The Phillies dropped three of four games to the Rockies this weekend at Coors Field. Let’s get mad. REALLY MAD.
Ready? Here it goes:
It doesn’t matter the Phillies were a strike away from a win on Friday night that would’ve helped secure a series split and a winning week. It doesn’t matter that Odubel Herrera, Scott Kingery, and Jean Segura are each currently on the injured list. This is April, dammit, and their effort this weekend was a total embarrassment. When they lose the division by a game…
Yeah, sorry. I tried. Can’t do it.
I can’t get mad about what I watched this weekend. Blackmon’s Friday night walk-off was a killer, for sure. It’s also true the offense, or what’s currently left of it, was lackluster in all three losses, but if you came for a condemnation, you’re out of luck. The closest thing I can muster right now is some mild disappointment in Cesar Hernandez, who was next-level bad this afternoon.
How bad? Try 0 for 5 at the plate, with six runners left on base and four runners left in scoring position. He also made the game’s last out. On a 3-2 pitch. As the tying run. With Bryce Harper on deck:
Have a day, babe! Have. A. Day.
But Hernandez’s biggest blunder came during the top of the fourth inning. With his team trailing 1-0, he jogged off the field despite being ruled safe at second base by umpire Joe West on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Rhys Hoskins:
As you can see, the play wasn’t even close, with West also clearly signaling safe right in front of Hernandez, but his attention was seemingly elsewhere as he appeared to be the last person in the stadium to realize what was going on. To be fair, West wasn’t exactly Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun out there, but it’s still a total boner of a play, one that Gabe Kapler said after the game “can’t happen.”
Making matters worse for Hernandez, Maikel Franco followed with a double, because of course Maikel Franco followed with a double, one that would have tied the game and set up the Phillies to potentially take the lead. As it turns out, that was as close as they would get.
It was a bad play in an awful game by Hernandez, but given the team’s current injury situation, there isn’t much the Phillies can do about it right now. With Segura still at least a week away and Kingery also on the shelf with what looks like a multi-week injury, he’s not coming out of the lineup. So if you want to get mad about Hernandez, that’s fine, I get it, but he’s still a solid player and the team’s best current option.
As for the bigger picture, the first place Phillies head to Citi Field for a three-game set against the Mets with a 12-9 record. Admittedly, this team has shown a proclivity to lose close games in excruciating fashion in the early going, thanks to a stomach-turning cocktail of bad luck, bad defense late in games, and some inconsistent relief pitching, but there’s no reason to get mad over what we’re seeing right now. At least not yet.
The Sixers didn’t put in their best performance on Saturday afternoon.
They lost the turnover battle at a -6 margin. They allowed 13 offensive rebounds while only grabbing 12 themselves. They managed two fewer shots than Brooklyn while hitting just 76% of their free throws and eight of 26 three-pointers. Brett Brown’s team only mustered nine fast break points while finishing the game short-handed after Jimmy Butler’s ejection.
But they hung in there, showed some resilience on the road, and simply made more plays down the stretch, more than a young Nets team that displayed their nascent playoff experience with some inexplicably brutal shot selection and a number of crippling turnovers. The Sixers went on a 16 to 7 run that began at the 4:22 mark in the fourth quarter and took them to the final buzzer.
It was the first truly close game of this series, and Philly was simply better in clutch time scenarios minus their best fourth quarter option in Butler, who was sent to the locker room after what I thought was a total nothing-burger of an altercation. I’d call it a pseudo-melee or faux-donnybrook. Twice the Sixers pulled to within three points and just could not grab the lead until the third effort, as those scenarios played out in this fashion:
- First time: They missed two shots before Boban was whistled for an offensive foul. Brooklyn pushed the lead back to eight.
- Second time: JJ Redick missed an open three and D’Angelo Russell hit one on the other end in a back-breaking six-point swing. At that point, the Sixers were 6-23 from deep (26%).
- Third time: Offensive foul on Joe Harris, Redick misses another three, Sixers get a defensive stop, Embiid dunk, then Brooklyn turnover and Embiid bucket.
Third time was the charm, that six-play stretch of possessions where they got a stop that was book-ended by Brooklyn turnovers. They kept beating down the door and finally went ahead at the 2:54 mark and made more plays en route to a 3-1 series lead.
Sports Betting Updates
Joel Embiid didn’t play for the Sixers in Game 3 and is listed as doubtful once again for Game 4, meaning the Nets will catch a break as they attempt to even the series at two games apiece. The big man’s absence didn’t derail the Sixers on Thursday night during a comfortable 131-115 win. Philadelphia scored at least 30 points in all four quarters, giving itself an opportunity to take a commanding series lead this afternoon. Of course, when it comes to sports, we all know that if something happens once, it almost always happens again. That’s why I have concluded, with total conviction, the Sixers are simply a better team without Embiid and are a Game 4 lock.
That’s not how things work. At all. If Embiid does sit out in this one, the Sixers will need to find a way to again overcome the absence of their best player in order to stave off a desperate Nets team on the road, and that’s no small task.
Can they get it done? Let’s get into it.
Here are the LIVE Sixers-Nets odds for Game 4, courtesy of our news odds tool:
Making it better? Image via Twitter.
Video Assistant Referee is coming to the Premier League in 2019-2020. At one level, video review was unavoidable. It came to the National Football League, which couldn’t get a sufficient number of calls right despite having seven people watching the play at all times. World football only employs four people for every match, and two of them spend the vast majority of the match assessing whether a player is offside. The referee in a world football match is usually overmatched, especially given both the speed of the play and the size of the players.
So it’s only right that the primary match official, the referee, be given some help when it is needed. But just as the NFL proved in the NFC Conference Championship game, having video at your disposal doesn’t guarantee that the right call is going to be made.
Manchester City can tell you a little about that. City was knocked out of the Champions League tournament in the quarterfinal by Tottenham Hotspur on a goal that, depending on who you talk to, was either a good goal or never should have counted. And there was VAR in the Champions League this year, and they used it…and still, no one is quite sure.
And guess who City plays in league action this week? Spurs, naturally. We will pick a winner in that one and two other standout Premier League matchups after the jump.
As expected, the response to the Flyers’ decision to cover the Kate Smith statue at the sports complex is all over the place.
Here’s a guy slipping two signs underneath the ropes currently holding whatever fabric this is in place:
— Cleve Bryan CBS3 (@CleveBryan) April 19, 2019
I have no opinion on the matter.
Enjoy your weekend.
Shad Khan has one of the best mustaches out there.
He owns the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. and his net worth is $7 billion, which isn’t bad. Not bad at all.
Khan spoke this week and said this about Nick Foles, via ESPN:
“I can tell you this, categorically, that as soon as the season was over, our dream was to get Nick Foles for all the different reasons that have been elaborated before, and it happened,” Khan said Thursday after the franchise’s annual state of the franchise presentation. “I think that’s a critical part that we have addressed.
“… Yes, we wanted to do whatever to get Nick here.”
So they gave him four years at $91 million, with 50 guaranteed. The Eagles couldn’t do that, not unless they wanted to trade Carson Wentz, and a pretty sizable chunk of Eagles fans preferred that course of action.
Said Khan of Blake Bortles, after the jump:
David Andrew Burd, also known as Lil Dicky, is one of us. He’s from Cheltenham, a comedian and rapper who sometimes appears at Sixers games. A cashier at the Aramingo Avenue Taco Bell once asked me if I knew who Lil Dicky was and claimed that we look alike (true story).
Dicky does these goofy music videos, like that “Freaky Friday” track, where he wakes up inside Chris Brown’s body. It has 494 million Youtube views and Virginia Tech’s women’s lacrosse team got in trouble for singing it.
Anyway, he’s got a new track out featuring contributions from a plethora of singers and celebrities, including auto-tuned Joel Embiid, who comes in around 3:57 with the lyric “we love you Africa” –
This video was dropped ahead of Monday’s Earth Day, and all of the proceeds from the song/merchandise/etc are being disbursed via the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which supports global climate and wildlife initiatives.
So there you go. It’s all for a good cause. Here’s a local kid doing a good thing.
Growing up on the Montgomery County/Berks County border, we had two different ways to identify flatulence:
- Whoever denied it, supplied it
- Whoever smelt it, dealt it
Those are important 90s-era principles, and perhaps we can apply them to this video from the Sixers’ bench last night, when somebody farted:
"Who let it rip?" pic.twitter.com/zL5el469n7
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 19, 2019
I’d probably rule out James Ennis, because you can see Zhaire Smith start to react before Ennis comes over to the bench.
If we’re going by rule #2, “whoever smelt it dealt it,” I’d view Smith, Jonathon Simmons, and Joel Embiid as possibly liable. That leaves Amir Johnson on the end of the bench, who is not reacting. He could be a candidate for rule #1, “whoever denied it supplied it,” seeing as he shakes his head after Embiid looks to ask him a question.