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Eagles Down Jets In Preseason Finale

Eagles_Jets
Photo Courtesy Alexis Stinger

It's common for teams to sit their starters in the final preseason game of the year, and let the backups duke it out for roster spots. The Eagles and Jets did just that on Thursday night, deactivating most of their starters and benching the rest of them. 

Philadelphia let second string QB Nick Foles take the reins in the first quarter, and his strong play continued. Rookie RB Bryce Brown carried most of the load on the first drive, showing a good combination of size and speed while on the field. The drive would stall, but the Eagles best scoring chance came when Foles found WR Mardy Gilyard who beat the defending cornerback, only to have it drop out of his hands. Foles would only play the First Quarter, going 4/6 for 60 yards.

Both teams would go scoreless in the First Quarter, with S Jaiquawn Jarrett and LB Ryan Rau making strong impressions on the Eagles defense. The Jets would put the first points up on the board, thanks to RB Joe McKnight and QB Greg McElroy. McKnight ran for 34 yards on the drive, and McElroy connected with RB Terrance Ganaway on a 6 yard TD pass. It was New York's first Touchdown of the entire preseason. 

It would be the Trent Edwards show from the Second Quarter on. He developed a fantastic drive his first time on the field, connecting with Chad Hall twice for gains of 35 yards. He showed incredible poise in the pocket, finding more than one target, and exposing holes in the Jets Defense. Edwards may have done all the hard work, but it would be Bryce Brown that finished the drive, breaking to the outside and scoring on a two yard TD touchdown run, making it 7-7.

After the Jets couldn't move the ball upfield, Edwards inherited the ball on the Eagles 46 yard line, and made quick work. He connected with Chad Hall, Mardy Gilyard and Damaris Johnson on three separate plays, and then hooked up with Gilyard again on a 31 yard TD, giving Philadelphia a 14-7 lead. 

Just before halftime, the Jets made it only to the Eagles 40 yard line, but Nick Folk came through. He nailed a 58 yard FG with room to spare, and sent the Jets into the half only down 14-10.

It was a rough 3rd Quarter for both teams, with neither McElroy or Edwards able to sustain a drive. Philadelphia's Defensive Line continued to give McElroy fits, and LBs Keenan Clayton and Brian Rolle disrupted the short passing game.

Chris Polk, who was on the bubble for a roster spot, ran for 26 yards on the drive, and his ability to keep the drive alive led to Trent Edwards finding TE Brett Brackett on a 7 yard TD pass. Polk would continue to work late into the 4th Quarter, bruising his way through defenders and cashing in on a 3 yard TD run, making it 28-10 Eagles. 

The score would end that way, and Philadelphia went undefeated in the Preseason. 

Trent Edwards almost certainly solidifed a roster spot after Thursday's victory, going 22/32 for 197 yards and 2 TDs. His coutnerpart, Greg McElroy, would throw for just 90 yards on 12/17 passing. After a strong performance from Chris Polk, the battle for the 3rd Running Back position is certainly up in the air. Polk rushed for 61 yards on 14 carries, an average of 4.4 yards. Brown would run for only 20 yards on 9 carries. Mardy Gilyard may have won a roster spot with his performance tonight, with 5 catches for 71 yards and 1 TD.

Roster cuts are to be done by Friday night, and jobs were certainly won and lost against the Jets.

Jake Pavorsky is a contributor for Eagledelphia. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.

 


Eagles-Jets Live Chat

 

Eagles-Jets Live Chat

 

Eagles-Jets Live Chat

 

Jimmy Rollins is Removed from Phillies-Mets Game For Lack of Hustle

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In the sixth inning, at the top of the seventh inning, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel sat Rollins down on the bench.

Rollins drew the ire of some fans a couple weeks ago on August 16th in Milwaukee.  Our Rich Wilkins suggested fans give him a break this time around.   But those who gave him a break last time did not this time, not even Charlie Manuel. 

Laynce Nix entered the game in right field and Michael Martinez moved to shortstop.

I almost understand Rollins' ennui; this is the first time in years the Phillies have not been poised for the playoffs.  One must wonder if a change this offseason would be a good thing.


Cloyd Solid in Big League Debut, Phils Offense Slumps in 3-2 Loss to Mets

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As previously posted, Tyler Cloyd was making his major league debut tonight. In an unexpected spot start for the young righty, the Phillies were sure glad he tossed a solid six innigs to avoid a bullpen game.

Matt Harvey, a rookie starter for the Mets surrendered a run in the top of the first, a sacrifice fly from Ryan Howard which scored Juan Pierre.

Harvey did a bit of hitting himself tonight. In the top of the second, Harvey singled to left to score Scott Hairston, tying up the ballgame.

In Tyler Cloyd's first major league at bat, Cloyd walked. This occurred in the third, along with an RBI double from Jimmy Rollins which scored Kevin Frandsen. 2-1 Phils.

In the third inning with Ike Davis on base, Lucas Duda homered deep to right field, giving his team a 3-2 lead. 

After the third, Cloyd settled in. His night would be finished after six impressive innings. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out five. Used his cutter and slider a lot tonight. 102 pitches in total, 70 for strikes.

Jeremy Horst tossed a scoreless seventh, a 1-2-3 inning. Antonio Bastardo allowed a hit in the eighth before he was pulled for Phillippe Aumont. Aumont walked one and struck out two in his second outing in the majors.

Josh Lindblom pitched a scoreless ninth for the Phils, as they were looking to come back against New York and prevent the Mets from taking the series.

Unfortunately, the Phils couldn't come back and the Mets took the second of this three-game series. 

Tomorrow, Kyle Kendrick and Jon Niese will square off in the final game of this series at 1:05. 


Does Utley Have a Future at the Hot Corner?

I remember them trying this when Chase Utley came up and it wasn't all that successful. Then again, his glove in general was rather mediocre. In all honesty I think it's way too early to tell if this is a possibility for 2013 but it's worth exploring.

The number one reason being I hate that the Phillies have constantly thrown bad contract after bad contract at third base since trading Scott Rolen in 2002. They've always sought the cheap route it seemed and while they have put able bodies there, they never got the production they should have out of third base.

This season Cody Asche has really shown up on the radar and had it not been for Darin Ruf's breakout season in Reading, he might be accepting the Paul Owens Award today (won by Ruf and tonight's starter Tyler Cloyd). It's been on my wish list for the Phillies to farm a third baseman for a while but he's still a year or so away. So why not see if Utley can play at third?

I can't really endorse the move until I see some games where he plays third. However I applaud thinking outside the box. Freddy Galvis was gold at second earlier in the season and in a perfect world maybe he stays there next season. It would beat throwing another three year deal at a declining player.


Chase Utley Asks Ruben Amaro Jr. About Playing Third Base for Phillies

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A baseball card from Utley's days at third base.

Well this is sure an interesting development in the Phillies' quest for a third baseman in a time where free agency is barren at the position.

According to Todd Zolecki, Chase Utley approached Ruben Amaro Jr. about the possibility of playing some third base:

Utley approached Amaro about taking some grounders at third. Said it could create flexibility. Said it's early. Might happen. Might not.

Hmm.

Utley has played third base before.   Though he was drafted a second baseman, the Phillies gave him a chance at third.  In 2002 when Scott Rolen was having his differences with management and it was clear the Phillies would need a third baseman, Utley spent an entire season at AAA at third base.

It did not go so great at the hot corner.  However, people assessing talent could not look past his bat.  Scout.com wrote this about Utley back in 2004:

Over the first two months of the 2002 AAA season, Utley’s defense at third was brutal. However, he did continue to show the gap power that is so intriguing. His.263 batting average that season was about…uh… average, but he clubbed 39 doubles and hit 17 home runs. Even more impressively, he cut down on errors significantly over the second half of the season. Phillies fans thought they actually had their third baseman of the future.

Utley made 28 errors at third base that year.    In his own words at the time, he thought he was getting better:

I would give myself an `F' if I was grading my defense early in the season. I think I got better, though, and I made a big turn around from the end of the season to the Arizona Fall League.'

Maybe that confidence still exists with Utley today.  If somehow things worked out, it could make the Phillies' third base problem a non-issue.

Tyler Cloyd Makes MLB Debut Tonight In Spot Start Against Mets

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Photo Courtesy: Jay Floyd - PhoulBallz.com.

I was gearing up to write a pretty good game preview for Cole Hamels, who would be making his 26th start of the season tonight. However, due to a stomach illness, Hamels has been scratched from tonight's game. In his place will be International League MVP Tyler Cloyd, who will be making his major league debut as he takes on the Mets. Opposing will be Matt Harvey (2-3, 2.75 ERA), who is looking to take this series from the Phillies early.

Cloyd has been phenominal this season, posting a 15-1 with a 2.26 ERA between the AA-Reading Phillies and AAA-Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Cloyd was named the International League's MVP earlier this week after posting strong numbers. In 26 total starts, the 25 year-old right hander has a 1.03 WHIP while he has struck out 113 batters. Like our own Frank Klose stated: With Vance Worley's poor performance last night, maybe he [Cloyd] will get another chance. We'll see how the rookie does.

On the hill for the Mets will be right hander Matt Harvey, who is making his seventh start of the season tonight. Harvey is coming off a strong outing against the Rockies. The rookie tossed six innings of one run ball, allowing three hits, two walks while striking out nine batters. Harvey took the no-decision as the Mets would go on to lose, 5-2. Harvey has never faced the Phillies in his short career.

As of now, the Phillies sit 10 games back in the Wild Card. Sitting seven games under .500, they still have four teams to climb over, two of which are under .500. The Phillies' Wild Card elimination number sits at 24, with 33 games left in the season it's going to be crunch time if the Phillies are serious about running for a Wild Card shot.

Tonight's lineup vs Mets:

  1. Rollins SS
  2. Pierre LF
  3. Utley 2B
  4. Howard 1B
  5. Mayberry CF
  6. Nix RF
  7. Frandsen 3B
  8. Kratz C
  9. Cloyd P.

TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.

Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.