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Hayes Gets OT Winner as Flyers Sweep Islanders

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It's been uncanny how the Flyers have found a way to win every single time they have gone to overtime against the Islanders in recent memory. One night after Scott Laughton played hero, it was Kevin Hayes getting the winning tally.

Hayes scored on the power play with 38 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win over the Islanders, their fourth straight win, on Sunday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Continue reading "Hayes Gets OT Winner as Flyers Sweep Islanders" »


Flyers-Islanders: Game 10 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Following their debacle in Boston, the Flyers have taken find a way to a new level. They certainly have managed to find a way to win their three games so far this week, and they could really cap things off in another meeting with the New York Islanders on Sunday night.

The Flyers are in search of their fourth straight win and seventh of the season. The Islanders are still trying to get on the right track record-wise, but played a solid 40 minutes on Saturday that deserved a better fate. They will be looking to bounce back in this game.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Islanders: Game 10 Preview" »


Things to Watch: Sixers Versus Pacers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

After picking up a win in Minnesota on Friday, the Sixers continue their road trip. Next up is a Sunday night matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Here are three things to watch in the matchup.

Big man battles 

Similar to the Lakers, the Pacers are one of the few teams in the NBA that still roll out an old-school frontcourt. With Myles Turner and Damontas Sabonis in the lineup, Indiana will have a lot of size to throw at Joel Embiid.

The Lakers had that same amount of size to slow Embiid, but it still wasn't enough to contain the MVP frontrunner. How he handles going against two capable bigs again will be a major storyline to watch in this game.

Embiid has had success against the Pacers in the past. In 10 career games against them, he has averaged 28.4 PPG and 12.6 RPG. He's going to have his hands full in the frontcourt, but if he can continue to draw fouls at the rate he has been it should make his life a little easier.

Bench production 

Since the Sixers have gotten back to full health, one thing that has stood out is the depth this team showed early on in the season. In this recent stretch, the Sixers have gotten solid production from players like Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Tyrese Maxey, and Matisse Thybulle. 

If Doc Rivers can continue to get good minutes out of those players, it makes the team even more dangerous with the play of their three stars. The Pacers do not have much depth on their roster, so the bench battle will be something to watch in this matchup. 

With the scoring ability of Milton and Maxey paired with the defense Thybulle has been playing, the Sixers' second unit can give teams problems. Doc Rivers said earlier this season that he felt the bench unit was going to win some games for the team this year, and this could be one of those games. 

Making the Pacers settle for jump shots 

With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid leading the charge, it's no surprise that the Sixers are one of the top defensive teams in the league this season. When defending this Pacers team, the Sixers should look to clog the lane and make them settle for perimeter shots. 

Clogging up the lane will make life harder for Sabonis, whose offensive game is centered around his post play. The other reason they should do it is that the Pacers have not been a good team shooting the long ball this season. 

Heading into this matchup, Indiana currently sits at 18th in the league in three-point percentage at 35.7%. On top of that, they also might be without Doug McDermott in this game, who is one of their top shooters from beyond the arc. 

The Pacers' only threats from deep are Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Holiday, the rest you can live with settling for shots on the outside. If Embiid can make life hard for the Pacers around the rim and turn them into jump shooters, it could lead to a Sixers' victory. 

Sixerdelphia


Flyers 5: Takeaways from Saturday's Flyers-Islanders Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The long-awaited rematch between the Flyers and the New York Islanders, the team that eliminated them from the playoffs over the summer, finally took place on Saturday night. Call it the opponent, call it a message sent from the coaching staff, but the Flyers finally showed glimpses of the team they could be for an entire period.

But the Islanders remained resilient, and in familiar fashion, made the game a close one down to the wire.

The Flyers managed the win in overtime after essentially surviving the final 40 minutes of regulation. It was another example of how they have managed to weather multiple storms over the early part of this shortened season.

Here are five takeaways from Saturday’s game between the Flyers and Islanders.

Continue reading "Flyers 5: Takeaways from Saturday's Flyers-Islanders Game" »


Laughton Scores in OT to Give Flyers Win Over Islanders

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For the first 20 minutes, the Flyers came out with the effort and energy that has been expected of them. For the final 40 minutes of regulation, they were in survival mode.

Still, they managed to get the game to overtime and with the play at 3-on-3, managed to get another win early in the season. Scott Laughton scored at 3:16 of overtime to give the Flyers a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Continue reading "Laughton Scores in OT to Give Flyers Win Over Islanders" »


Flyers-Islanders: Game 9 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

When the Flyers returned to play last summer in the Toronto bubble, the team that stood in their way for a trip to the conference finals was the New York Islanders. It was a tough, back-and-forth, seven-game series that included several highs, but fell one game short of the desired result. 

It is now 147 days since the Islanders eliminated the Flyers from the playoffs, and the two teams get back on the ice to face each other on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Continue reading "Flyers-Islanders: Game 9 Preview" »


Phillies Ship Irvin to A's, Designate Hamilton to Make Roster Space

Irvin

With the Phillies re-signing catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius, the team needed to make some room on the roster.   The first move was to designate pitcher Ian Hamilton for assignment.  The second was to trade pitcher Cole Irvin to the Oakland Athletics in trade.

Hamilton was claimed on waivers by the Phillies in December.  Hamilton was a player that suffered some injuries last season and who might be ready for a rebound, the type of player teams take a chance on if they have the space.  The Phillies did not once Realmuto re-signed.

Irvin pitched well in Triple-A but never translated that success to the major leagues.  The Phillies have more options on their major league roster, making Irvin expendable.  He was likely to be designated for assignment if the trade did not come through first.  Perhaps Irvin will get the opportunity in Oakland he would not have found in Philadelphia. 

When the Gregorius signing becomes official, they will have a full 40-man roster.  Before adding Matt Moore, the Phillies will need another spot.


Report: Gregorius Returns to the Phillies on a Two-Year Deal

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The Phillies brought back catcher J.T. Realmuto, helping make one of their biggest needs whole.   But their departing shortstop, Didi Gregorius, would leave another hole, at a key position up the middle.  As other options Marcus Siemien, Andrelton Simmons and Freddy Galvis signed elsewhere, Gregorius became the lone option left.  And the Phillies brought him back.

Jayson Stark of the Athletic reports that Gregorius is back on a two-year deal:

Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic adds that the deal will be for $28 million.

Gregorius, who was to earn $14 million last season before the pandemic cut the season and his salary short, will return for the same average annual value.   As we noted on the Powder Blue Podcast on Tuesday, Gregorius probably would not take a salary cut after having a strong season.  We will find out the exact terms, but perhaps a two-year deal could help the Phillies spread the cash out into the second year to help with immediate cash-flow problems.

The Phillies likely are looking to add pitching as they assemble the roster ahead of pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater on February 17.  They were recently called "runners up" for reliever Darren O'Day by Jon Heyman of MLB Network.


The Coaching Search is Over: Welcome Nick Sirianni!

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LJ (@ljharrell54) and Connor (@connorten) are back to breakdown the recent hiring of Nick Sirianni. The two also dig into the current coaching staff that has been hired around Sirianni. The guys compare Sirianni to Pederson and the staffs they had. Plus talk some Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman involvement in the team and interview process.
 
The two also give their Super Bowl predictions!
 
Don't forget to rate and review the podcast wherever you listen! Also follow our partners at Sports Talk Philly, on twitter @sportstalkphl and online at sportstalkphilly.com!
 


Phillies Sign Lefty Starter Moore

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Photo by Tom Hagerty - Wikpedia Commons, CC BY 2.0, Link

The Phillies have added a starting pitcher.   The starter depth the Phillies had was limited to Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez and Spencer Howard.  So, something had to give.  The Phillies added a veteran on a major league deal who unlike these five, throws from the left side.

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported that the Phillies have signed Matt Moore:

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia had previously reported the Phillies had interest.

Moore in his most recent MLB season, which came with the Detroit Tigers, made two starts in which he did not give up a run.  The second start, Moore tore his meniscus and missed the rest of the season.  He then went to Japan for 2020.  In the 2020 Japan series, Moore provided seven no-hit innings.

The Phillies have not regularly featured a left-handed starting pitcher since Adam Morgan debuted as a starter.  In 2019 the Phillies added Jason Vargas and Drew Smyly mid-season but did not have a left-handed starter in any game other than bullpen games in 2020.

Moore's best season in the Major Leagues came in 2013 when he was 17-4 with a 3.29 earned run average for the Tampa Bay Rays.   Moore was named an All-Star that season. Lifetime he is 54-56 with a 4.19 earned run average.