Clifton for the Sweep, Plus J-Roll Speaks

Clifton for the Sweep, Plus J-Roll Speaks

Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.83) toes the rubber this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park and will take on right-hander Aaron Harang (8-2, 3.29) as the Phillies look to continue their hot play of late and sweep the Padres out of town. The Fightins have taken the first three of this four game series with San Diego, and if they can earn the victory today, it will be their second consecutive four-game sweep of the Pads this season.

It's an early 1:05 pm start this afternoon from South Philadelphia.

We thought we'd use this game thread to take a look at what young James Calvin Rollins had to say about a wide range of topics. J-Roll spoke at length with Delaware Online's David Hale about how he's feeling physically, how he's been swinging the bat, how he keeps refueling the tank after all these years, and how he would feel if things didn't work out next season and Jimmy had to put on another team's uniform.

You can read Hale's article about Jimmy or opt for the full transcript of their discussion here.

There are plenty of insightful quotes from Rollins, and we could have highlighted many of them, but Jimmy on his approach is quite interesting.

Q. It’s not that you’ve changed who you are as a player, but
your walk rate is up this year, you’re seeing more pitches, swinging at
fewer first pitches.

A. It’s a little different, yeah. You just get
smarter. My approach hasn’t changed, you just get smarter with it.
There’s certain things that you naturally become better at. You start
recognizing it. You make adjustments. My approach is the same. I’m going
to be aggressive. Sometimes, it’s like — I don’t feel like swinging at
the first pitch. Other days, I’m swinging. You find what works. Some
days I don’t have the energy to swing at the first pitch, so I look for a
walk. You take a couple pitches and then you start getting into a
rhythm of the at-bat and can carry that through the whole game. In the
past, you feel a little tired – well, I’m going to make something
happen. I should go out there and force something to happen. It usually
doesn’t work out that way.

The second thing that sticks out, as Jimmy mentions above, is his energy or lack there of.

Perhaps all of that Red Bull is failing to give him wings as advertised.

From watching Rollins play the field, you wouldn't have thought for a second he has lost a step, is lacking energy, or is banged up. Jimmy's still a world class defender.

But occasionally you see him run to first on a basically routine ground out and his foot isn't exactly on the gas pedal. We know Jimmy's a bit banged up and getting older, but Hale's quotes from Rollins really make it seem worse than I had thought it actually was.

Jimmy on his thought process on stealing:

The way I choose to steal a base or the situation is always the same. If
it’s a base I have to steal, I’m going to steal it. If I don’t
necessarily have to steal it, it’s how do I feel today? How are my legs?
I’m not just going to run if I’m not feeling good and take a chance of
getting thrown out. If it’s a situation where I absolutely have to go,
the adrenaline takes care of you. My legs are a little tired today, my
knee’s bothering me – but I have to go. And then you make that first
move and it’s like – whoosh. Then you stop and it’s like, oh shoot that
hurts. But during that time you do what you have to do and it doesn’t
bother you.

At least we know he can get the job done when he absolutely needs to, but do those sound like quotes from a guy you'd give big money and big years to?

Make no mistake about it, Jimmy Rollins is one of the Phillies leaders and we most certainly hope to see him back at Citizens Bank Park next season and beyond. But will Jimmy and his agent see eye-to-eye with Ruben Amaro Jr.?

J-Roll says, after spending his entire career in Philly, he doesn't get attached.

"I’ve never been attached to anything. I understand everything is temporary," Rollins told Hale.

I'm not sure I believe him though.

>>Rollins Talks About His Season, His Role & His Future [Philled In]

Best of NFL: Seahawks hurt Tony Romo, pull away from Cowboys

Best of NFL: Seahawks hurt Tony Romo, pull away from Cowboys

SEATTLE -- Three plays were all it took for Dallas to get yet another injury scare surrounding Tony Romo.

The quarterback lasted just 90 seconds into the Cowboys' 27-17 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night before leaving with what appeared at first to be a potentially significant injury, but ended up being minor.

Romo was tackled from behind by Seattle's Cliff Avril on the third play from scrimmage as Romo scrambled from the pocket.

He immediately grabbed at his back, crumpled on the field while trainers sprinted from the Dallas sideline and images of Romo's injury problems from last year immediately flashed to mind.

Turned out it was all just a scare. Romo walked off the field without assistance, threw passes on the sideline and lobbied for a return to the game. Dallas coach Jason Garrett opted to play it safe and Romo donned a baseball hat as a spectator the rest of the night.

"I was just in shock and had my mind on just, `C'mon, Tony. Get up,'" Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the team's TV broadcast.

"Said a few prayers right there in the middle on the spot. Really just couldn't imagine getting that hand dealt to us. We're pleased that it's in good shape. We obviously don't need to see what Tony can do out there."

What Romo saw was an impressive initial flash from rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and a solid performance by backup QB Dak Prescott against one of the top defenses in the NFL.

Elliott rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, including a 13-yard run where he knocked Seattle safety Kam Chancellor backward. Prescott was solid playing against most of Seattle's starting defense, finishing 17 of 23 for 116 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass that Jason Witten snatched away from K.J. Wright.

Russell Wilson and Seattle's No. 1 offense played into the second half, scoring on four of its final five possessions including a pair of TD tosses by Wilson (see full recap).

Foster leads Dolphins to win over Falcons
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Running back Arian Foster had a 2-yard touchdown run in the Miami Dolphins' 17-6 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Foster, who joined the Dolphins during the offseason and is coming off an Achilles injury, had his most extensive playing time with his new team in the third preseason game that was played at Orlando's Camping World Stadium.

The four-time Pro Bowl running back played in just one series in the first half, but he made the most of the limited opportunities by sparking the Dolphins to their lone touchdown drive of the half with five carries for 10 yards, capped by his 2-yard scoring run early in the second quarter.

The Dolphins are taking a cautious approach with Foster, who hasn't played a full season since 2012 with Houston. The former Texans star didn't play in the Dolphins' preseason opener and had just two carries for minus-5 yards last week against Dallas.

With Foster expected to challenge second-year running back Jay Ajayi in the Dolphins backfield this season, coach Adam Case came into Thursday night's game wanting a little more to evaluate Foster on.

Foster didn't get a lot more work, but he did enough in the seven touches he received to make the Dolphins' running back competition interesting. Ajayi carried seven times for 11 yards and caught two passes for 12 yards.

Foster had two receptions for 20 yards, which included a 16-yard catch that moved the Dolphins into scoring position at the Falcons 22.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, coming off an impressive outing against the Cowboys, didn't put his team in many scoring positions, but he did move the ball effectively.

He completed 20 of 29 passes for 155 yards while leading the Dolphins to a score in one of two red zone opportunities (see full recap).

Roy Halladay provides epic quote in tribute to Carlos Ruiz, the 'little engine that could'

Roy Halladay provides epic quote in tribute to Carlos Ruiz, the 'little engine that could'

Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz shared a special relationship.

We all know the story.

The two formed an incredible battery combination that produced a perfect game and postseason no-hitter in the same year.

Halladay, a Cy Young winner with plenty of accolades, loved the unassuming Ruiz just as much, if not more, than anyone.

This is case in point: Doc, via CSNPhilly.com's Phillies Insider Jim Salisbury, provided an absolutely epic quote summing up Chooch, who the Phillies traded on Thursday night.

Without further ado ...

Chooch was the little engine that could for a team loaded with big names, but no player was more valuable to the team as a whole than Carlos! He was so humble and grateful, you couldn't help but just want to do anything for him including win! He flawlessly handled one of the greatest pitching staffs ever assembled and was just as important offensively, as well. It was nothing short of miraculous that he could handle so many different personalities and approaches on a day-to-day basis the way that he did. He was the best catcher I've ever thrown to and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball in the years I was with him. It's going to be sad to see him without a Phillies uniform on and not seeing him sitting in his chair in the clubhouse with a smile. And just the way the fans treated Chase last week, Chooch is also deserving of that hero's welcome. They are my two favorite players of all-time as well as favorite teammates. I was fortunate to have both of them in the clubhouse. I want to wish good luck to Carlos. Maybe one day when we're old and gray we can come back to Philly!!

With that, we'll leave you with these awesome moments.

Report: Phils calling up prospect Jorge Alfaro; likely for short stay

Report: Phils calling up prospect Jorge Alfaro; likely for short stay

It appears prized catching prospect Jorge Alfaro is coming to the Phillies. But not for long.

According to a report late Thursday night by Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, Alfaro will be promoted from Double A Reading to the Phillies and join the team Friday in New York.

Alfaro, already on the Phillies' 40-man roster, is not expected to stay for long. He gets the call now with the Phillies' trade of Carlos Ruiz on Thursday night. Veteran catcher A.J. Ellis, a part of the Ruiz deal, is not yet with the Phillies but expecting to join them this weekend against the Mets.

Alfaro is a strong candidate to be a September call-up of the Phillies once Reading is finished with the Eastern League playoffs, as we explained in this week's Future Phillies Report.

The 23-year-old Alfaro was acquired by the Phillies from the Rangers in last summer's Cole Hamels trade. He's ranked as baseball's top catching prospect by MLBPipeline.com with Gary Sanchez having graduated to the Yankees.

Known for his power potential and big throwing arm, Alfaro has hit .279/.321/.442 with 13 home runs and 61 RBIs. He's thrown out 31 of 70 would-be base stealers, 44 percent.