After last night’s gut punch of an 8-6 loss to the Nationals in a game that ended almost four and a half hours after the first pitch was thrown, I have to say, I’m ready for a more traditional, drama-free defeat. I would have preferred the Phillies had just rolled over, lost 6-1, and called it a night. Instead, last night marked the latest exasperating loss triggered by an inept bullpen, and their latest implosion prevented what would have been a statement sweep of a Washington team that spent much of the game on the ropes.
It’s a weird dynamic following the Phillies right now. There’s much to be excited about. They have won four-straight series against stiff competition, and taking two out of three in Washington over the weekend is no small feat, yet it feels like they have left a lot on the table this past week. At 41-34, they wake up this morning in sole possession of the National League’s second wild card spot and sit only 2.5 games behind the Braves for first place in the division. Still, it’s hard not to imagine where they would be with even a league average bullpen, which it is clearly not. The unit’s 4.22 ERA is the ninth-worst in all of baseball. Over the last 30 days, its 5.70 ERA is the fourth-worst.
After the Phillies scored four times in the top of the fifth to take what would be for many teams a comfortable 6-2 lead, Nick Pivetta worked his way out of trouble with a key bases loaded strike out of Michael Taylor. Theoretically, Pivetta’s ability to quell such a threat should have been the knockout blow delivered by a Phillies team with a wave of momentum and a four-run lead, but in a completely predictable turn of events, six Phillies’ relievers combined to cough up six earned runs on nine hits in only three innings of work. And that is perhaps the most concerning aspect of these frequent disasters. It’s not a lone culprit–it’s everybody running through the bullpen doors right now. Edubray Ramos and Austin Davis were ineffective in the sixth, and Tommy Hunter danced out of trouble in the seventh before Victor Arano and a suddenly vulnerable Seranthony Dominguez collaborated on a disastrous eighth inning. Continue Reading
Let’s start with the good from the Phillies. They won their fourth-straight series after taking two out of three against the Nationals over the weekend.
Friday night was an absolutely dominant 12-2 rout of the Nats at Nationals Park. Odubel Herrera went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and a home run, while Carlos Santana brought in four runs. Nick Williams also had three RBIs, and Zach Eflin had another strong outing on the mound.
The next two games would be more competitive battles. Thanks to Maikel Franco going 4 for 4 at the plate and scoring two runs, including a big one in the top of the seventh, the Phils won by a 5-3 margin.
Last night’s game had a little bit of everything. The Phils jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a Rhys Hoskins dinger before the Nationals tied things up. With two men on base and no outs in the bottom of the fourth, the game was delayed 38 minutes due to rain. After that, Nick Pivetta struck out the next three batters. He struck out seven, but also gave up eight hits and two runs.
It looked like the Phillies would return home with a sweep after Odubel Herrera tripled and Nick Williams each brought in two runs to extend the lead to 6-2. But the Nats scored three runs in the sixth and in the eighth to salvage an 8-6 win.
A terrible way to end the weekend. And to make things worse, Franco and Andrew Knapp got injured in last night’s loss. Neither injury looks to be serious, and Franco has even mentioned about playing tonight. The team did activate Dylan Cozens off the DL, but placed Jesmuel Valentin on paternity leave. The baby was born late last night or early this morning:
A big interleague series begins tonight as the Phils welcome the New York Yankees to town. Vince Velasquez gets things started tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
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The Roundup: Continue Reading
With Kyle on vacation, Russ is joined by Crossing Broad Phillies writer Bob Wankel. Listen as they break down another late collapse by the Phillies’ bullpen, potential trade targets, Markelle Fultz’ trainer admitting he had the yips, whether or not to care about the Eagles’ mini camps, Radio Wars, and the World Cup.
Audio after the jump:
Back in February, we covered an incredible takeover of the Vegas Golden Knights’ arena by Flyers fans.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 12, 2018
They even got off a post-Super Bowl LII victory “E-A-G-L-E-S! EAGLES!” chant in the second period.
Just an Eagles chant in Las Vegas during a Flyers regular season hockey game.
Things we never thought we'd tweet if you asked us three years ago. pic.twitter.com/25maOLZJQm
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 12, 2018
Well, it looks like those fans may have forced Vegas to change a team policy for fans looking to attend games as an away fan. Phans of Phlly, a company that offers sports-related trips, received this lovely email from a Vegas Golden Knights representative regarding group tickets:
The Las Vegas Knights informed us they will not be selling us group ticket this year! You would think they want opposing fans traveling and supporting the city! When they suck in a few years they will be begging for business! LETS GO FLYERS!!! pic.twitter.com/OrHTIFJgIT
— Phans of Philly (@PhansofPhilly) June 22, 2018
That’s right. No group tickets! Isn’t that part of the draw for having a team in Vegas? Way to go, Flyers fans. Seriously. That’s awesome.
It’s been 138 days since the Eagles won Super Bowl 52, and I must say that I have yet to tire of anything related to the game. Indeed, I’m still thirsty for it. So when the Eagles released a video earlier today chronicling the team’s Super Bowl ring from its conception to its unveiling at last week’s ceremony, I was quite excited. The behind-scenes-look at the party is worth the watch alone. You, too, can be moved after the jump. Continue Reading
Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes of a radio show? Today’s your lucky day. Apparently something set off Mike Missanelli, leading to a HEATED exchange with his producer Tyrone Johnson as the cameras caught all of the action. Check it out: Continue Reading
Don’t you love the “Skol” Vikings chant getting mocked? Me too. Continue Reading
After an encouraging month of April in which Maikel Franco slashed .278/.304/.500, there was some hope that the much maligned 25-year-old third baseman was perhaps rediscovering the form that once made him an exciting young player during his 2015 rookie season. That hope faded after a mediocre month of May and what has been a miserable June that began with J.P. Crawford replacing him as the team’s every day third baseman. Crawford, of course, is now on the disabled list with a broken left hand, thus giving Franco one last chance to prove he belongs.
I’m not particularly bullish on that happening, and neither is Jim Bowden who had a rather harsh assessment of Franco this morning on Sirius XM’s Power Alley:
He’s gotta either step it up, or they’re going to move on. Certainly, when you look at his on-base percentage at 28 percent, exactly what he did a year ago. He’s hitting .240, .230 last year. He’s hitting for power, he’s going to hit his 24, 25 [home runs] again, but that’s not good enough anymore.
As such, Bowden believes the Phillies are primed to add a third baseman before July’s trade deadline:
They’ve been in on Machado, they’ve had a conversation on Moustakas. They’ve had a conversation on Donaldson, and they’ve had a conversation on Beltre. And when it comes to third baseman, the inventory is so big that you can’t move them all because most contending teams have third base solved.
When asked if Franco was someone that he would want to acquire, Bowden was direct, saying, “No, I’m done. I’m over him, too.”
You can listen to his full thoughts on Franco after the jump: Continue Reading