About Last Night: Phils Stumble in Seattle

About Last Night: Phils Stumble in Seattle

The Phillies had some rallies going in three of the final four innings last night at Safeco Field, but it was too little, too late. It was Ichiro Suzuki jersey night, and the right fielder responded by scoring three runs, while Michael Pineda took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Mariners won 4-2.

It took the Fightins' bats a while to get used to Seattle's rookie
right-hander, who had some overpowering stuff. Chase Utley finally
notched an RBI single in the top of the sixth, but Placido Polanco
struck out with the bases loaded to limit the damage to one run. Polanco
was not pleased, and had words for the umpire after the three-pitch at
bat, something it seems has been all too common lately for the typically steady
third basemen.

From there it was up to the Mariners bullpen, and they made things interesting. Shane Victorino homered in the eighth to get the Phillies within two, and they had the tying run at the plate while making their last stand, but Domonic Brown grounded out to end the game.

Just prior to Vic's solo shot, Jimmy Rollins was called out at first on a really close play. On the replays, it appeared he may very well have been safe, but neither J-Roll, the Phils' skipper, or the announce team made much noise about it. It doesn't appear it would have impacted the game's outcome anyway.

Roy Oswalt didn't pitch bad, but his inability to get Ichiro out proved costly. SS Brendan Ryan drove him in twice, and Justin Smoak also had an RBI. C Miguel Olivio added a solo blast, and hit the ball hard all night, as Oswalt went 6.1, and allowed four earned on eight hits and two walks.

It was a tough game for the Phils, who made the cross-country flight to meet a team they are not familiar with, and play in a ballpark that doesn't necessarily suit their style. Of course, they'll have to get over all of that, and it won't get any easier tonight against the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez.

The loss ended a seven-game winning streak.

Phillies officially sign outfielder Michael Saunders, DFA Severino Gonzalez

Phillies officially sign outfielder Michael Saunders, DFA Severino Gonzalez

The Phillies on Thursday officially announced the signing of outfielder Michael Saunders to a one-year deal with a club option for 2018. 

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Saunders will make $9 million this season with the Phillies and the club option for 2018 will be worth $11 million with escalators potentially pushing it to $14 million.

Saunders, 30, is the left-handed hitting outfield bat the Phils were seeking. He hit 24 home runs for the Blue Jays last season in his walk year, making the AL All-Star team before slumping in the second half.

Saunders hit .298/.372/.551 with 16 homers in 82 games for the Blue Jays before the All-Star break, then hit .178/.282/.357 with eight homers in 58 games after.

He had a good year against same-handed pitching, hitting .275 with a .927 OPS and eight homers against lefties. 

He'll likely start in right field for the Phillies, with Odubel Herrera in center and Howie Kendrick in left (see Phils' projected lineup).

Saunders, who will wear No. 5, can also play first base, which could allow the Phillies to sit Tommy Joseph against a tough right-hander and fill in the outfield.

It was important to Phillies GM Matt Klentak that the player he signed to fill the spot in the outfield was not going to block young outfielders like Roman Quinn, Nick Williams and others.

On a one-year deal, Saunders came relatively cheap to the Phils, lingering in free agency as other hitters found contracts. In the middle of last summer, Saunders seemed poised for a multi-year contract like the four-year, $52 million deal Josh Reddick signed with the Astros. His second half cost him some money.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Saunders, the Phillies designated right-hander Severino Gonzalez for assignment.

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

There's another Embiid WWE 2K17 entrance and it includes Hinkie

He’s done it again.
 
Eleven days ago, Sixers social media went wild over a video that showed Joel Embiid walking out to the ring as a WWE character in WWE 2K17. Well, YouTube user Hillman811 is back with an even better version of the video complete with Sam Hinkie and fans chanting.
 
The first video sparked questions to Embiid about his favorite WWE wrestler, and he even did his own Triple H introduction at the Wells Fargo Center after The Game threw him an All-Star vote (see story).
 
Watch the video below and let your mind run wild with what this would look like if it actually happened.