Rhys Hoskins clutch homer vs. The Braves are making a thunderous splash with the NLDS

When Rhys Hoskins signed with the Phillies as a fifth-round draft pick out of Sacramento State University in the summer of 2014, memories of the team’s championship run from 2007 to 2011 were still fresh in his mind.

October Victory.

Selling crowd.

Big pitch shows.

The play house runs.

Hoskins heard all about it.

“Seeing the pictures, hearing the stories, being around the guys who were there, things like that,” he said.

It took a while, but Hoskins finally got to experience all of the above on Friday afternoon.

Like the old Phillies team of Jimmy, Chase, Ryan, Cole, Such and Big Chuck, he felt the joy of a big October win.

He heard the noise and felt the ballpark shake.

He watched his friend Aaron Nola pitch an October gem in the build-up to the same draft.

A guy named Shane Victorino once felt the joy of hitting a big postseason home run, just like the guy who threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Phillies are one win away from advancing to the National League Championship Series. They got there with an electrifying 9-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NL Division Series at Citizens Bank Park.

They came there because Nola continued his recent brilliance.

They got there because Rhys Hoskins was down — down — but not out.

He booted a ball at first base in Game 2 in Atlanta on Wednesday night that led to a 3-0 loss.

Hoskins, who returned home for Game 3 on Friday, recalled his misplays in pregame introductions. Booze is noticeable. They were loud after he was 1 for 19 in four postseason games after the first inning.

In the third inning, Hoskins converted an outburst of cheers from the sellout crowd of 45,528. He jumped on Braves starter Spencer Strider’s first-pitch fastball and sent it into the left-field seats for a three-run homer, putting the Phillies up 4-0.

Citizens Bank Park vibrated just as Hoskins heard in the glory days.

“God, it was loud,” he said after the game.

The roar of the crowd drowned out Hoskins’ eardrums, but it took him two innings to realize how he had stopped his home run with some excellent at-bats (a four-pitch walk) from Brandon Marsh. , Gene Segura (eight-pitch strikeout) and Bryson Stott (full count RBI double).

The Braves walked Kyle Schwarber on purpose, setting up a potential double play and approaching Hoskins, who took it a little personally.

“Sure,” he said. “I’m human. I’m a competitor. They obviously tell me something before I step into the box. So, I’m ready to compete. And I think when you get a little fire going. Under somebody they tend to hone in and focus a little more, and I don’t miss it.”

As the ball left the park at 107 miles per hour, Hoskins raised his arms and threw his bat wildly to the ground. He yelled at the diggers and circled the bases as if on air.

As he crossed home plate, he celebrated with JD Realmuto, then with Bryce Harper, saying, “We’re not losing. We’re not losing.” Harper then went up and hit a home run of his own to make it 6-0.

Hoskins didn’t remember his hellacious bat spike until Kyle Schwarber showed him two innings later, thanks to the fact that iPods are now allowed in the dugouts.

“That’s what I did?!” said an incredulous Hoskins.

Yes, that’s what you did.

“Fix your divot,” Garrett Stubbs joked with Hoskin after the game.

“They’re still out there digging the bat,” Matt Vierling said.

Hoskins’ emotional reaction was one of complete catharsis. 19 for 1. Game 3 of the game. Booze during introductions. Booze after a first-inning strikeout.

“I had a good look at it,” said Realmudo, who was in the on-deck circle for the homer. “It was as exciting as I’ve ever been on a baseball field. Watching his reaction, there’s definitely a sense of humor in that swing and that reaction. It was a blast. It was a lot of fun.

“It was a tough play the other day. After his first strike of the day, he let the fans hear it during the introductions. As much as we try not to focus on those things, it’s impossible. And he responded. We expect him, he came up big for us, through that swing. He won the ball game for us.

“It literally blew the roof off our park. It was unbelievable. The stadium went wild. That’s what he’s here to do. He’s our guy, he comes up big in places like that and he did it tonight.”

Hoskins was quiet by the time he appeared in the postgame interview room. Not whining about the pose. He can take it. Earlier in the week, he talked about what it’s like to play in Philadelphia, how they tell you how you’re playing with their reaction, and how you have to have a thick skin to make what he called an “honest market.” “

Realizing a couple of honest criticisms from fans, Nola revealed the key to Hoskins’ recovery.

“He just keeps pressing,” Nola said. “He doesn’t hang his head. I’ve been around him a long time. I’ve never seen him hang his head, no matter what the outcome. Or if he makes a mistake at first base, it doesn’t matter.

“He’s always moving forward, he’s always got the confidence that he’s going to make the next play, he’s going to get the next hit. I’m not surprised what he did tonight.”

Reflecting on his performance, Hoskins said, “It’s crazy how one swing of the bat can change things, for better or worse.”

It was definitely for the better. The Phillies are one win away from their first NLCS since the glory days of 2010.

It all came back on Friday. October Victory. Better pitching performance. Big home run. Wild herd.

“The crowd was incredible,” Harper said. “Absolutely crazy. Electric. Nothing I’d ever dreamed of. It was, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It was so unbelievably cool that I get chills just thinking about it.

“Hopefully it will be like that for another couple of weeks.”

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