Dom Brown, Interleague Play Descend On Philadelphia

Dom Brown, Interleague Play Descend On Philadelphia

A double dose of awesome this evening for Phillies fans as not only is Roy Halladay getting the start but beloved phenom Dom Brown has rejoined the big league club. Unfortunately, the lanky left-hander will not get the start this evening as Charlie Manuel said before the game that Brown likely won't start against lefties, at least initially, as the skipper wants to ease him into the lineup. But Manuel also noted that this isn't last season, and Brown won't be mired on the bench like the end of last season. Expect to see Dom get plenty of welcomed time this summer.

Along with Dom Brown, the Phillies will welcome Inter-League play back to Philadelphia tonight as the Texas Rangers are in town for a three game set.

Interleague Play

As for the merits of Inter-League, put me in the camp of "It's great because it allows fans to see guys they may otherwise never see." That said, you can't disregard the major flaws in the system which Jayson Stark does a wonderful job outlining. One of his most poignant examples involves some NL East discrepancies, "The Mets will play 15 interleague games against teams currently .500 or better (plus three against the Angels, who are just a game under .500). The Nationals could play none. How does THAT happen?"

Charlie Manuel has grumbled about similar situations in the past, but it doesn't appear like MLB is set to do anything about it anytime soon. As we all know to well, the Phillies have not been great in their regular season games against the AL (106-129 all-time), although they did finish 2010 with a 10-8 record against the Junior Circuit.

Straight Edge Racer vs. Doc

Kyle Kendrick is not starting for the Phillies tonight, which is nice. Roy Halladay (5-3, 2.21) will take on C.J. Wilson (4-2, 3.38) who has a relatively popular Twitter account. Just this afternoon he said this of facing Roy Halladay at the dish, "I'm up against the CYborg."

(see a higher resolution of the above Roy Halladay/Cyborg photo here)

Having spent the early part of his career in the AL, Halladay has plenty of experience against the Rangers -- 20 games to be exact. Roy is 7-7 with a 5.36 ERA against them. Not very Doc-like. Current Rangers Michael Young (.279 BA in 44 PA), Ian Kinsler (.316 BA in 21 PA), and David Murphy (.500 in 8 PA) have solid numbers against him.

The weather lately in South Philly is bizarre. It was raining earlier before it got hot and quasi sunny. It's become even more impossible to predict in recent weeks. Who knows what tonight's forecast entails.

Dom Dom Dom

John Mayberry Jr. will start in center this evening with Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco on either side of him. Wilson Valdez will bat and play second . Your chances of seeing Dom Brown make an appearance tonight are slim, because all Roy Halladay does is complete games.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Snap counts: Connor Barwin's snaps decrease; filling in for Bennie Logan


Snap counts: Connor Barwin's snaps decrease; filling in for Bennie Logan

During the week, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said he thought defensive end Connor Barwin could benefit from fewer snaps during games. 

That's exactly what happened on Sunday. 

Barwin, who came into the game with the most snaps by an Eagles defensive end, played 49 (64 percent) against the Vikings. He came into the game playing 79 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps. On Sunday, he had a huge strip sack of Sam Bradford. 

Taking away some of Barwin's snaps on Sunday was even more impressive considering Vinny Curry played quite a few snaps inside as a defensive tackle with the absence of Bennie Logan (groin). 

Curry played 41 snaps (54 percent) against the Vikings after playing just 40 percent of the team's defensive snaps before this weekend. 

Beau Allen, who started in place of Logan, played 51 snaps (67 percent), while rookie Destiny Vaeao chipped in a career-high 30. Vaeao has had 58 snaps in the last two weeks. 

Ron Brooks played just seven snaps before going down with a serious leg injury. That meant Jalen Mills played 27 snaps and safety Jaylen Watkins played 46 snaps. 

Malcolm Jenkins continued his impressive streak. He played all 76 snaps on Sunday and the only defensive snap he's missed was that weird fake punt in the opener against Cleveland. 

On offense, Josh Huff saw his role increase some on Sunday and he made the most of it. Huff, who had just nine snaps last week, got 20 against the Vikings and caught four balls for 39 yards. Perhaps Huff's production is why Dorial Green-Beckham's snaps dropped to 28 (48 percent). 

Matt Tobin got some extended playing time (20 snaps) at left tackle thanks to Jason Peters' bicep injury. Peters said that had the game been close, he would have been fine to go back in. 

Zach Ertz got 48 snaps (83 percent) but walked away with one catch for 14 yards. He's been on the field, but can't seem to become a part of the passing offense. 

Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles each got 26 snaps on Sunday. Wendell Smallwood got five and Kenjon Barner 3. On the season, Smallwood has 28 carries on 42 snaps. 

Here's a full look at snap counts from Sunday: 

Allen Barbre, 58 snaps, 100 percent
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, 58, 100
Jason Kelce, 58, 100
Carson Wentz, 58, 100
Brandon Brooks, 53, 91
Zach Ertz, 48, 83
Jordan Matthews, 45, 78
Jason Peters, 43, 74
Nelson Agholor 43, 74
Brent Celek, 28, 48
Dorial Green-Beckham, 28, 48
Darren Sproles, 26, 45
Ryan Mathews, 26, 45
Josh Huff, 20, 34
Matt Tobin, 20, 34
Trey Burton, 13, 22
Wendell Smallwood, 5, 9
Stefen Wisniewski, 5, 9
Kenjon Barner, 3, 5

Malcolm Jenkins, 76 snaps, 100 percent
Nigel Bradham, 76, 100
Jordan Hicks, 76, 100
Nolan Carroll, 75, 99
Rodney McLeod, 75, 99
Brandon Graham, 57, 75
Fletcher Cox, 54, 71
Beau Allen, 51, 67
Connor Barwin, 49, 64
Jaylen Watkins, 46, 61
Leodis McKelvin, 44, 58
Vinny Curry, 41, 54
Destiny Vaeao, 30, 39
Jalen Mills, 27, 36
Mychal Kendricks, 24, 32
Marcus Smith, 18, 24
Ron Brooks, 7, 9
Steven Means, 5, 7
Stephen Tulloch, 5, 7