Back-to-Back Jacks Highlight an Otherwise Crappy Phillies Game

Back-to-Back Jacks Highlight an Otherwise Crappy Phillies Game

The baseball gods have lately been generous with their reminders that you never really know what to expect when you come to the ballpark. The Nationals are among the weaker hitting teams in the league lately, and they were facing Cliff Lee, who was 3-0 with two complete game shutouts in three previous career starts against the Nats. The Phillies have been getting their stroke back lately, and they drew Jason Marquis, who has terrible career numbers against the Fightins.  

So naturally, Lee got shelled while Marquis limited the damage, and the Phils lost by a 10-2 count.  

A day after we saw Roy Halladay yield three homers to the Nats, they hung two long balls and six total earned runs on Lee. Dogs and cats, living together… Mass hysteria. Or, just baseball.  

Lee's start was shaky though, and probably enough to have some fans heading for either the whiskey or the Tums before bed. After the game, Lee himself said he wished he could erase it from his memory and was particularly displeased with the three walks he allowed. It was the fourth time he's conceded four or more earned runs in a start this season, and eight of his 12 starts have seen him surrender at least three. Not exactly the numbers we were expecting from Lee through the early months.   

Perhaps having saved up a few earned runs from his long five innings of work in the 19-inning game, Danys Baez let up three tonight. I suppose we should be grateful at the timing of his statistical correction given that the runs came when the Phils were already down.  

BANGERS AND MASH

The lone bright spot was when Domonic Brown (video) and John Mayberry Jr hit back-to-back homers, marking the second straight game that Phils batters went yard in consecutive at bats. Brown now has 10 hits in his last 19 at bats.   

Placido Polanco had two hits, increasing his league-leading singles total on a day where it was also announced that he leads NL third basemen in All-Star Voting.  

UP NEXT

The Phils wrap up their series in DC Wednesday at 1:05, with Roy Oswalt facing John Lannan.

Temple cracks Top 25 in final CFP rankings, will play in Military Bowl

ap-temple.jpg
The Associated Press

Temple cracks Top 25 in final CFP rankings, will play in Military Bowl

After winning its first American Athletic Conference championship Saturday, Temple learned its postseason fate Sunday and it does not involve a New Year's Six bowl game.

The Owls will play Wake Forest in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Maryland. Temple also finished No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and No. 23 in the AP poll.

At 10-3, Temple has its first back-to-back 10-win season in program history. It's also the first time the Owls have been ranked in consecutive seasons. Head coach Matt Rhule now has 28 wins as Temple's head coach, tying him with Bruce Arians' for the sixth-most in school history.

Wake Forest finished the season 6-6 and on a three-game losing streak, but two of those three loses came to No. 2 Clemson and No. 13 Louisville. The Deamon Deacons have lost five of their last six games.

Flyers-Predators 5 things: Going for longest win streak since 2014

Flyers-Predators 5 things: Going for longest win streak since 2014

Flyers (13-10-3) at Predators (11-8-4)
6 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com

The Flyers have won a season-high four games in a row. They'll try to make it five Sunday night when they visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena for the second game of a back-to-back set.

Let's take a look at five things you need to know.

1. Streaking like 2014?
Not only do the Flyers have a chance to extend their season-best winning streak, but they're also looking to win their most consecutive games since March 15-22, 2014, when they also won five straight.

The Flyers have put up strong showings in the back ends of back-to-backs, going 4-1-1 thus far.

“You just have to have the work ethic night in and night out," Steve Mason said Saturday after the Flyers' 3-1 win over the Blackhawks. "And, I think we were struggling to find that. There are games when we were swarming and giving teams no other option, and other nights we were chasing the puck.

"We have another tough test going to Nashville to play. So, we’re going to have to follow up with another great effort.” 

2. A Provorov encore?
Ivan Provorov's confidence has to be at his highest of the season.

In Saturday's win, the 19-year-old blueliner scored two goals in a 31-second span to double his goal total through the first 25 games.

Provorov said he thinks defense first, but the offensive production is a good sign.

“Score one goal in a game, it’s a good feeling. Score two in one shift, it’s unbelievable,” Provorov said.

“Every time you score, it’s like a confidence booster."

3. Predators finding stride
After losing eight of their first 11 games, Peter Laviolette's Predators have gotten on track, going 8-3-1 since.

Nashville ranks in the top half of the league in goals per game (3.00 — tied for fifth), goals against per game (2.61 — 15th), power-play percentage (22.6 — sixth) and penalty-kill percentage (84.5 — 10th).

Last time out, the Predators blew a 4-1 lead in the third period for a 5-4 overtime loss to the Devils on Saturday, so they should be extra focused.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: On Saturday, Brayden Schenn scored just his second goal in his past 18 games. Schenn can be streaky so maybe he feeds off that goal. He's also a career plus-4 against the Predators, with two goals and three assists in eight games.

Predators: Let's go P.K. Subban, who isn't exactly a favorite among Flyers fans. He's off to a nice start in his first season in Nashville with six goals and 10 assists, and eight points (three goals, five assists) in his last eight games.

5. This and that
• Flyers goalie Steve Mason is 7-7-5 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 20 career games against the Predators.

• Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is 3-2-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in seven career games against the Flyers.

• Claude Giroux is four assists away from passing Rick MacLeish (369) and Eric Lindros (369) for fifth on the Flyers’ all-time list.