How the mighty (?) have fallen.
The Phillies were being viewed as a playoff contender when the calendar turned to August. They had just picked up a number of players to bolster their starting lineup, bench, and bullpen to make a then-surprising run for the NL East crown.
Fast forward to today and this squad has crumbled. They’re now third in the division, out of playoff contention, and just dropped their sixth-straight game in a 10-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. They’re below .500 for the first time since April 9.
Vince Velasquez did not have the best of starts. Far from it. He only went 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on eight hits with two walks and only two strikeouts. The Rockies put up three runs in the third and fourth innings, followed by two in the fifth and seventh.
So it appears that the Phils might finish the season below .500. It was something some people thought would happen back in February and March. But if you told them how they would get to this point, I’m pretty sure they’d be shocked and disappointed at the same time. The season has been a surprise and a good one for the most part. But add in this ending and that narrative has changed.
The team has a few games left to get back to hopefully at least .500, with tonight against the Rockies at 8:40 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia being one of them. Nick Pivetta is on the mound. But free agency will be pivotal for the organization this winter. And if Howard Eskin is right, Gabe Kapler might cost the team potential superstars. Kapler knows what people are saying and writing about him, but he doesn’t care. It’s his style. But let’s hope he turns into Doug Pederson rather than Chip Kelly.
Another Wednesday, another episode of the Crossing Broadcast. Guess what the gang talks about?
Coordinators Mike Groh and Jim Schwartz had their weekly media availability yesterday. Groh didn’t have a lot of notable quotes, but Schwartz did go into the bevy of roughing the passer calls this season.
Sticking to the defense, don’t you just love this front four?
Kevin wants to get things straight about Jalen Mills.
The Sixers’ Blue x White scrimmage was supposed to be yesterday at the Palestra. But thanks in part to the weather outside, there were problems inside the facility and the event was postponed.
Tonight’s Blue x White Scrimmage scheduled for The Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania has been postponed due to weather-related issues that have impacted the arena. Out of an abundance of caution for player safety, the 76ers have postponed tonight’s event.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) September 25, 2018
At least the Sixers have a preseason game on Friday!
What a start to the day for the Flyers. According to MTV.fi in Finland, center Jori Lehterä has been questioned by police regarding his involvement in a cocaine ring. Lehterä has denied being a part of the crime, but seven people are already in jail.
Meanwhile, the team also made two more cuts to their roster, sending right winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel and defenseman Philippe Myers to Lehigh Valley. With that, they have six more cuts to make to get to the 23-man limit.
One player still on the roster is Corban Knight, and he hopes to surprise many:
Knight, remarkably, remains. On the surface, he doesn’t fit the profile of what the Flyers purport to be building – a youth-infused lineup. His age is old in hockey’s timeline; his six years of mostly minor-league experience suggest a player who has taken his shot already and settled into a nice lifestyle at the AHL level.
But Knight has worked like hell to change that narrative, and the Flyers brass has apparently taken notice.
“This is definitely desperation time for a lot of guys, and that’s the way I’m looking at it,” he said after Monday’s exhibition loss to the Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center. “I know I have a good opportunity here right now. And I’m just trying to do what I can to make an impression.”
Here’s the impression he is working on: Knight must convince the Flyers he is their best option as a fourth-line center, to play up, to play down, to even miss a few games and return to the lineup unaffected. He has been paired often this camp with Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl as a fourth-line preview, sometimes playing at center, sometimes at wing. He and good friend Laughton have also worked effectively on the penalty kill – perhaps the Flyers’ most glaring weakness last season.
The Union are in Houston to take on the Dynamo in their third U.S. Open Cup Final. Match starts at 8 PM on ESPN2.
Max Scherzer reached 300 strikeouts in a 9-4 win over the Miami Marlins.
Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery.
In the news, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison.
Dunkin’ Donuts will be changing their name to just Dunkin’.