Hoskins leads Phillies to MLB The Show win over Marlins’ Rojas

Thursday would have been Opening Day in Major League Baseball.

Fifteen games were on the docket, including the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals facing the New York Mets; the New York Yankees squaring off against the Baltimore Orioles; the Houston Astros meeting the Los Angeles Angels; and the California matchup of the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But with Opening Day postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, MLB The Show, developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, took center stage on baseball twitter.

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Teams such as the Cleveland Indians offered codes for The Show, and several others, including the aforementioned Astros, put on computer simulations of what should have been their Day 1 matchups.

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The main event of the baseball video game scene on Thursday, however, was certainly the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the Miami Marlins, as played by Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins and Marlins infielder Miguel Rojas. After seven scoreless innings, Hoskins scored in the eighth and ninth and kept Rojas off the score sheet, taking the contest 2-0. Bryce Harper led the way for Philadelphia with a homer and a pairs of RBIs.

“This was a lot of fun,” Hoskins said during the Phillies’ stream of the game on YouTube. “It’s good to get some baseball on Opening Day when we’re supposed to be playing.”

Both Hoskins and Rojas had a lot of fun throughout the hour-and-a-half stream, trading stories and giving scouting reports on their teammates.

At one point, Hoskins asked Rojas about choosing a farm system pitcher as his reliever.

“Tell me about Sterling Sharp,” Hoskins said.

“Sterling Sharp … He’s a great MLB The Show player,” Rojas quipped. “That’s why I brought him in out of the bullpen for the first time. I know Sharp is watching, so Sharp, congratulations, this is your MLB debut.”

While practicing social distancing and self-quarantining due to COVID-19, many athletes across multiple leagues have turned to video games: The Phoenix Suns lead the way in the NBA on game simulations involving athletes; one tweet from an esports commentator went viral and led to an entire FIFA tournament involving the Spanish La Liga; and multiple athletes are competing in online tournaments in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and other titles.

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