Just when you thought Maikel Franco’s run of regular playing time with the Phillies might have finally come to an end, it appears he’s going to get one more extended chance to prove himself with the news that J.P. Crawford fractured his left hand during tonight’s 7-6 loss to the Cardinals. He was injured in the fourth inning on this 93 mph fastball from Cardinals starter Luke Weaver:
Crawford is out 4-6 weeks after fracturing his left hand tonight. Here’s the pitch he did it on. pic.twitter.com/AxE3xfINPt
— BWanksCB (@BWCrossingBroad) June 20, 2018
Crawford is hitting only .194 this season with a .645 OPS, but he had recently given the bottom of the Phillies lineup some quality at-bats that have quietly helped a struggling offense perform better over the past week. He entered the night seeing 4.35 pitches per plate appearance, which is well above league average, and a big reason why the Phillies are seeing as a team the second most pitches per plate appearance behind only the Dodgers.
As for Franco, I mean, I don’t know. What else is there to say? There are brief flashes of brilliance, but there’s not much of a reason to believe that he’s suddenly going to realize the potential that not so long ago made him the organization’s top offensive prospect. The reality is that he’s a below league average third baseman, and if by the grace of God the Phillies somehow remain in contention a month from now despite the incompetence of this bullpen, they may look for a short-term upgrade at third base for the remainder of this season ahead of their rumored planned pursuit of Manny Machado this winter.
While the injury wouldn’t seem to have a seismic impact, it will most certainly exacerbate the team’s embarrassing lack of capable depth. Are you ready for the return of Mitch Walding? Because I’m not. The Phillies will have to make a corresponding roster move ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s series finale with St. Louis.
Sixers sideline reporter Molly Sullivan is the latest Sixers-related casualty at the WFC:
After six years as the sideline reporter for the @sixers, I have been informed that @NBCSPhilly is moving in a ‘new direction’ that does not include me…heartbreaking. I plan to write more. (Soon). Until then, thank you all for the memories.
— Molly Sullivan (@MollySullivanTV) June 19, 2018
Anyone who has ever lost a job that they were objectively good at knows how Sullivan is feeling right now. And if Brett Brown “deserved” to have the opportunity to work with the Sixers now that they’re actually sort of good, Sullivan probably did too. Here’s a video montage of Sullivan interviewing (among others) Sixer legends like Michael Carter-Williams, Hollis Thompson and Nerlens freaking Noel:
The team has improved, and Sullivan has had the opportunity in recent days to catch the post-game thoughts of deep thinkers like Joel Embiid, even when he was only 69% healthy:
lmaoooo this guy pic.twitter.com/dT814eX3i5
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) November 16, 2017
The most exciting part of Sullivan’s farewell tweet is that “(Soon.)” Maybe there’s a little inside knowledge to drop now that she’s on the outside.
Best of luck, Molly, and please accept my humble apologies for the comments that are probably about to appear beneath this piece.
Despite Nick Williams assuring Gabe Kapler that he was fine after taking a baseball directly to his face last night, it turns out in a completely unsurprising development that he suffered a broken nose as a result of this play:
Nick Williams takes ⚾️ right off his nose 😳 pic.twitter.com/Pueg1ZEML1
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) June 19, 2018
The good news for Williams, who has posted a .732 OPS in 176 plate appearances this season, is that the Phillies are hopeful he will be able to avoid time on the disabled list:
Nick Williams has a broken nose, but the Phillies do not believe he has a concussion. He probably won’t go on the DL. He may not be available tonight.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 19, 2018
Williams told reporters that he hasn’t watched a replay of his injury:
Nick Williams has a broken nose. He said he has not watched the replay and he said he will not watch the replay. But he could play as early as tomorrow.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 19, 2018
Meanwhile, it will be last night’s hero, Aaron Altherr, making the start in right field this evening against the St. Louis Cardinals. Altherr has struggled immensely this season, posting a .625 OPS, down 231 points from his .856 OPS of a season ago.
I don’t know about you, but I still can’t get enough of any replay, account, anecdote, or discussion centered around the “Philly Special.” You probably already know by now that the play, which was arguably one of the greatest play calls in the history of pro football given its context, was first run by the Chicago Bears against the Minnesota Vikings in a Week 17 game of the 2016 season:
In a video released yesterday on the team’s official website, Doug Pederson sat down with Ron Jaworski and Brian Baldinger to discuss how the play came to be. Among the highlights include Pederson on Nick Foles’ suggestion to call the play on fourth down:
Philly Special was in our plus-five red zone area on our call sheet, but I had it at like the two, three-yard line, and I did not have it on fourth down. That was not the thought on fourth down, but the timeout gave us time to kind of step back and think. And Nick runs over to me and he just says, ‘Hey, Philly Philly.’ And I go, ‘Yeah. I kinda like it. It makes sense. Let’s do it.’
Pederson also discussed the origin of the play:
It wasn’t my design, so Press Taylor, as an offensive quality control coach, kind of what I asked him to do was go through all of the NFL tape from the week prior and just start building a catalog. You’ve got 17 weeks of regular season football and he’s got all kinds of stuff in there. And one of them is just gadgets, and so we went back and it was the 2016 season, Chicago Bears versus Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota, and they ran it at like the three-yard line. Boom. Touchdown. It was wide open, and I go, ‘Yeah, I kinda like this play.’ That’s where it came from. Press did a lot of the research on it, I buzzed through the tape on a Monday afternoon and I said I want to go back through this. I want to find something, we need something that I can just pull out, whether it be a fourth down, or it could be a key moment in the game.
You can watch Pederson’s conversation with Jaworski and Baldinger after the jump. Continue Reading
The above headline is not one that I thought I would ever write. I guess that’s just part of what happens when your team wins the Super Bowl–your kicker ends up doing marketing for the Carnival Cruise Line with Queen Latifah at a naming ceremony for a new ship in New York City.
From an April press release on the event:
Let the battle begin! Carnival Cruise Line today announced that Jake Elliott, kicker for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, and Queen Latifah, Grammy-award winning musical artist, acclaimed actress and godmother of the new Carnival Horizon, will face off in a special edition of Lip Sync Battle as part of the ship’s naming ceremony.
The invitation-only event, which will take place in New York City on May 23, will celebrate the ship’s U.S. arrival and benefit one of Carnival’s primary charitable partners, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, based in Elliott’s adopted hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
The Eagles released a video earlier today of Elliott performing Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” back at the May event. Spoiler alert: Queen Latifah gets the best of Elliott, but I must say, he nails the look.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 19, 2018
First you had LeBron James mocking the Bryan Colangelo burner account apocalypse in front of a national audience before Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and now Blake Griffin, part-time dater of Kendall Jenner and part-time power forward for the Detroit Pistons, is clowning the ex-76ers GM.
Good thing the NBA made the Sixers fire Sam Hinkie and bring in Colangelo so they could avoid future embarrassment. Phew.
Griffin appeared on Monday’s episode of the Pardon My Take podcast and a discussion on potentially humiliating internet searches segued into PMT co-hosts Big Cat and PFT asking Griffin to give his opinion on Colangelo’s penchant for dabbling in social media and his love of big collars.
The transcript and audio are after the jump:
It was Game of Thrones night at Citizens Bank Park last night. The intros didn’t disappoint. Continue Reading
It looked like the Phillies were going to win last night heading into the top of the ninth.
But the bullpen had to get three outs. This time, they blew that chance. Even with two outs and Yairo Munoz striking out, Victor Arano’s pitch got past catcher Andrew Knapp, keeping the Cardinals alive. Kolten Wong ended up with an RBI single with the next at-bat off of Adam Morgan. And your reminder that the Phillies don’t have a closer after sending Hector Neris down to Triple-A.
Then in the 10th, Jake Thompson gave up a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Aaron Altherr, who came in to replace Nick Williams after he took a baseball to the face, was the team’s last hope and did this:
WE GOT OURSELVES A WALKOFF!!!
Altherr comes up BIG for the Phillies take the win 6-5 against the Cardinals. pic.twitter.com/BNPTWqpUsu
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 19, 2018
With one swing of the bat, the Phillies turned one of their worst losses into a decent 6-5 win. Altherr probably would’ve gotten Hoskins home if Marcel Ozuna just played off the bounce.
Odubel Herrera recorded a three-run homer in the bottom of the first, which was part of a four run opening frame, and Nick Pivetta had a very strong outing with 13 strikeouts on four hits.
Vince Velasquez will look to continue his hot streak tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. You might want to go to a game soon, since they’ve won six of their last eight.
And make sure you check out the latest episode of Crossed Up!
The Roundup: Continue Reading