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April 2018
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Anonymous NBA exec on Colangelo: 'I think the damage is done'

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor  

It's been an interesting and chaotic week in Philadelphia 76ers world as President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo has been linked to a number of secret Twitter accounts that have insulted players, former front office executives while also supporting a number of front office moves made by Colangelo himself. 

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Adam Silver comments on Bryan Colangelo saga

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor  

The Philadelphia 76ers are investigating Bryan Colangelo's involvement with secret Twitter accounts revealed in a story penned by The Ringer's Ben Detrick on Tuesday. Across the five Twitter accounts, both former and current Sixers players were criticized, and front office moves were foreshadowed. NBA commissioner Adam Silver was asked about the matter prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night and here is what he had to say, per NBC Sports Philadelphia:

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Nola, Kershaw square off in finale, battle of aces

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies (30-23) will look to split their third series of the season — and avoid their ninth series defeat — as starting aces Aaron Nola and Los Angeles Dodgers (26-29) southpaw Clayton Kershaw square off in Thursday's series finale at Dodger Stadium.

The Phillies fell in the third of the four-game set on Wednesday, 8-2. Dodgers right fielder Matt Kemp produced a game-high four RBI, while Phillies starter Zach Eflin allowed five runs through four innings. Nick Williams homered in the second straight game. Former Phillies minor league switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte allowed a RBI single to Cesar Hernandez in the ninth. Phillies third baseman Mitch Walding debuted with an 0-4, four-strikeout performance — the first Phillie to debut with such performance "in recorded history," per Corey Seidman.

Prior to the game, the Phillies recalled outfielder Dylan Cozens and RHP Mark Leiter from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Right-hander Drew Hutchison, meanwhile, was designated for assignment.

A win on Thursday will snap the Phillies' three-series losing streak at Dodger Stadium. They are just 3-10 at the venue since 2015.


Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (30-23) Los Angeles Dodgers (26-29)
RHP Aaron Nola LHP Clayton Kershaw
(6-2, 2.27 ERA) (1-4, 2.86 ERA)

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Rhys Hoskins will not need surgery on fractured jaw

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Wednesday, Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Rhys Hoskins got bad news, as a CT scan revealed that he had a fracture in his jaw. Thursday, the 25-year-old got good news, at least relatively. 

According to Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, Hoskins, who left the team in Los Angeles to visit a specialist in Philadelphia, will not require surgery on his injured jaw: 

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Rivals think Phillies will meet any Manny Machado free-agent asking price

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It's unclear where Manny Machado will finish the 2018 season. But it appears that one team is becoming the increasing favorite to employ the three-time All-Star in 2019 and beyond. 

According to Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the view from some around the league is that Phillies managing partner John Middleton will give general manager Matt Klentak the green-light to spend any amount of money necessary to sign Machado this offseason: 

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Embiid, TLC set to play in NBA's exhibition game in South Africa

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor  

The NBA will hold their third exhibition game in South Africa in August, the NBA announced on Thursday, and Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid will suit up for Team Africa.  The game has been held in 2015 and 2017 and it will once again put a team of NBA players from Africa or with African heritage up against a squad of American and International NBA stars. It's set to take place on August 4 in Pretoria, South Africa, about 40 miles away from Johannesburg, where the game was played in 2015 and 2017. 

Joining Embiid on Team Africa will be teammate Timothe Luwau-Cabarrot Portland forward Al-Farouq Aminu, Orlando's Bismack Biyombo among others. Team World will consist of the Raptors' DeMar DeRozan, Dallas forward Harrison Barnes and San Antonio's Rudy Gay. Full rosters are below:

Embiid, a native of Cameroon, was a participant in the NBA's Basketball without Borders camp back in 2011, where he was discovered by Luc Mbah a Moute, sparking his relocation to the states and ascension to NBA stardom. 

The NBA's exhibition in South Africa has grown over the two games, drawing 5,000 spectators in 2015 and 7,000 in 2017. The arena they will be playing in on August 4 seats 8,500.


Eflin struggles as Phillies fall to Dodgers

By: Rebecca Serad, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

Final: Los Angeles Dodgers 8, Philadelphia Phillies 2  ❖  Attendance: 43,302

LOS ANGELES, Ca. — The Philadelphia Phillies (30-23) didn't pitch or hit well against the Los Angeles Dodgers (26-29) in tonight's game. Starter Zach Eflin labored through four innings. The righty allowed five runs on seven hits, including two home-runs. While he may have struck out five batters and only walked one, it was clear that Eflin was having difficulty with his command. Relievers Victor Arano and Drew Hutchison threw two innings apiece and each allowed at least one run and at least two hits. This was Hutchison's first appearance in almost two weeks, which could explain some of his difficulties. However, this does not excuse them.

The offense, or the lack thereof, is a big reason why the Phillies lost the game. The team combined for 13 strikeouts in the game, including four by Mitch Walding in his rather disappointing Major League debut. Walding is the first player to go 0-4 with four strikeouts in his debut in franchise history and only the eleventh player in MLB history to do so. On a positive note, Carlos Santana and Nick Williams both continued to be bright spots for the struggling offense. Santana collected two hits and his hot month of May has boosted his average up to .221, which is a significant improvement. Williams homered in his second straight game.

WP: Ross Stripling (3-1, 1.68 ERA)  ❖  LP: Zach Eflin (1-2, 4.50 ERA)

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After Career Year, What to Expect from Sean Couturier

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(Kate Frese)

By Mike Witmer, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Flyers found their No. 1 center in 2017-18 in Sean Couturier, the 25-year-old center who really came into his own last season. Couturier stepped up when needed this season, whether it was offensively or defensively Couturier in almost every game going up against the best in the National Hockey League.

After the career year Couturier had in 2017-18 season, putting up new career highs in points, solidifying himself as the first-line center, and continuing to be a shutdown force, not to mention being a finalist for the Selke Trophy, could we see the same from him in the 2018-19 season and for the rest of his career?

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Around the NHL: Holtby Saves the Day as Capitals Tie Series

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Goaltending was hardly the showcase in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. In Game 2, a huge save in the final minutes was the highlight.

Braden Holtby stopped 37 shots, including making a diving stick save on Alex Tuch with two minutes remaining in the third, to help the Washington Capitals hold on for a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2, evening the series at one.

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All signs point to Dylan Cozens joining the Phillies to replace Rhys Hoskins

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Dylan Cozens appears primed to make his major league debut. (Frank Klose/SportsTalkPhilly)

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In 2016, Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens were nicknamed "the Bash Brothers," as the two combined to hit 78 home runs for Dusty Wathan's Double-A Reading Fightin Phils. The duo began the 2017 season at Triple-A, with Hoskins finishing the campaign at the major league level, where he drew national attention for his historically dominant start at the plate. With a trip to the disabled list now looming for Hoskins in 2018, it appears that Cozens will be called up to the major league level for the first time. 

Cozens, who will turn 24 Thursday, appears to be getting a promotion to the major leagues for his birthday: 

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