a good day to air out the frustrations. I’ve received plenty of emails like this in the last week, and I totally understand where you’re coming from. You made sound points, Lawrence. This season is starting to feel like 2018 or 2019 or 2020.