PHILADELPHIA -- The reactions from the Phillies' dugout have become nearly as entertaining as the homers.
Rhys Hoskins hit his 18th home run of the season in the second inning of Thursday night's 10-0 win over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Hoskins is the fastest player in MLB history to hit 18 homers, needing only 34 games to do it. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had been the previous fastest, hitting his 18th and 19th homers in his 45th career game.
"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah about Hoskins," manager Pete Mackanin deadpanned. "It's typical."
The response from teammates and coaches following Hoskins' homers have been worth watching. Cameron Perkins approached Hoskins in the dugout with a baseball and pen, asking him for his autograph. Aaron Altherr held a bemused look on his face, perhaps questioning how this keeps happening.
Phillies coach Dusty Wathan, who managed Hoskins at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, flashed a knowing smile.
"It's fun," Hoskins said. "I don't think hitting a home run is ever not going to be fun -- for everyone. When someone else hits a home run, it gives the team a little jolt, a little spark of energy."
Hoskins is doing more than just homering. He has 39 RBIs. Nobody has ever had more through their first 34 games. Jose Pujols, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Zeke Bonura are tied for second with 37.
"He's creating history," Perkins said. "It's ridiculous. It's fun to watch. It's still underappreciated. I don't think everybody understands how hard it is to do that over and over again. They're trying to pitch around him, and they can't and then he walks. And then they're like, 'OK, I've got to throw him a strike,' and it's a home run, or even yesterday it was a line drive to right field. It's like, what do you do? He takes information. He's a very special hitter. I think you guys are going to start to see that for a long time to come, for sure."
Hoskins, who has homered six times in the past six games, crushed an 0-2 fastball from Miami right-hander Vance Worley. The ball left his bat at 101.2 mph and traveled a projected 391 feet, per Statcast™, into the right-center-field stands. It was his first opposite-field homer in the big leagues.
It also was Hoskins' 10th homer with two strikes. Aaron Judge leads baseball with 16. Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the Majors with 54 homers, has nine.
"The approach doesn't change," Hoskins said. "To be able to drive a ball to the opposite field, especially with two strikes, is something that I haven't really done up here, not that I'm complaining. But to be able to do that, and know that it's still in there, is big for me."