Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - July 18, 2018

I watched part of the All-Star game last night, but I didn’t really care who won. Aaron Nola had a strong shutout inning, so I’m fine with that. The scoring picked up in the bottom of the seventh as the AL defeated the NL 8-6 in 10 innings. A record 10 homers were hit.

Now to other important news, and it involves trades:

First, Manny Machado is going to… Los Angeles. We all thought the Phils were comfortably getting him Monday night, but the Dodgers came out and offered the top prospect in their system, which the Phillies weren’t doing. LA is reportedly offering only prospects:

So with the team’s top target snatched away from them, are the Phillies actually aggressive? Also the fact that Milwaukee had the second best offer might be something telling as well.

Speaking of Philly teams missing out on stars, the Sixers will be missing out on their second big star of the offseason:

So those weird odds websites were right? It’s an interesting gamble to take if you’re Toronto. Let’s see how both of those guys are taking the news:

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Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - July 17, 2018

The Home Run Derby is back.

It was fun watching Rhys Hoskins upset top seed Jesus Aguilar to kick off the quarterfinals, but the semifinals and the final round were so damn fun to watch, wven if Hoskins was eliminated by Kyle Schwarber.

Once the semis got underway, Schwarber and Bryce Harper turned it on. Both of those guys wanted to win badly. But Harper, looking like baseball’s version of Captain America in front of his hometown D.C. fans, stole the show.

Down six to Schwarber in the final round, Harper hit six dingers in 30 seconds:

He earned himself an extra 30 seconds since he hit two homers over 440 feet, and used that time to beat Schwarber. And they all knew when he hit it:

Poor balls:

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Your Monday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - July 16, 2018

It was a mixed weekend for the Phillies, with plenty of good as well as some bad.

Let’s start with the on-field product in Miami, which featured Brad Lidge as a guest instructor. Friday was the best game of the Marlins series, which saw Jake Arrieta rebound in a big way with seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win. He gave up three hits and struck out three in the win, though the Phils only scored two runs on eight hits.

The Phillies got eight hits on Saturday, but Aaron Nola gave up the only two runs in the game in the first inning for a 2-0 loss. But the offense got hot yesterday afternoon… for one inning. The Phils had a great fourth inning, scoring all five of their runs off four hits to take a 5-0 lead. But Miami had an eight-run bottom of the fifth en route to a 10-5 loss. I guess Tommy Hunter is also bad.

Now for the off-field stuff, and it mainly involves Manny Machado. Which is good, because the Phillies need hitting. Over the weekend, the team increased their offer to the Orioles and became a clear-cut leader to land the shortstop. One reason for that is owner John Middleton becoming a “driving force” for landing a star. And a trade is pretty damn close:

Speaking of Middleton, Andy MacPhail had similar thoughts on the team owner:

“John wants to win,” MacPhail said. “John wants to sustain winning. But John is not an ‘excite the town at any cost’ guy. My view is that he’s smart and he’s realistic. I think I’ve done a good job of explaining the importance of an organization and progress and he’s seen that. He’s not willing to give up too much of that just to make a splash. Someone wrote the other day that ownership wants to make a splash. Let me tell you something about John Middleton. He’s not a ‘splash’ guy for something that doesn’t make sense. I can promise you that.”

The Phils are also interested in Mets reliever Jeurys Familia, if they can’t get Zach Britton from the O’s. They did trade reliever Hoby Milner to Tampa Bay for cash considerations.

Cole Hamels is a former Phillie that was linked to a return to the city earlier in the season. That’s died down, but he’d love to return home:

“If something like that does happen, I think it would be a blessing,” Hamels said. “You do look back. And Philly has a great group of guys that they’re bringing up and the future of a world championship team. You just have to give it to them and give them their space. If it happens, it happens. But I can’t wish or long for something like that because I’m still trying to figure out how to pitch well in five days, six days.”

Overall, it’s not a bad first half at all. The Phillies are 53-42 and lead the NL East by a half-game. Who would’ve thought Gabe Kapler would be a Manager of the Year candidate?

Rhys Hoskins participates in the Home Run Derby tonight. That starts at 8 PM on ESPN.

Also over the weekend, former Phillie and current Dodger Chase Utley announced he would retire at the end of the season.

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Your Friday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - July 13, 2018

Last year, the Phillies recorded five total wins in Inter-League play. This year they’ve put up four wins against the Orioles alone to highlight a 9-4 overall record.

The Phils completed a season sweep of the O’s thanks to a 5-4 win at Camden Yards last night. Jorge Alfaro had a day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a triple short of the cycle. Cesar Hernandez also recorded three hits, and everyone but Aaron Altherr had at least a hit in the win.

Nick Pivetta had a much-needed rebound of an outing, going 6 2/3 inning and giving up three runs off five hits while striking out seven. He gave up a two-run homer to Trey Mancini in the bottom of the seventh to end his night. Tommy Hunter then gave up a solo shot to Jace Peterson on the first pitch, but that was all the Orioles were able to muster.

A weekend series with the Miami Marlins starts tonight before the All-Star break begins. Jake Arrieta is on the mound for the Phils, with first pitch happening at 7:10 PM on NBC 10.

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Temple Has Some Sweet New Football Uniforms

Chris Jastrzembski - July 12, 2018

Temple football is more relevant these days due to a pair of 10-4 seasons that saw the once-poor program qualify for a couple of bowl games and host College Gameday on Independence Mall.

Even with Matt Rhule taking off for Baylor, the Owls finished above .500 last season, won a bowl game, and remain a legitimate college football presence in a pro sports town. With Geoff Collins’ second season getting underway in September, Temple has some new uniforms for 2018.

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Your Thursday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - July 12, 2018

Vince Velasquez’s return to the mound was a strong one, but it wasn’t enough.

The right-hander gave up only two hits and a walk in six innings to go along with three strikeouts. But the Phillies’ offense couldn’t figure out Jacob deGrom, who pitched eight innings and gave up five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.

Just like the first game in the series on Monday afternoon, the Mets got a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th thanks to Brandon Nimmo to take home the 3-0 win.

Cesar Hernandez was the only Phillie to record two hits out of the team’s six total hits, while the Mets mustered only four. But their final hit proved to be the deciding one.

Surprisingly, the first sign of actual action came when a fan ran onto the field:

Scott Kingery tried to trip him. He missed. He’ll learn. Let’s hope he also learns how to be better on offense.

It’ll be a busy couple of days for the Phils in terms of traveling. They’re in Baltimore today for a date with the Orioles in a makeup game from May 15 at 6:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Nick Pivetta’s on the mound. They’ll see Manny Machado again, but they’ll also see Zach Britton. He might be the Oriole that becomes a Phillie by the end of the month.

After this game tonight, they’ll travel to Miami for a weekend series with the Marlins before the All-Star break.

Along with Aaron Nola, Rhys Hoskins will be in D.C. for the Home Run Derby as the #8 seed:

Down on the farm, last year’s first overall pick Adam Haseley has been promoted to Double-A Reading.

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Your Wednesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - July 11, 2018

Maybe all Maikel Franco needed was a lineup demotion to get going.

It was his eighth consecutive appearance at the eight spot, with Franco recording nine hits in his first 21 at-bats. Last night in the team’s 7-3 win against the Mets, he went 2 for 4 with a three-run home run and an RBI single to bolster the Phillies’ offense.

Since the start of the month, he’s had a hit in every game he’s started besides Monday’s second game of the doubleheader against the Mets. That’s usually a good sign.

Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams each had three hits, with Williams driving in two runs in the third. Hoskins, who ditched the double-flap helmet, also ran into the wall early in the game after missing a ball in left field. He had a little fun with that afterwards:

Enyel De Los Santos had a very solid major league debut, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on five hits with six strikeouts. He was sent back down to Triple-A following the game.

Oh, and the Phils are alone atop the NL East with the Braves falling to the Blue Jays last night.

Vince Velasquez will make his return to the mound tonight in the final game of the four-game series against the Mets. First pitch is at 7:10 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The team is still looking at Manny Machado as their top trade target. But if they can’t get him, there are definitely plenty of other options for infielders.

The Crossed Up gang discuss this and more on their latest episode.

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A Local Reporter Claims To Have Purchased Bryan Colangelo’s Unclaimed, Initialed Dress Shirts

Chris Jastrzembski - July 10, 2018

An interesting Twitter thread from Julian Coltre, a New Jersey based reporter. He may or may not own some of Bryan Colangelo’s possible dress shirts before he got canned.

Here’s his white-collar story:

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