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Monday Review: Eagles offense gets a wake-up call

When the Eagles moved the ball into the redzone against the 49ers, you had the feeling that somehow, they were on their way to finding a way again.

Reality is cruel, but the football gods finally handed the Eagles a loss they deserved. A five-point loss should not write off a season and it should not take away from the first three weeks. But it did finally provide a reminder everyone needed to realize: these are not the Eagles of 2013.

That may be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

The NFL schedule is on a week-by-week basis and I think that’s because we tend to evaluate everything by the week. This week, Nick Foles was the quarterback that isn’t cut out to be a franchise player. This week, the Eagles offense was vanilla and couldn’t make a play. Lucky for them, it’s only one week.

Continue reading "Monday Review: Eagles offense gets a wake-up call" »

Devils hand young Flyers loss


Robert Hagg scored the lone Flyers goal in a 3-1 loss to the Devils on Sunday night. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

With two games on back-to-back nights, the Flyers took an unseasoned team to Newark to face the New Jersey Devils. The team consisted of many players that have already been cut from Flyers camp and will be playing for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms starting this week.

In a game that was basically the AHL Flyers against the Devils regulars, the Flyers were outmatched but stayed in the game until the end. Still, the Devils managed to edge the Flyers in a 3-1 loss on Sunday night at Prudential Center.

Continue reading "Devils hand young Flyers loss" »

Phillies Close the Season with a Loss Against the Braves

Today, the Phillies (73-89) faced the Braves (79-83) in the season finale. The Phillies sent Cole Hamels (9-9 2.46 ERA) to the hill. Hamels took the loss in his last start versus the Marlins going seven innings giving up two runs, while striking out four. Hamels was opposed by Braves’ left-hander James Russell (0-2 2.97 ERA), who was making his first start since 2011. Russell has been very successful since coming over from the Cubs. With the Cubs, Russell was 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA; with the Braves he had a 2.22 ERA.

The Game:

The Braves started the game with a bang. Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a blast to left center to give the Braves a lead. Phil Gosselin followed with a walk and stole second. Freddie Freeman then singled to center to score Gosselin. 2-0 Braves

The Phillies would wait until the eighth to finally score their first run of the game. Freddy Galvis led off the inning with a single to center. Grady Sizemore followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Ben Revere grounded into a double play, but plated Freddy Galvis. 2-1 Braves That would be the final run the Phillies would score this season.

Significant Offensive Stats:

Ben Revere: 1-4

Ryan Howard: 1-3 BB

Freddy Galvis: 1-3 R

Cole Hamels: 2-2

Impact: The Phillies finished their season with a loss. With the loss, the Phillies ended a season to forget. If a record of 73-89, the Phillies’ dreadful season finally has come to an end. Through a season to forget, there were a few highs including a combined No-Hitter by Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Papelbon. Also, the emergence of a dominant bullpen with young guns, Justin De Fratus, Ken Giles, and Jake Diekman, the Phillies have bright future. With the rise of Cody Asche and Maikel Franco, the Phillies have started their slow transition to the next era of Phillies baseball.

Up Next: With the close of their season, the Phillies enter the offseason with the seventh worst record in Major League Baseball. With many places for improvement around the diamond, the 2015 Phillies could look like a different team. The Phillies begin their six-month journey to rebuild the team and look toward the next season. The Phillies will open their 2015 season against the Boston Red Sox at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Andrew Shipotofsky is a writer for Philliedelphia

49ers score 13 in 2nd half, Eagles late rally falls short in loss

The Eagles were one yard away from a potential 4-0 start and had two plays to get it. But inside the redzone, the plays simply weren't there again.

That summed up a horrible day for the Eagles offense, who didn't manage a single point as the Eagles fell for the first time this season, losing to the San Francisco 49ers, 26-21, on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

Continue reading "49ers score 13 in 2nd half, Eagles late rally falls short in loss" »

Phillies Close Out the Season Against the Atlanta Braves

Yesterday, the Phillies (73-88) took the loss versus the Braves (78-83) in what may have been A.J. Burnett's final start as a Phillie, and possibly in the Major Leagues. Burnett went six and third innings, giving up four runs on five hits. Ryan Howard had a big day at the plate, hitting his 23rd home run of the season and an RBI single at the plate. Following the start, Burnett stated that he will be get surgery to repair a hernia that has been bothering him since April.

Today, the Phillies will send Cole Hamels (9-8 2.47 ERA) to the hill in final game of the season. Hamels lost his last start versus the Miami Marlins going seven innings giving up two runs on seven hits. Braves will counter with James Russell (0-2 3.19 ERA). Russell, normally a relief pitcher, only started five games in his career all coming in the 2011 season with the Cubs.

Game Notes:

  • With 39 saves on the season, Papelbon is just one shy of his second career 40-save season, but will fall short of his career high, 41, in 2008.
  • Braves will finish with a losing record for the first time since 2008 and third time since 1991.
  • Jimmy Rollins will close the season still not in the starting lineup, after a hamstring injury.

Phillies Lineup:

  1. Ben Revere CF
  2. Carlos Ruiz C
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd RF
  6. Domonic Brown LF
  7. Maikel Franco 3B
  8. Freddy Galvis SS
  9. Cole Hamels P

Braves Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio CF
  2. Phil Gosselin SS
  3. Freddie Freeman 1B
  4. Chris Johnson 3B
  5. Evan Gattis C
  6. Ryan Doumit LF
  7. Joe Terdoslavich RF
  8. Tommy La Stella 2B
  9. James Russell P

First Pitch: 1:35 PM ET

Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA


Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP

Andrew Shipotofsky is a Writer for Philliedelphia.

Game Preview: Eagles bid for 4-0 start against 49ers

The Eagles have been the comeback kids. Three strong second-half performances have keyed a 3-0 start for the Eagles in 2014, putting them in the spotlight.

On Sunday, they face another team with prospects of being a Super Bowl contender on a regular basis. With pieces in place that have made them NFC Champions in 2012 and a close loss in the NFC Championship game a year ago, the San Francisco 49ers stand as one of the toughest foes out there in the NFC.

The Eagles look for a 4-0 start against the 49ers, who come in with losses in their previous two games. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. from Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco.

Continue reading "Game Preview: Eagles bid for 4-0 start against 49ers" »

Goodbye to Phillies Legend Bobby Abreu

Bobby Abreu will officially retire after today. The Phillies legend was the best offensive player the Phillies have had since Mike Schmidt, over all, and was my favorite player while in Philadelphia. As a Phillie, he posted a .928 OPS, hitting 195 homers, driving in 814 runs, scoring 891 runs, hitting 585 extra-base hits, batting .303, and stealing 254 bases, in 9 seasons. Those average out to .928/22/90/99/54/.303/28, respectively. For his career, Bobby had 2,469 hits, 921 XBH's, 288 homers, 1,363 RBI's, 1,453 hits, 400 steals, hit .291, and posted an .870 OPS. Yes, that OPS tops both Konerko and Jeter, who are retiring today and are considered strong Hall-of-Fame candidates. In my opinion, Bobby's numbers speak for themselves, and he should get a long look for the Hall.

Either way though- Bobby was one of my favorite players, and he had a great career. A lot of Philadelphia fans never warmed up to him because he didn't run into the wall like Aaron Rowand, but that is frankly stupid talk. This is why he never went on the DL, and posted fantastic numbers for us, numbers that are basically unrivaled by any Phillie in the post-Schmidt era. His 1,475 career walks, including 947 in Philadelphia, were a product of an unmatched eye. It's a shame that not all the fans in Philadelphia at the time of his career appreciated him, but at least some did. I think time has made many miss him more. I think many wondered why he didn't make the 2014 team while they watched John Mayberry Jr. and Tony Gwynn continue to take key at-bats and do nothing with them.

Best of luck to Bobby in retirement, and hopefully we'll see him in Cooperstown.

Burnett Calls It a Season (Career?) in Final Start


Despite some offensive help from Ryan Howard, as is the story for most of the season, things did not go well for A.J. Burnett who made the final start of his season and possibly his career last night. It notched his 18th loss this season which is the worst season in the loss column for the Phillies since Steve Carlton went 13-20 in 1973. Burnett struck out seven over 6.2 innings and pitched pretty well until allowing two runs in the 7th which ultimately clinched the 4-2 loss to the Braves.

Now we await the news of if Burnett picks up his $12.75 million player option for next season. For what it's worth, while it was a miserable season results wise, Burnett was quite the work horse for the Phillies this season. He pitched 213.2 innings and made 34 starts which was his heaviest work load since his 2008 season with Toronto. He moved up to 43rd on the all time strike out list with 2370, which leaves him 26 shy of Sandy Koufax at 42nd.

Will he or should he come back could be two different things. Most of his pressers would lead you to believe he would rather not go through what he went through this season again. However, even ballplayers would have a hard time walking away from $12.75 million in what would likely be their final season. He's certainly proven himself to be still durable. With Kyle Kendrick a free agent as well as Jerome Williams and the uncertainty about Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Aron Nola, it could very well be in the Phillies' best interest to see Burnett exercise his option.

However the opposite could be true as well. Many of his starts this season felt like he was left in an inning too long. Despite his work load, he was clearly pitching hurt and he ran out of gas in a lot of outings. He walked a staggering 96 this season as well which is actually one shy of his career high in 2009 with the Yankees but was still far too many free passes. 

There's a case for and against Burnett in 2015. As the Phillies fans fire up the hot stove early again this year, it's certainly one of the topics of debate and definitely something to keep an eye on as we see a winter that seems to promise a lot of change.







Sunday Six Pack: Eagles at 49ers

When this game appeared on the schedule, you looked at the potential that both teams could be looking for a 3-1 start. The Eagles already have three wins, bringing a 3-0 record into the game. The San Francisco 49ers are just 1-2 after losses to the Bears and Cardinals.

As one of the crucial tests in the early part of the season for the Eagles, this is a game that stands out and could determine where the Eagles will sit in just a few weeks when they pause for the bye week.

Here are this week’s six keys to the game.

Continue reading "Sunday Six Pack: Eagles at 49ers" »

A.J. Burnett Makes Final Start Of 2014 As Phillies Face Aaron Harang, Braves


2014 has been a forgettable season for Phillies righthander A.J. Burnett.  Dealing with a sports hernia for the duration of the season, Burnett has compiled an 8-17 record and 4.53 ERA heading into his final start.   Burnett could be making the final start of his major league career today.  While Burnett holds a $12.75 million player option for 2015, he has frequently hinted that he would retire at season's end.   Earlier, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg expressed that he had no idea whether or not Burnett would pitch after 2014.

The Atlanta Braves are in an absolute free fall.  Once playoff contenders, the Braves are a putrid 5-18 in the month of September.   After finishing 96-66 last season, the Braves have clinched their first losing season since 2008, and only their third since 1990.  The Braves' season has been so bad that they fired their general manager, Frank Wren.  Wren worked for the Braves for eight season before being named General Manager in 2007.  The Braves' signings of B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla have become Wren's most infamous moves, which should continue to handicap the Braves for years forward.

Aaron Harang will take the mound for the Atlanta Braves.  Harang put together a very impressive April, but has been mediocre since.   Combined, Harang is 11-12 with a 3.60 ERA.  Harang's last three starts have been impressive, though, going seven innings in each of the three games, allowing just two, two, and one earned run, respectively.   Lefties are hitting .287 against Harang, so the Phillies' left-handed bats are in the lineup today.

Game Notes:

  • Jonathan Papelbon sits at 39 saves heading into the offseason.  Should Papelbon notch his 40th save, he will join Steve Bedrosian, Mitch Williams, Jose Mesa, and Brad Lidge as the only Phillies closers to notch 40 or more saves in a season.
  • Ryan Howard has 189 strikeouts heading into the final two games.  Howard set the all-time season record with 199 back in 2007.  Howard matched 199 the next season, but Mark Reynolds broke Howard's record by striking out 204 times.  The current record is held by Reynolds, who struck out 223 times in 2009.
  • Ben Revere will not win a batting title, but he could close 2014 with the most hits in baseball.  Revere's 182 is one ahead of Denard Span of the Nationals.
  • Freddy Galvis gets the day off.  Galvis has played every day since September 8, when Jimmy Rollins went down with a hamstring injury.

Phillies Lineup:

  1. Ben Revere CF
  2. Cody Asche 3B
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Marlon Byrd RF
  6. Domonic Brown LF
  7. Wil Nieves C
  8. Andres Blanco SS
  9. A.J. Burnett

Braves Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio 2B
  2. Andrelton Simmons SS
  3. Freddie Freeman 1B
  4. Justin Upton LF
  5. Jason Heyward RF
  6. Christian Bethancourt C
  7. Chris Johnson 3B
  8. B.J. Upton CF
  9. Aaron Herang P

First Pitch: 7:05 PM ET

Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA

Weather: 77o F, Clear, 0% PoP


Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP