Once every five (or six) days, we get treated to a beautiful performance on the mound. It happened again last night, as Jake Arrieta pitched another gem.
He threw seven innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out two on 107 pitches in the Phillies’ 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks. Neither him nor the Phillies had their best performance of the season with three errors on the night, but Zack Greinke also had a tough outing, especially late. The former Cy Young Award winner went six innings and gave up all five runs on nine hits, though he did fan nine batters.
The deciding point came in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a three-run home run from Aaron Altherr. Since starting the season with four hits in his first 17 appearances, Altherr now has a four-game hitting streak, going 6-for-14 with six RBI. With Carlos Santana still not hitting, this is a much-needed turnaround for the 27-year-old.
Speaking of turnarounds, GM Matt Klentak thinks manager Gabe Kapler has adjusted very well since getting booed at home.
“I do think Kap has adjusted since the first series,” said general manager Matt Klentak, who stopped by the dugout to chat with reporters during batting practice Wednesday.
“He’s probably adjusted from yesterday to today. He asks a lot of questions. He’s incredibly passionate about what he does and he has a unique ability to look in the mirror and to be accountable. I think that’s what allows him to successfully navigate a season and manage the roster. I think he’s absolutely made adjustments and will continue to. I think that makes him no different than all of us.”
A half-game out of first in the NL East, despite Vince Velasquez’s struggles, the Phils conclude their series with the D-Backs this afternoon at 1:05 PM on Facebook Watch. So it’s another insufferable stream.
Tonight begins the NFL Draft. The Eagles are picking 32 because they’re Super Bowl champs.
Anyway, we don’t know what they’ll do, and we probably won’t know until late tonight, when the Eagles are on the clock. Will they trade down? Will they take a linebacker? A Jason Peters replacement? Sony Michel (maybe not)? Somebody else?
Plenty of questions to think about regarding the team, including the health of Jordan Hicks moving forward:
To me, one of the key questions of this draft is this: How much do the Eagles trust that middle linebacker Jordan Hicks will come back healthy and stay healthy for 2018? Hicks is in the final year of his contract as well, so the Eagles need to decide on a long-term commitment for a player who, when healthy, is a great fit in the defense. Everybody loves Hicks. He’s a playmaker. But he’s also been injured in two of his three seasons here after an injury-plagued career at the University of Texas. The defense also has Joe Walker and Paul Worrilow on the roster and capable of stepping in for Hicks, but neither has been as productive as Hicks in the NFL.
In non-draft news, Chris Long is calling for a boycott of Kanye West.
Jason Kelce finally explained his emotional Super Bowl parade speech.
The Sixers are off until…we don’t exactly know. But they could play Saturday night if Boston takes care of business tonight.
If the Celtics beat the Bucks in game six, game one of Sixers vs. Celtics would be Saturday at 8pm in Boston.
— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) April 25, 2018
Let’s reminisce over Game 5 from a couple nights ago. Because that was fun.
Joel Embiid’s performance in that game should be a sign to come for many opponents.
Things have started to change over the last few months, as Ben Simmons better understands how to compensate for his shooting weakness and veteran pickups have bolstered their shooting from the bench. Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova are not special players in a vacuum, but they guarantee Philadelphia’s ability to have shooting on the floor at all times, whether it’s a group full of starters or a bench-heavy unit.
This is particularly important for Embiid, as the surrounding context is a lot more important for a big man on offense than it is for a great perimeter player. The calculus is a lot different for someone reliant on other players to bring the ball up the floor and initiate the offense than it is for players who do that initiating. This is part of why the value of big men has diminished in a pace-and-space league, as teams have slowly figured out the value of putting handlers all over the floor.
The release of Meek Mill started what would be an unforgettable night centered around the city’s pride.
Somebody made a huge sacrifice for Philly teams to be good. Coggin thanked whoever that was.
If the Sixers keep winning, they’re gonna run out of bell ringers. Maybe.
Some idiot by the name of Christine Flowers wrote about how the Sixers embracing Meek was bad. We won’t link the story because it sucks. Just ask Malcolm Jenkins:
This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever read. 👇🏾If you don’t understand why Meek Mill and his story is more important now than ever then you have CHOSEN to close your eyes to problems in our society. You should’ve closed them for a few more seconds while he rung the bell 🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/NSUBQ6ilHA
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) April 25, 2018
Never heard of Christine Flowers before this. She sounds more like a porn star than a columnist.
The Flyers had their end of year locker cleanout in Voorhees. Listen to the latest edition of Snow the Goalie with Anthony and Russ.
Probably the biggest development came from Wayne Simmonds admitting he’s been hurt since training camp.
Ivan Provorov played Game 6 with a Grade 3 AC separation. Ouch.
That’s not all: Brian Elliott might need an additional procedure after his core muscle surgery in February, and Michal Neuvirth needs arthroscopic surgery on both hips. We need good goalies soon.
Captain Claude Giroux, who was barely a factor in the playoff exit, thought the boos didn’t help the team.
“Yeah. I think. … I do think so. I think when it’s not going very well, fans, they can get a little … start booing us and stuff. That’s when we try to do too much. On the road, we don’t really get that. We have our game plan at the start of the game, and we carry on for 60 minutes.
“I think sometimes — I’m not saying every game — but some games, at home, it wasn’t going our way. And sometimes it can happen like that. You can have a bad start. You can be down, 1- or 2-0. You [ideally would] keep going the same way you planned on playing the game. That wasn’t the case. We kind of changed our game. We tried to do a little too much. Trying to do somebody else’s job instead of going out there and playing the game.”
Who should stay and who should go on the team?
Michael Barkann is moving on to do only pre and post game shows on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison allegedly went after someone with a baseball bat.
In other sports news, LeBron did this against Indiana last night:
ALL HAIL THE KING
LeBron James FOR THE WIN pic.twitter.com/jK4tLZUKnC
— LeRob Perezbrook (@World_Wide_Wob) April 26, 2018
But prior to that, he may have committed a goaltend on Victor Oladipo:
Wait… was this a goaltend on Lebron James?? pic.twitter.com/6MHHf6nH9Y
— Simone (@UltraDBZfan) April 26, 2018
Elsewhere, the Rockets finished their series with the Timberwolves, the Raptors took a 3-1 lead over the Wizards, and Russell Westbrook scored 45 points to keep the Thunder alive in their series with the Jazz.
In the NHL, the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 7-4 after trailing by a goal in the second to win their series in seven games.
The Stanley Cup semifinals begins tonight, as Pittsburgh visits Washington and Vegas hosts San Jose.
Happy draft day!
“There are those people who are in your corner no matter what, you can’t do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And then there are those people that no matter what you do they’re going to dislike you and that’s not going to change.” – Brett Favre #DraftEve #MMO pic.twitter.com/6bCE9SxqI6
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) April 26, 2018
That’s from the possible #1 overall pick:
Browns continue to keep the decision on their No. 1 pick a secret, but there is a mounting belief from HCs and GMs around the league that Cleveland will take Baker Mayfield.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 26, 2018
Let the Sam Darnold fall commence.
Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks have parted ways.
The Football Association (FA) in England received an £800 million offer from Shad Khan to buy Wembley Stadium.
In the news, there are now coyotes in South Philadelphia.
VA nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson has withdrawn his nomination.
Ford will only offer the Mustang and the new Focus Active as sedan and hatchback options. Goodbye Fusion, Fiesta, Taurus, and the original Focus.