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Flyerdelphia Playoff Bracket Challenge Update: Conference Final Results

The Stanley Cup Final is set. The San Jose Sharks reached with a series win over the St. Louis Blues in six games and the Pittsburgh Penguins made the Final with a Game 7 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning

It is time once again to go back into the Flyerdelphia Playoff Bracket Challenge and take an updated look at the standings. Each correct team in the Conference Finals was worth 50 points.

Here are the results and the updated standings.

Continue reading "Flyerdelphia Playoff Bracket Challenge Update: Conference Final Results" »

Around the NHL: Stanley Cup Final Preview

Monday night marks the beginning of the final series for the National Hockey League season. The Stanley Cup Final opens with Game 1 between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Before we go into the factors of this series, here's how both teams made it to the final.

Continue reading "Around the NHL: Stanley Cup Final Preview" »

Phillies open 10-game homestand against Roark, division-leading Nationals

By: Matt Rappa, managing editor

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies (26-24) will begin a 10-game homestand against the division-leading Washington Nationals (30-21) Monday evening at Citizens Bank Park, a Memorial Day matchup which features 29-year old right-handers Tanner Roark and Jeremy Hellickson in what will be their 11th starts of the season each.

The Phillies — who trail the Nationals by 3.5 games in the National League East — have lost seven of their last nine games, outscored 39-24 by their opponents.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Washington Nationals (30-21) Philadelphia Phillies (26-24)
RHP Tanner Roark RHP Jeremy Hellickson
(3-4, 2.71 ERA) (4-3, 3.97 ERA)

Continue reading "Phillies open 10-game homestand against Roark, division-leading Nationals" »

Flyers Prospect Watch: Philippe Myers, Rouyn-Noranda fall in Memorial Cup Final to London

Less than five minutes separated Flyers defensive prospect Philippe Myers and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies from the Memorial Cup title when the potent London Knights offense struck for the equalizer.

In overtime, one of the Knights most prolific scorers and one of the 2016 NHL Draft's top prospects delivered the game-winning tally.

Matthew Tkachuk's second goal of the game at 7:49 of overtime to give the Knights the Memorial Cup title on Sunday afternoon in Red Deer, Alberta.

Continue reading "Flyers Prospect Watch: Philippe Myers, Rouyn-Noranda fall in Memorial Cup Final to London" »

Nerlens Noel Bests the American Ninja Warrior Wall

American Ninja Warrior is an extremely entertaining television show. Seriously.

While on the surface watching adults run through an obstacle course may seem silly, the competitors on the show are some serious athletes. Endurance and upper body strength are just a couple of the traits necessary for success on the show, and while many possess the necessary skill set, many others don't.

One notorious obstacle from the show that often gives the contestants trouble is 'the wall' - a 14- foot ramp that the participants are required to ascend.

Said wall proved to be no match for Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel however, as he was able to conquer it during a trial run at a recent taping in Philadelphia.

Watch Nerlens take on the obstacle below, via CSN Philly:

Phillies must-reads: Relievers show there is no one way to build a bullpen

By: George Gouvas, Contributor

On this Memorial Day edition of Phillies must-reads, the team's surprising bullpen is locked at, along with the value of Andres Blanco and more. 

Relievers show there is no one way to build a bullpen

A group of castoffs and journeyman. From closer Jeanmar Gomez to Andrew Bailey, the Phillies bullpen was expected by many, to easily be the worst in baseball an possibly one of the worst in history. Following an 0-4 start, this group seemed to be living up to that expectation, but as Matt Gelb shows us, there is no one way to build a successful bullpen.

Unlocking the Keystone

J.P. Crawford is considered the future at shortstop for the Phillies, but who will be his double-play partner? Currently, Cesar Hernandez is holding down the position, but what about Freddy Galvis? Those are only two possibilities of many possibilities. The Good Phight's Matt Winkelman has a few names that you may not know that could join Crawford in the middle of the Phillies diamond for years to come.

Super Sub Blanco proving his worth

When a team is rebuilding, as the Phillies are, a 32-year-old utility infielder rarely enters the train of thought of fans, media members or the organization's top brass. Andres Blanco is a very different story. His impact, not only on the field, but more importantly off, has made a huge difference on the entire roster and especially the young core of Latin American players. Matt Breen of tells us more.

Pitcher Tom Eshelman happy to be with the Phillies organization

The monster haul for reliever Ken Giles seems to get better by the day. Meet Tom Eshelman, a 21-year old pitcher who doesn't possess the power of Vince Velasquez or the pure stuff of a Mark Appel, but this former College World Series star for Cal State Fullerton is thriving in his new organization and is quite happy with where he is.

Latin ballplayers give the Phillies much-needed flair

The Phillies were criticized for many years for the lack of international talent in their system. Times have changed and Sam Donellon tells us why the recent infusion of Latin ballplayers is just what the Phillies needed.

Phillies Memorial Day Memoriam: Eddie Grant

By: Matt Alberston, Historical Columnist

In recent years, it has been uncommon for a professional athlete to sign up for military service or serve in an active war zone. Surely, former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman comes to mind as the largest exception. However, prior to 1975, it was not completely abnormal to find a professional athlete serving in the military during a time of war. For a few of these individuals, this service did not come without risks. In total, 12 major leaguers lost their lives serving in the armed forces. The first death occurred in 1898 and the last in 1952. Every year, on the last Monday in May, we remember their sacrifice, along with the countless other men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States armed forces. This Memorial Day, Sports Talk Philly remembers the lone Phillie who died while serving his country: Eddie Grant.


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Pete Mackanin to continue trimming Ryan Howard's playing time

By: Brandon Apter, contributor

The Phillies spent their Memorial Day weekend getting swept by baseball's best team in Chicago. They didn't score more than two runs in either of the three games and the first base platoon seemed to go in favor of Tommy Joseph. The rookie first baseman played two out of the three games against the Cubs, going 2-for-8 with a home run. Meanwhile, 36-year-old Ryan Howard played on Saturday and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Following Sunday's loss, Phillies skipper Pete Mackanin spoke about the platoon and how he plans to continue trimming Howard's playing time and that it would make no sense to have Joseph sit on the bench after being called up.

No better time than now to with Howard having issues hitting even the common fastball with his slowing bat speed. A career .260 hitter, Howard is hitting .154 this season with eight homers, 18 RBI's and 50 strikeouts in 134 at-bats. There is no doubting Howard's contribution to the Phillies success in their playoff years, including two World Series appearances and their 2008 championship. Howard was never the same at the plate after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the 2011 postseason. It's always difficult to see a guy like Ryan who loves the game of baseball show such a big decline late in his career.

Tommy Joseph seems to be the guy who will eventually take over every day first base responsibilities for the team. The former catcher turned first baseman has appeared in 10 games this season and is hitting .286 (10-for-35) with a double, three homers, four runs scored, five RBI's, 11 strikeouts and one walk. Mackanin said there was no point in bringing him up to have him sit onthe bench

Phillies swept by the Cubs as struggles continue for Velasquez, offense

By: Brandon Apter, contributor

Final: Cubs 7, Phillies 2 ❖  Attendance: 41,575

Chicago, IL - The Cubs offense overwhelmed the Phillies in Sunday's series finale, completing the weekend sweep and sending Philadelphia to their seventh loss in the last nine games. Chicago's starting pitchers dominated the series, allowing just three earned runs in 22.1 innings. 

Vince Velasquez got hit around this afternoon, allowing seven runs in less than five innings of work. After posting a 1.44 ERA through his first five starts, Velasquez has posted a 6.31 ERA through his last five. Though he got tagged for seven runs, the offense didn't do him any favors, putting just three men in scoring position all game. Their two runs came via the solo home run.

The Phillies will look to bounce back as they host the Nationals for a three-game series beginning on Monday at 7:05pm. Jeremy Hellickson will oppose Tanner Roark in game one. 

WP: John Lackey (4-4, 4.04 ERA)  ❖  LP: Vince Velasquez (5-2, 3.63 ERA) 

Continue reading "Phillies swept by the Cubs as struggles continue for Velasquez, offense" »

Former Phillies 2B Chase Utley still dominates the Mets

Chase Utley will go down as one of the best second baseman in Phillies history, there's no doubting that. He was definintely one of the most liked during his time in Philadelphia for his style of play and his part in the 2008 World Championship and 2009 National League Pennant. While with the Phillies, Chase Utley always hit well against the Mets. Since he's gone out west to the Dodgers, that hasn't changed one bit. In fact, Utley has become somewhat of a villain to Mets fans.

During last year's NLDS, Utley went in to second with a hard slide to break up a double play, a slide that will be debated as to whether it was clean or dirty for years to come. Chase went right into former Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, who broke his right leg on the play.

Continue reading "Former Phillies 2B Chase Utley still dominates the Mets" »