Rhys Hoskins, homerless for 10 days, looking to adjust as pitchers adjust to him

092417_hoskins_1200
Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins (17) watches his line drive to center field during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Atlanta. Nick Williams scored on the play.

ATLANTA — It has been 10 days since Rhys Hoskins’ last home run, which qualifies the rookie slugger for his first prolonged slump, and the 13 pitches he saw in Sunday’s 2-0 win over the Braves provided some evidence for the reasons behind it. Hoskins expected pitchers to adjust after the prodigious start to his career.

They have attacked him down and away.

“They’re staying outside,” Hoskins said. “Whatever the scouting reports say, that’s where the hole is now. The game is about making the adjustments I need to make, then they’ll try to find the next hole.

“That’s what’s beautiful about the game.”

Of the 13 pitches Hoskins saw Sunday, just two were on the inner half of the plate. He took both for balls. Hoskins was 0 for 3 with a walk. He is 5 for 33 (.152) with 12 strikeouts and six walks since his last homer, Sept. 14.

Camera icon baseballsavant.mlb.com
Braves pitchers followed a recent trend and stayed outside against Rhys Hoskins in Sunday’s game.

The 24-year-old first baseman is still hitting .278 with a .409 on-base percentage and .682 slugging percentage this season.

“He’s allowed to have some bad days,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “Any rookie who comes up is going to through that period of adjusting. He hasn’t seen any of these pitchers — especially guys who soften up when they’re behind in the count.

“Those things you see more often than you do at the minor-league level. Better location, better pitch selection. More video to look at a weakness. He’s the kind of guy who is smart and will figure out when he faces these guys again what they did to him last time and make that adjustment.”

Extra bases

Aaron Altherr batted second for the 16th time this season but first since July. He slashed a double to left to provide an insurance run in the eighth inning. It snapped an 0-for-13 streak. … The Braves drew 2,505,297 to SunTrust Park in its inaugural season. In 2004, when Citizens Bank Park opened, the Phillies had 3,250,092 in attendance. … The Phillies need just one win in their final six games to avoid the franchise’s first 100-loss season since 1961. Aaron Nola, Jake Thompson, and Mark Leiter Jr. will pitch this week at Citizens Bank Park against Washington. The Nationals plan to start A.J. Cole, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark.