Phillies vs. Braves: Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola lead Phils win in NLDS Game 3

With one stroke of the bat, Rhys Hoskins went from toasting town to toasting town.

Hoskins heard a handful of boos during introductions and even more after falling in the first inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Friday.

Two innings later, he became everyone’s favorite Phillie when he hit a three-run homer into the left field seats to help the Phillies to a thrilling 9-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. in the first post-season game played at Citizens Bank Park in 11 years.

The win, in front of a roaring, sold-out crowd of 45,538, gave the Phillies a two-to-one lead in the best-of-five series. A victory in Game 4 on Saturday afternoon would send the Phillies to the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2010. A loss would send them back to Atlanta for a deciding Game 5 on Sunday.

Saturday’s victory marked the continuation of the Aaron Nola Redemption Tour and the start of the Hoskins Redemption Tour.

Nola, who had been criticized for his season-ending meltdowns in recent years, threw his third straight gem in high-intensity conditions. The oldest Phillie went six innings and allowed five hits and just one unearned run. In his last three starts — the playoff tiebreaker at Houston, the first-round playoff tiebreaker at St. Louis and this one — he’s allowed just one unearned run in 19⅓ innings.

Hoskins’ first trip to the playoffs hadn’t been good until Friday. He entered the game with just one hit in 18 at-bats in four games and his struggles extended to the field, where his poor play at first base cost the Phillies three runs in a 3-0 loss in game 2.

Hoskins made his Phillies debut in 2017. He’s been around long enough to know Philadelphia and know it well. Before the first game of the series, he explained how City lacked a winner. He called the city “an honest market,” a market that will let you know how you’re doing with his reaction.

Fans let Hoskins know what they were thinking during pregame introductions when he heard boos. They again expressed their displeasure in the first inning when he fell swinging against Atlanta Fireball Spencer Strider. Moments later, a fan walked past the press box and shouted, “Swap Hoskins!”

Fair market.

The Braves named Strider their starter on Friday morning. His status was on hold as he had not pitched since September 18 due to oblique strain.

The Braves’ hope was to get a couple of good runs out of Strider against a Phillies team he had dominated during the regular season. In 21⅔ innings against the Phils, Strider had allowed just three runs and struck out 34.

The right-hander came out shooting in the first two innings. He struck out three of the first four batters he faced. He threw 29 pitches. His fastball cracked at 99 mph.

Late in the third round, however, Strider came unstuck. He lost command, speed and more. He walked the frame’s first hitter, Brandon Marsh, on four pitches, then made an errant pick pitch to first base, allowing Marsh to rush to third.

Jean Segura struck for the first out of bounds, but had Strider throw eight pitches. Number 9 hitter Bryson Stott then battled Strider for nine pitches and capped the showdown by stroking a full count slider to right field for an RBI double and a 1-0 lead.

With first base open and just one out, the Braves willingly walked first baseman Kyle Schwarber. Why not? Set up the double play. Plus, Hoskins had to happen. He was 1 of 19 in the playoffs and hit a 98.4 mph radiator in the first inning.

But by then, Strider, which had been out of service for a month, was already out of gas. He threw Hoskins a first-pitch fastball, but it wasn’t 98.4 mph. It was 93.8 mph. Hoskins didn’t miss it. He threw it and drove it over the left field wall at 107 mph for a 4-0 lead.

Hoskins knew he had it right away. He nailed his bat to the ground in triumph and yelled at the dugout as he began his trot around the bases. It was his 149th home run in six seasons with the Phillies. It was also his biggest and biggest and the huge crowd showed their appreciation with a blowout that rivaled those of the glory days of 2007-2011.

Fair market, right?

After the Hoskins homer, JT Realmuto singled and Strider went out. But the Phillies weren’t done creating blowouts in the stands. Bryce Harper unloaded on left-hander Dylan Lee’s first pitch and sent him into the right-field seats for a 6-0 lead.

Nola made everything stand up. The Phillies didn’t play good defense — Alec Bohm was shaky in the third and Hoskins missed a fly ball early — and that led to the Braves scoring an unearned run in the sixth. But Nola overcame the mistakes and this whole attack didn’t hurt.

The Phils built their lead to 9-1 with three runs in the seventh. Harper doubled one of the points at home and Nick Castellanos scored two more.

The Phillies will go with Noah Syndergaard as their starter for Game 4 on Saturday. Charlie Morton will start for the Braves. The Phillies defeated Morton on Sept. 25 in their final regular-season home game. If they do it again on Saturday, they will either travel to Los Angeles or San Diego for the NLCS.

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