Last night’s Phillies game was boring. That was until the 10th inning.
After striking out in three of his first four plate appearances, Rhys Hoskins had enough and ripped a two RBI double to right field to help the Phils beat the Braves 5-1 in extras. Hoskins’ big hit was the team’s first extra base hit of the night. Maikel Franco knocked in two more runs later in that inning. Odubel Herrera also knocked in a run, rebounding after a game of blunders on Monday.
Nick Pivetta lasted five innings and gave up just one run on five hits while striking out two on 98 pitches. Since their home opener, the Phillies have gone 9-2. Have they turned a corner? It’s probably too early to tell, even though we’ve seen major progress from Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins. Miami, Cincinnati, and Tampa Bay are three of the worst teams in the league, and Atlanta is a decent team right now.
The rubber match of the series is tonight at 7:35 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia +. Vince Velasquez will take the mound for the Phillies.
Start your morning off with a brand new episode of the Crossing Broadcast, which discusses the Dwyane Wade game.
If you thought things couldn’t get worse for the Flyers, you were wrong. At practice yesterday, Radko Gudas collided with Sean Couturier. Coots limped off the ice and may not play in tonight’s Game 4 against the Penguins.
It’ll be a different Flyers team tonight, with a few lineup changes:
Second-line left winger Oskar Lindblom, who has struggled offensively, will be taken out of the lineup Wednesday. Jordan Weal will make his first appearance in the series, playing right wing on the third line. Weal had four points against the Penguins in the regular season, tying for the team lead.
In other moves, right winger Jake Voracek will go from the second line to the top unit; right winger Wayne Simmonds and left winger Travis Konecny will shift from the third line to the second line and will have Nolan Patrick as their center instead of Val Filppula; and Michael Raffl, who had been the right wing on the first line, will drop to left wing on the third line.
“It can bring an extra spark,” Simmonds said, hopefully, after Tuesday’s practice in Voorhees. “Obviously, we didn’t play at our best in the first three games, so the coach is saying something. He changed the lines and he expects more out of us. We’ve got to bring it.”
Whatever the lines, “we have to play with confidence,” said captain Claude Giroux, subdued and mindful that the Penguins make that difficult. “When we play with confidence, we can be a better team and we make more plays. We’ve got to be smart against these guys. We know that. We know the crowd’s going to be ready in Game 4 and we will, too.”
Right now, Nolan Patrick will center the second line, unless Couturier doesn’t play tonight.
On the Pens’ side, they’ll be without Patric Hornqvist due to an upper-body injury.
Game 4 is tonight at 7 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBCSN nationally.
Good news: Joel Embiid returned to practice. Bad news: He hasn’t been cleared to play and his status for Thursday’s Game 3 is still uncertain. We’ll get an update before 5 PM today.
Dario Saric is focused on stealing a game or two in Miami.
“We have two rookies on our team, obviously a couple guys in their second year. We don’t have that experience,” Saric said referring to Dwyane Wade. “But we are hungry, and we are ready to go to Miami and tell them ‘welcome to the playoffs.’ ”
Saric has always been a voice of reason when the Sixers lose, suggesting a return to basics, and to play with more physicality. Sixers head coach Brett Brown said it’s easy to forget that Saric’s career has just begun.
“I followed him for so long prior to him becoming a Philadelphia 76er, so I feel like I have been with him since the get-go,” Brown said Tuesday. “It’s only his second year. I do forget, by NBA standards, his limited experience and certainly playoff experience.”
Kevin Hart has a message for D-Wade after Wade blamed Hart for his big performance:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 17, 2018
“You gonna blame this on me?” Kevin, please stop.
In non-playoff news, the Sixers and Mavericks will play two preseason games in China.
Three Eagles spoke to the media as team OTAs continued at the NovaCare Complex.
Quarterback Carson Wentz is still eyeing a Week 1 return.
“We started – and I’m not going to get into real specifics with rehab and everything – but we’ve started the running progression and all those things, so I’m feeling good,” the Eagles quarterback said Tuesday when asked about his rehab. “I’m feeling good with where I’m at and just trying to stay the course. But, like I said late last season, it’s such a fluid process that it’s hard to put a time frame and a time table on these things. I wish I knew as well.
“But things are going well and I’m happy with where I’m at. … You guys saw me [a few] weeks ago, I was throwing and everything. So just to start to be able to do a lot of those things again is a good sign.”
Wentz added that his goal remains to be ready for the Eagles’ season opener, which will reportedly be an NFC Championship rematch against the Vikings, a game Wentz never got a chance to be a part of, instead forced to watch Foles dominate from the sideline.
He also admitted it was tough to watch the Super Bowl from the sidelines.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks is ahead of schedule on recovery from an Achilles injury he suffered last year.
“It has been a very good rehab,” he said. “It feels like since Day 1, I’ve been ahead of schedule. Doctors and training staff are pleased with where I’m at, just progressing every day, constantly trying to get stronger, trying to get my explosion back.
“We’ve got a lot of time on our hands, so really the mindset, especially right now with so much time, is just progressing every day. We don’t want to put too much workload on it. We don’t want to put not enough. We’re trying to stay in a good range.”
Safety Malcolm Jenkins spoke on the Michael Bennett and Daryl Worley situations:
“From the outside looking in, not necessarily knowing all the details, but just kind of using common sense, it seems like they’re trying to make an example out of him,” Jenkins said of Bennett, who was charged more than a year after the incident, just as his book, “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable,” was being published. “But hopefully, those things will work out in his favor. He’s a guy that, I was excited when we [traded for him]. Still looking forward to him being a part of this team, being part of this community, because I think he’s somebody that cares. Somebody that works hard, obviously, he’s a great athlete, but a great human being as well.”
Jenkins, a team leader, was asked about another controversy, the arrest and subsequent release from the team of cornerback Daryl Worley, a little more than a month after Worley was acquired from Carolina for wide receiver Torrey Smith. Worley allegedly was found asleep or passed out in a car sitting in the street near the practice facility early Sunday morning. He resisted police officers who woke him, was tased, and has been charged with a half-dozen counts including carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. The Eagles, who have held off on any action involving Bennett, released Worley before he made bail Sunday evening.
“I don’t really know him too much … I still haven’t gotten all the details from the arrest and so forth, so it’s hard for me to comment on that,” Jenkins said.
Speaking of Worley, no team claimed him from waivers, as expected.
Taking a look at some possible linebackers the Eagles could take in the NFL Draft.
USC running back Ronald Jones visited the Eagles yesterday.
Villanova forward Omari Spellman has put his name in for the NBA Draft process, but will not hire an agent. Yet. He can still return to school if he wants.
In other sports news, Tom Brady still hasn’t committed to play in 2018.
In the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Vegas Golden Knights completed a sweep of the LA Kings with a 1-0 win. Also, Washington earned their first win of their series with Columbus with a 3-2 double OT win, and Winnipeg jumped to a 3-1 series lead with a 2-0 win over the Wild.
The NFL regular season schedule will be released Thursday night. In the middle of the Sixers game.
The Calgary Flames fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and two assistant coaches.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo thinks the MLB regular season is too long and would open for a pay cut for fewer games.
In the news, a Southwest Airlines flight headed to Dallas from New York made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, where one person died.
— Joe Marcus (@joeasaprap) April 17, 2018
Former First Lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.
Starbucks will close 8,000 stores in late May for racial-bias training.