Rhys Hoskins ran through first base and raised his arms skyward as though he had crossed the finish line at the Philadelphia Marathon.
Early in this sprint season, hits have been hard to come by for the Phillies first baseman.
Hoskins isn't alone, though, especially with runners in scoring position. The Phillies went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's doubleheader sweep by the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Through 10 games, they are 14-for-72 (.194) with runners on second and third base.
"Yeah, if we're going to win games, we have to get better at that," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's one stat in the boxscore you can usually look at, and the team that hits better with runners in scoring position more often than not wins the game."
The Phillies have also been largely dependant on home runs. Twenty-two of their 42 runs (52.4%) this season have scored on homers.
Leadoff man Andrew McCutchen is off to a 4-for-30 (.133) start with a .206 on-base percentage. Second baseman Scott Kingery has struggled in the bottom half of the batting order, going 3-for-31 (.097) with seven strikeouts.
Then there’s Hoskins’ bizarre start.
Despite being the right-handed power complement to lefty-hitting Bryce Harper, he hasn't homered yet. He's also only 5-for-29 (.172) after getting two hits in the doubleheader finale -- an infield single in the first inning that broke an 0-for-11 drought and a double down the left-field line in the third. But he has drawn 12 walks and has a .429 on-base percentage.
Girardi said he has been pleased with Hoskins' at-bats lately, believing that a hot streak is coming soon. Hoskins is hitting the ball hard. His line drive to third base in the seventh inning of the first game came off the bat at 101.5 mph, according to Statcast. The infield single was a 107-mph scorcher, while the double had an exit velocity of 99.5 mph.
“I think he’s just missed a few pitches that would change his numbers dramatically,” Girardi said the other day. “Whether he’s fouled them off or just kind of hit a deep fly ball to center field or hit a ball hard on the left side. I think he’s just a tick off.”