That is one scary-ass picture of Nick Williams staring deep into your soul (and also JP Crawford, who can’t hit).
Despite another game where he didn’t start, his bat provided the big difference. Williams hit a pinch-hit solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to provide the Phillies a 6-5 win over the Reds. It was a victory for the Phils, Gabe Kapler, and the computers.
Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery, who replaced a struggling Crawford, each hit dingers in the win. Kingery’s home run was the first of his career. Ben Lively went 5 2/3 innings and gave up all five runs on nine hits and struck out seven.
A very good win for the Phillies and probably their best victory of the season. Beating Miami 20-1 was fantastic, but last night showed what the Phillies have the potential of doing against a decent team like Cincy. Miami’s just really bad.
Aaron Nola takes the mound tonight against Homer Bailey, one of the top baseball names in the game. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia +. But the bigger question might be how many people go to the game? Last night looked like “Dress Like a Seat Night” in the ballpark.
Another question to ask: Will Joey Votto be a jerk again?
True to form, Joey Votto's having a little fun with the Philly fans. 😂 pic.twitter.com/UXJ30kjsl1
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) April 9, 2018
The Worst of Philadelphia is down to its Final Four. Two #1 seeds advanced in the bracket.
Ben Simmons isn’t shy to pick himself as Rookie of the Year:
“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told ESPN at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday.
“I think I have been playing solid all year,” he continued. “If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.”
When the 6-foot-10 point guard was told the Rookie of the Year race appears to be a two-man show, he buried his head down and proceeded to chuckle. Asked what rookies have caught his attention this year, he didn’t mince words.
“None,” Simmons responded promptly. “I want to be where the greats are. So, for me, I watch the guys like [Kevin Durant], [LeBron James], [Stephen] Curry, Russell [Westbrook]. Guys like that. That’s where I want to be. I think for me, that’s what I love to watch.”
With Markelle Fultz getting more and more minutes, what does that mean for T.J. McConnell?
“I’m not going to cry over spilled milk,” McConnell said. “Markelle and Ben (Simmons) are special players and they need to be out there for us to win. I’ve just got to stay ready. If my number’s called, I’ve just got to go out there and be a pro and help this team win.”
With the playoffs beginning Saturday, let’s take some time to look at the team’s possible postseason opponents.
Later today, you might see two Cleveland-centric billboards go up on I-95 regarding LeBron to Philly.
Check out this video from our friends at RushOrderTees featuring the t-shirts made for Franklin’s birthday on Sunday:
The Sixers play the first of their final two regular season games tonight as they visit the Hawks at 7:30 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. They’ll need to win their final two games for the #3 seed, as Cleveland beat the Knicks last night in New York.
Here’s a look at the Eastern Conference right now. Wednesday’s game against the Bucks could be a preview of the Quarterfinals:
We are one day away from Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Flyers and the Penguins:
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 9, 2018
Just like many of us, Ivan Provorov is excited about playoff hockey:
“This is basically what you play all 82 games for,” the intense second-year Flyers defenseman said after practice Monday in Voorhees, where the Flyers were preparing to open their first-round playoff series Wednesday in Pittsburgh. “I mean, it’s hard not to be excited. … To be honest, I couldn’t even sleep the last two nights.”
It had nothing to do with the two-time defending Stanley Cup Penguins, though they can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Especially Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, superstar centers who combined for 14 points as the Penguins swept the four-game, regular-season series against the Flyers, including two overtime wins.
Provorov, whose third-place team finished just two points behind the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division, downplayed the regular-season series against Pittsburgh.
“I know we didn’t get the points that we wanted in the games against them, but I think out of the four games, in three of them we played really well and kind of let a few games get away,” he said. “It doesn’t matter now. It’s a clean sheet now in the playoffs and all our focus is on getting the first win.”
But who is Lil B rooting for?
— Chris Jastrzembski (@CFJastrzembski) April 10, 2018
(Kinkead: I don’t get the Lil B thing)
Aussie rugby player Jordan Mailata is slated to visit the Eagles tomorrow as part of his tour of NFL teams. The others include Washington, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and the LA Chargers.
This is a ridiculous, yet knowing Howie Roseman possible, trade scenario:
Ready for a blockbuster @NFLDraft trade idea?
Jets would receive: QB Nick Foles
Eagles would receive: 😱😱😱
— NFL (@NFL) April 9, 2018
SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton will visit the Eagles. He’s regarded as one of the best wide receivers in this year’s NFL Draft class.
Sometimes, the best Eagles players were never even drafted.
As expected, Villanova small forward Mikal Bridges will enter the NBA Draft.
La Salle officially introduced former Villanova assistant Ashley Howard as their new head coach. This is a big hire for the school and will certainly impact Philly hoops, especially at the high school level:
Sitting in his office at Imhotep, latest state championship trophy and net just outside on the front counter, Brother Andre Noble talked early Monday afternoon about the significance of Howard getting the La Salle job. Not about just Howard’s deep roots, but his connections to the scene as it exists today.
“I think that Ashley Howard, it could change the order for young people — I think it’s that big,’’ Noble said of the hire.
He’d gone down there, Noble said, but thought the introduction was at 10, not 11. He’d had to get back up to school.
Down in South Philadelphia, Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale, who has sent top players to La Salle, difference-makers, answered his phone and agreed the hire just makes sense.
“It’s probably more important that he’s from Philadelphia than Villanova,’’ Arrigale said. “But the combination gives him a shot.”
The Union unveiled a new way for fans to get to games called U-Ride. This bus program will pick up fans at four different locations, including XFINITY Live!, for a $15 roundtrip ticket. The buses leave Philly two hours before the match and the service will begin in two weeks for the D.C. United game.
We know Matt Gelb’s replacement at the Inquirer and Daily News. He’s a familiar face for some:
A personal note: This week is my last at ESPN. After eight amazing years writing about the Red Sox, the past two for ESPN, I am returning to Philadelphia to cover the Phillies for @PhillyInquirer, @PhillyDailyNews and @PhillyDotCom.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) April 9, 2018
The NBC Sports Philadelphia simulcast of The Mike Missanelli Show will finally begin on Monday.
In other sports news,
Three unnamed Michigan State basketball players were accused of raping a female student back in 2015.
Andrew Luck hasn’t even picked up a football yet.
The Cavs will sign Kendrick Perkins for the playoffs. He played in 27 games for the Canton Charge of the G-League.
What is Ray Lewis even saying?
This is how Tony Finau’s ankle looked after playing at The Masters this weekend and dislocating and relocating his ankle:
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) April 9, 2018
Bill Belichick is not a fan of Rob Gronkowski using the TB12 diet.
At one point early last season, the Hoodie chastised Gronk in front of the players for being a TB12 client, according to a source. So maybe that was Belichick’s not-so-subtle way of trying to keep everyone from jumping ship on the team’s training staff.
Two Brewers TV reporters got into a fight. One of them got arrested. TV WARS?
Today is Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day.