Juan Uribe's series-winning homer gives Phillies fans all kinds of fun-time flashbacks

Juan Uribe's series-winning homer gives Phillies fans all kinds of fun-time flashbacks

Los Angeles Dodgers third-baseman Juan Uribe hit what for most MLBers would be a career-defining homer last night in Game Four of L.A.'s NLDS series against the Atlanta Braves. With the Dodgers trailing 3-2 and a man on second in the eighth, Uribe lifted a no-doubter (based on his own reaction, anyway) to left off Braves reliever David Carpenter, giving the Braves a 4-3 lead that closer Kenley Jansen would nail down in the ninth. And that's all she wrote for Atlanta, as Big Blue now heads to the NLCS with their 3-1 series victory.

To Phillies fans, certain elements of that story will feel eerily, disconcertingly familiar. This is, of course, because a similar story was written about Juan Uribe after the deciding game of the Phillies-Giants NLCS in 2010, when Juan Uribe lifted a Ryan Madson pitch just over the right-field fence of CBP in the eighth inning, giving the G-Men a 3-2 lead that they would hold for the next two innings. It went a little something like this:

[mlbvideo id="12901485" width="400" height="224" /]

This was the loss that irritated me the most of any the Phillies suffered in their five consecutive playoff appearances from 2007 to 2011, the one that a large part of me still refuses to accept. Mostly it was because I'll always believe the Phils were the far superior of the two teams in that series, as evidenced by the guys that did most of the damage for San Fran, seemingly none of whom were even on the team a year later. Cody Ross? Andres Torres? JUAN FRIGGIN' URIBE? I figured for sure that the homer would be Uribe's last notable moment in baseball before washing out entirely, further irritating me with its staggering unlikeliness.

It probably should be of some comfort, then, that he's actually held on to be pretty important for the Dodgers three years after his series-deciding blast. He hit .278 with 12 homers and a 117 OPS+ for LA this season, and more surprisingly for the stocky 33-year-old, was worth nearly two wins with his glove at third base, according to Baseball-Reference. (In fact, Uribe's overall WAR of 4.1 for the year was the highest of his 13-year career.)

And now this. Catharsis of some sort, I suppose, though nothing that makes you relive the events of that awful Saturday night in October 2010 can ever really be considered a worthwhile experience. At least it came at the expense of the Braves this time.

Plus, dude knows how to celebrate a game-winning homer. Got to give him that.

(.gif courtesy of @Kazuto_Yamakazi)

Report: Nelson Agholor expected to be active for Eagles vs. Bengals

Report: Nelson Agholor expected to be active for Eagles vs. Bengals

Nelson Agholor is expected to be active for the Eagles against the Bengals on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan. 

Agholor, who has struggled mightily in his second pro season, was held out of the Eagles' loss to the Packers on Monday night. Undrafted rookie and preseason standout Paul Turner dressed in his place.

The Eagles may be without their leading receiver, Jordan Matthews, who has an ankle injury and is considered a game-time decision.

For the season, Agholor has 27 catches for 264 yards in 10 games. His lone touchdown reception came in the Eagles' win over the Browns in Week 1.

Instant Replay: Celtics 107, Sixers 106

Instant Replay: Celtics 107, Sixers 106

BOX SCORE

Rewind 24 hours.

The Sixers were walking off the court Friday night after a dismal blowout loss to the Magic that left Brett Brown reflecting on Saturday, “Here in Philadelphia, at home, that’s not good enough.”

The Sixers had lacked fire and grit, especially with Joel Embiid on the floor against a sub-.500 Magic team that had played the night before in Memphis. 

They had a day to turn it around. A playoff contending Celtics squad was coming to town and Embiid wasn’t available because of his back-to-back limitations. The shorthanded Sixers (see below) had a tall task ahead of them. 

The Sixers reacted by jumping out early and kept the Celtics at bay in the first half. Even when the Celtics cut their lead to three midway through the second quarter, the Sixers responded with an 8-0 burst to go up by a game-high 11 points. 

The Celtics exposed the Sixers' defensive void in the paint without Embiid in the third. With the Sixers up 65-58, Isaiah Thomas drew a foul against Jahlil Okafor. That play sparked a 9-0 Celtics run over the next two minutes, in which Thomas scored six of those points (including four at the line). The Celtics took back the lead during that stretch and forced the Sixers to play catchup.

The Sixers cut the Celtics lead to one in the fourth with a three from Dario Saric, who played one of his most aggressive games of his short NBA career. After the Celtics jumped back up by seven, the Sixers kept fighting and tied the game 100 apiece. The Celtics were able to pull away and finished with a one-point win, 107-106, after Ersan Ilyasova drained a three at the buzzer. 

Inside the stats
Thomas exploded for 37 points (11 for 19 from the field, 2 for 3 from three, 13 for 15 from the line), four rebounds, and seven assists.

Saric recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, both tying career-highs. 

Ersan Ilyasova dropped 18 points, including three treys, and six rebounds.

Okafor and Sergio Rodriguez scored 15 apiece, with Rodriguez adding eight assists. 

Avery Bradley dropped 20 points and nine rebounds. 

Stauskas starts in place of Covington
Brown turned to shooting guard Nik Stauskas to slide over to the three spot in place of the injured Robert Covington (see below). 

“Boston’s perimeter defense is as good as it is in the NBA,” Brown explained. “I think you need to have more ball handlers, people who can make a play, on the perimeter … I feel that Nik has that ability to put it to the floor and disrupt that aggressive pressure that the Celtics backcourt can put on you.”

Broken ankles
Saric came up with the Sixers' highlight play of the game when he did this to Jonas Jerebko in the third quarter for an instant highlight reel moment. 

Always a student
Not playing, still learning. Embiid has been praised for being an eager student of the game. During warmups he sat courtside to watch film on a laptop even though he wasn’t suiting up. 

Injury updates
Joel Embiid is not playing in back-to-back games and sat out the back end of this home-home series for rest … Robert Covington sat out with a sprained left knee he suffered on Friday after colliding with T.J. McConnell chasing a ball out of bounds … Jerryd Bayless missed his fourth straight game with left wrist soreness. 

Up next
The Sixers host the Nuggets on Monday night.