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Phillies Notes: More Bamboo, Stranger Things, and Jay Wright

BWanksCB - June 25, 2019

Of course, the headline story of the day was about a bamboo plant. The Phillies’ famed curveball machine was on the field pregame, too, but there are some other noteworthy items to hit on, so let’s do that now.

Injury Updates

After three rehab appearances with Clearwater in the Florida State League, relief pitcher Tommy Hunter tossed for Double-A Reading tonight. Gabe Kapler told reporters prior to tonight’s game against the Mets the plan was to see Hunter a few more times in the minors before joining the Phillies. Pure speculation on my part, but I would guess it’s likely that Hunter is back within a week.

Outfielder Adam Haseley is also working his way back in a rehab assignment. Kapler indicated it’s a possibility that Haseley will rejoin the Phillies when he’s fully healthy, but that “nothing is set in stone.” With Roman Quinn hitting exclusively from the right side, it remains to be seen how/if the Phillies might platoon their left and right fielders with more healthy options available.

Stranger Things

Actor David Harbour took pregame batting practice and threw out the first pitch tonight. Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, joked (I think?) before getting in the box that he hadn’t swung a bat since he was 12 years old. He was out ahead of a few, but had some pretty good hacks.

The third season of Stranger Things premieres on July 4. America.

Jay Wright Talks With Phillies

Kapler told reporters that Villanova head basketball coach Jay Wright addressed the Phillies earlier this afternoon. One of the topics that Wright, who was also in the Phillies’ dugout during batting practice, discussed with the team was how his championship squads dealt with and overcame adversity. Certainly, that’s a relatable topic for the Phillies right now.

Star Power?

It would have been difficult back in March to imagine the Phillies not having any player reach the final three at any position in the updated all-star balloting. But they don’t. That includes first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who couldn’t crack the top-tier despite 17 homers and a .925 OPS. That’s because the position is stacked in the National League. Three players have an OPS over 1.000 (Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, Josh Bell), while Anthony Rizzo and Max Muncy are also having stellar campaigns. Still, Kapler believes a number of Phillies are having all-star worthy seasons. Specifically, he mentioned the performances of Hector Neris, Zach Eflin, Bryce Harper, and Hoskins.

Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - June 25, 2019

The Phillies had scored 12 runs total in their last five games. They scored 13 on Monday.

And thanks to that offensive explosion, the “lifeless” Phillies got a much-needed jolt of life and a 13-7 win over the turbulent New York Mets at home, a team that’s also having their front office dictate moves during the game.

It was a back-and-forth affair early on, but the bottom of the fifth became a turning point in the game. The Phils got going with a Maikel Franco two-run home run, followed by an RBI double by Jean Segura. In the next inning, after a J.T. Realmuto triple, Cesar Hernandez drove the catcher home with an RBI single. That was followed by another RBI by Franco, this time on a single, before Jay Bruce smashed a two-run homer to right field.

The Mets did get seven runs off 15 hits in what probably would have been a win for them if the Phillies of the past week showed up to play. Zach Eflin gave up six runs off 11 hits with four strikeouts in what wasn’t a good pitching performance by either starter.

Could beating up on the Mets be the start of turning the team around? Maybe, maybe not. It’s still early to tell. But if you can make something positive about the win and apply it for another week or so, it’s worth it.

The two teams play again tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Jake Arrieta is on the mound against Walker Lockett.

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Your Monday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - June 24, 2019

The Phillies suck. I think the only good part about the recent week and a half was Chase Utley and his retirement ceremony. It might help the team if he played.

They lost all three games to the Miami Marlins this weekend, beginning with a 2-1 loss on Friday despite a stellar outing from Aaron Nola. Their lone run came off a double-steal after Roman Quinn doubled in the third. Other than that, the offense sucked.

The Phils scored more than a run on Saturday, three to be exact. But they gave up three in the seventh and the lead as they lost 5-3. Wilkin Castillo, who played in his first MLB game in 10 years, got the game-winning hit.

And yesterday with Enyel De Los Santos on the mound to start, Miami scored all six of their runs in the first five innings, four of them off De Los Santos, as the Marlins completed the sweep with a 6-4 win.

With the sweep, the Phillies have lost their last seven games and 11 of the last 13. They’re 6-14 in the month of June. They had a four-game winning streak two weeks ago. Saying that they’re struggling could be generous, but they are. They’re now 39-38 and 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta for tops in the NL East. Washington is only two games behind the Phils.

The Mets, who are 2 1/2 back of Philly, come into town for a four-game series beginning tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Zach Eflin faces off against Steven Matz. Luckily for the Phils, New York has troubles of their own.

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Your Friday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - June 21, 2019

The Sixers had the 24th, 33rd, 34th, 42nd, and 54th picks in last night’s NBA Draft.

They used one of those picks, the 54th pick.

Four of the selections were traded throughout the night, beginning with the 24th pick. The Sixers moved up to 20 and traded with the Celtics for the 24th (Ty Jerome, who went to Phoenix) and 33rd (Carsen Edwards) picks in order to select Washington small forward Matisse Thybulle. It was rumored a team made a promise to Thybulle, which was why he didn’t have any workouts throughout the draft process. That team was the Sixers. And Danny Ainge played that to his advantage.

Then came the 34th pick. The Sixers took Bruno Fernando, but then traded him to the Hawks in exchange for the 57th pick, Atlanta’s 2020 second round pick, and the highest second round pick between Atlanta, Charlotte, and Brooklyn in 2023.

Up next was the 42nd pick, which was Admiral Schofield, but that got traded earlier in the night along with Jonathon Simmons to the Wizards for cash considerations.

The Sixers used their only pick they had entering the night at 54, selecting Iowa State small forward Marial Shayok. Three picks later, they selected Tennessee point guard Jordan Bone before they shipped him to Detroit for $2 million and Miami’s 2024 second-round pick, which is heavily protected. Continue Reading

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Carrie Underwood, the NFL, and NBC Sued Over “Sunday Night Football” Tune

Russ Joy - June 20, 2019

We interrupt your Sixers Draft Day coverage for this important announcement. Carrie Underwood, the National Football League, and the National Broadcasting Company have found themselves facing a lawsuit over the Sunday Night Football theme song “Game On”. A songwriting quartet allege that they had pitched their own “Game On” song to Underwood’s team in 2017 and were rejected.

Singer Heidi Merrill believes that Underwood stole not only the song, but even the title of her track, which she posted to YouTube in March of 2017. The suit includes the allegation that NBC, the NFL, and Carrie Underwood violated the copyright claim on Merrill’s version of “Game On”.

Although the music video was posted in 2017, Merrill claims to have organized the quartet of writers back in 2016 and they had sought to get a licensing deal for the song on TV broadcasts of sports telecasts.

NBC debuted Underwood’s “Game On” in September of 2018.

Check out the songs and let us know whose side you’re on after the jump:

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LaVar Ball Will No Longer be Appearing on ESPN, For Now

Kevin Kinkead - June 20, 2019

Per Richard Deitsch:


Ball will be back on ESPN airwaves within the calendar year.

In case you missed it, he went on First Take the other day and made a SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE comment towards Molly Qerim, who is married to Jalen Rose. That comment was condemned by ESPN, who feigned surprise that a guy with a history of saying outrageous shit on TV once again said some outrageous shit on TV.

Your Thursday Morning Roundup

Chris Jastrzembski - June 20, 2019

A rough two games for the Phillies against the Nationals. It’s probably their lowest point of the season.

Let’s start with Game 1, a 6-2 loss  which started out well. Scott Kingery hit a solo home run in the top of the 1st. But that would be all the scoring until the ninth from a Brad Miller RBI triple.

Washington scored six runs, three of them in the bottom of the 8th alone via back-to-back home runs from Brian Dozier and Geraldo Parra.

Both starting pitchers threw well, with Eflin giving up three runs off five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings. But it wasn’t a great day for Cole Irvin, who gave up all three runs in the eighth in 1/3 inning with a strikeout.

Game 2 was a bit similar to Game 1, where both pitchers once again threw well. Jake Arrieta went six innings and gave up a run off two hits with three strikeouts. But the Phils’ offense didn’t show up at all, scoring no runs off four hits in a 2-0 loss. Max Scherzer, broken nose and all, went seven innings and gave up all four of those hits, but also struck out 10.

Pat Neshek returned to the mound, but gave up the Nationals’ second run of the night in the eighth from a Victor Robles solo home run. And he could be back on the injured list with a strained hamstring. That’s what we want to hear.

The teams finish up their series tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Nick Pivetta takes the mound against Erick Fedde.

Elsewhere, Lenny Dykstra had a bad day himself earlier in the week. He had to go dumpster diving to find his dentures.

And finally, the Dodgers-Phillies game on July 18 will exclusively be on YouTube.

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Colorado Youth Baseball Game Turns into Ridiculous “Adult” Brawl

Kevin Kinkead - June 19, 2019

I did the “50 More Hot Takes” column last week and I’d like to refer you to hot take #50 to begin this post:

Parents who yell at their kids, the coach, or the referees at a youth sporting event should be immediately escorted from the premises and put on six months of probation.

I’d like to extend that to parents who beat the shit out of each other at little league baseball games, which happened Tuesday in Lakewood, Colorado:

Just total insanity, totally ridiculous behavior from these “adults,” especially the guy at the 20 second mark who clocks the other dude when he’s not even looking.

What is an appropriate punishment for these fools?

Probation? Jail? 100 hours of community service? Being forced to re-watch the Phillies’ 2015 season?