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Phillies Will Decide Soon on Manager Kapler; Pitching Coach Young in Jeopardy

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There have been times throughout the 2019 season that fans called for Phillies manager Gabe Kapler's job.  The only change that was made this season was the dismissal of hitting coach John Mallee.   Much has surfaced about pitching coach Chris Young recently that does not sound like he could return.  A decision is expected on Kapler soon, too.

In Friday evening's piece by Todd Zolecki of MLB.com,

If the Phillies decide to dismiss Kapler, an announcement is expected no later than early next week. First-year pitching coach Chris Young’s job status is also in doubt. The Phillies discussed dismissing him in August along with hitting coach John Mallee, who was removed from his job.

If significant change was being discussed in August, what has transpired since?

Well, the Phillies are losers of six straight and seven out of eight.  Though they opened September with a real chance at the playoffs, the Phillies will miss the playoffs for the eighth season in a row.  Even worse, the Phillies face finishing the season with a losing record, after once being 11 games over the .500 mark.

Earlier consideration plus the rough finish: that could spell the end of the Kapler era in Philadelphia.

Over at The Athletic, Matt Gelb penned a long-form piece that highlighted the effects of the firing of pitching coach Rick Kranitz and promotion of Chris Young.   It sounds like it was a real problem:

When they replaced Rick Kranitz with Young last offseason, they risked relationships for the constant pursuit of a competitive edge. The Phillies did all of this during a time of heightened expectations and, in the process, they alienated some of their pitchers. Results were elusive. They made a big bet and lost.

That bet could cost Young his job this offseason, whether Kapler goes or not.

The move was endorsed by Kapler.  Gelb notes that Kapler clashed frequently with Kranitz, which could have contributed to his departure.  One would assume that Kapler was at least on board with the change, if not endorsing it.

After the expectations of fans went soaring upon the signing of free agent Bryce Harper back in March, more of the same will likely not bring back skeptical fans.  While it's true that winning, not fan sentiment, will usually matter most in the minds of fans, the Phillies have not done a lot of that, either. That, not the disappointed fans, will be what matters in the end.

And that end could come soon for Kapler or Young.  Stay tuned.


Phillies Could Consider RHP Félix Hernández as Short-Term Fix to Starting Rotation

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Six-time All-Star and 2010 Cy Young Award winner RHP Félix Hernández made his likely final appearance with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday after 15 seasons and 419 games.

Hernández, 33, walked off the mound to an emotional send-off and curtain call from fans as they chanted, "Thank you, Félix."  Hernández hugged teammates, including former Phillies top prospect J.P. Crawford, and wiped away tears before waving one final goodbye.

Or was it? After the game, "King Felix" described his future plans to MLB.com's Greg Johns, saying "We’ll see if I can find a job. I’m not retiring.”

Continue reading "Phillies Could Consider RHP Félix Hernández as Short-Term Fix to Starting Rotation" »


Eagles To Re-Sign Orlando Scandrick

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles began the season with Jalen Mills on the PUP list and Cre'Von LeBlanc was placed on injured reserve at the start of the season.

Following the Lions game, it was announced that the Eagles already thin cornerback room took another hit with Ronald Darby missing at least a month.

The Eagles didn't have better luck in Green Bay as they lost Sidney Jones in the first half and Andrew Sendejo had Avonte Maddox stretchered off the field. Maddox was sent to a hospital, but released adn traveled back to Philadelphia for further testing with a concussion and neck injury.

Continue reading "Eagles To Re-Sign Orlando Scandrick" »


Eagles Evaluation: Eagles Top Packers On Thursday Night Football

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles went on the road to play a tough game at Lambeau Field against an undefeated Packers team on a short week riddled with injuries.

They were coming off of a home loss to the lowly Lions, which certainly does not instill confidence in the team.

The Birds proved everyone wrong, however, by advancing Doug Pederson's record on Thursday Night Football to 5-0 and earning the team's second win in a critical situation.

Continue reading "Eagles Evaluation: Eagles Top Packers On Thursday Night Football" »


Flyers Notes: Frost Sent to AHL, Patrick Injury Update

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(Photo: Mike Kruce)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Prior to the Flyers final preseason game in the US, a 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers, there were a few updates on the roster that provide a lot of clarity as the season draws closer.

In his pre-game media availability, head coach Alain Vigneault noted that Morgan Frost had been told he would start the season in the AHL. Frost, who is recovering from a groin strain, cannot be officially sent to the minors until he is off the injured list. GM Chuck Fletcher confirmed the decision during an intermission interview on the Flyers Radio Network.

Continue reading "Flyers Notes: Frost Sent to AHL, Patrick Injury Update" »


Postgame Report: Eagles vs. Packers

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By Evan Krawczuk, Contributing Writer

The Eagles had a quick turn around this week against the Green Bay Packers. They head to Lambeau Field on Thursday night to try to get back to .500 on the year. At the half, the Eagles were ahead, 21-20, and the Eagles offense looked very strong in the second half. Here's what I saw in the back half of the action:


Offensive MVP: Jordan Howard

Jordan Howard had a phenomenal game for the Birds. He rushed for 87 yards and 28 yards receiving while tacking on a receiving touchdown and two rushing touchdowns. Howard did it all in the backfield and even showed his critics that he has improved on his hands. It was a breakout game for Jordan Howard and a much needed one at that. 


Defensive MVP: Derek Barnett

Although Barnett did have that very ugly play that took Packers running back, Jamaal Williams, out of the game, he did get a huge strip sack that led to a touchdown for Philadelphia. Barnett also tacked on 3 other tackles and got solid pressure on Aaron Rodgers all night. 

 


Breakout Stars
  • Jordan Howard- Like I said before, Howard had his break out game for the Eagles tonight. He could be the "big" back that the Eagles have been looking for. 
  • Rodney McLeod- McLeod has missed a lot of time recently due to injuries, but tonight McLeod played pretty well. McLeod finished with 9 tackles and had great coverage on Jimmy Graham in the corner of the end zone while giving up seven inches to the large tight end. 

Highlight Reel
  • Alshon Jeffery's touchdown a few minutes into the sound quarter was a turning point for the Eagles and got our offense rolling.
  • As stated before, Barnett's strip sack was a huge momentum push for the Eagles. 
  • Nigel Bradham's interception to end the Packer's drive late in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Green Bay Packers – September 27, 2019

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Green Bay 7 13 7 0
Philadelphia 0 21 6 7

Lundqvist Out-duels Hart as Rangers Defeat Flyers in Shootout

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Wins haven't been easy to come by for the Flyers. To their credit, every single game of the preseason has been competitive, but the Flyers only had one win to show for the preseason entering Thursday night's game against the Rangers, the team they beat last Saturday on home ice.

The Flyers once again were competitive in this game, caught in a goalie duel between Carter Hart and Henrik Lundqvist. On this night, the King bested the kid.

Hart finished with 31 saves in 65 minutes and Lundqvist had 32. In a shootout, Mika Zibanejad had the only goal to lift the Rangers to a 2-1 shootout win over the Flyers.

Continue reading "Lundqvist Out-duels Hart as Rangers Defeat Flyers in Shootout" »


Halftime Report: Eagles at Packers

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Eagles face the Packers in week four of the regular season. The Eagles offense has looked great, scoring 21 points which is a season high for a first half. The Eagles go into half time up by one and will kick off to start the second half. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz has had his best first half of the season, passing for 63 yards and completing two touchdowns passes. Wentz has made some great throws and has alluded a few sacks as well. Wentz has looked like his 2017 self in this first half, making great plays out of nothing.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Derek Barnett

Barnett started off the game poorly with a huge unnecessary roughness penelty that knocked Packers running back Jamal Williams out of the game. After that, Barnett was great, recording four tackles and a huge strip sack to set up an Eagles touchdown.


Who Needs To Step Up

The whole Eagles secondary needs to step up in the second half. The Eagles DB’s have been getting torched in the first half, giving up 241 receiving yards. A great second half from the secondary is key to leaving this game with a win.


Who To Watch Out For

DeVante Adams is having an incredible first half. No one has been able to stop him so far as he has eight receptions and 158 yards. In order for the Eagles to keep this led they’re going to have to slow down Adams in the second half.


Aaron Nola's Season is Over as Phillies Shut Down Their Ace

The Phillies were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday in a bullpen game started by Blake Parker.  Aaron Nola matched up that evening against Max Scherzer as the Phillies fell to the Washington Nationals.  That performance will be his last.

On Thursday, the Phillies announced that Nola would call it a season:

That means Nola finishes the season 13-7, with a 3.87 earned run average.

The Phillies made a point of starting Nola on four days rest, regardless of whether the Phillies had a day off.  The Phillies went on to lose seven Aaron Nola starts in a row, including Tuesday.  The stretch included mostly strong Nola starts, though numbers-wise, three of Nola's toughest starts came in that time.

The line for Tuesday looks like one of his poorer starts but it was better than it looked. Nola was charged with five earned runs in five and two-thirds innings on Tuesday.  After issuing a walk to load the bases when Nola thought he had a strike out, Jared Hughes entered the game with the bases loaded and allowed all three runners to score, adding to Nola's final earned run line.

The Phillies could use any or all relievers on Sunday to close out the season.  Unfortunately, the Phillies could need Sunday's win to avoid being either a .500 or losing team for 2019.  Nola, however, begins his offseason now.