Just Enough Buzz: J-Roll Homers, Kendrick Takes His Turn to Shut Out the Marlins

Just Enough Buzz: J-Roll Homers, Kendrick Takes His Turn to Shut Out the Marlins

I could be projecting, but I assume a lot of people reading this site have a smartphone app that alerts them every time the Phillies score, or maybe just periodic updates from every game. If you don't have one, that probably sounds crazy. If you do, it's the most normal thing in the world. Mine buzzes and sends a screen notification every time any Philly team scores or gets scored on (aside from the Sixers, because ya know), and then one last time when the game is done. This summer, the app has been the bearer of more bad news than it has good. The Fightins have allowed more than 20 runs than they've scored. They've lost eight more games than they've won. More often than not, I'm watching the game as the other team scores. Seconds later, that ... buzz comes. 
Gotta wonder how many times the dog bit Pavlov. 
Tuesday night, there were just two buzzes. The first came on the second pitch of the game. Jimmy opened the night with a home run for the 41st time in his career—and he did it on the night he passed Larry Bowa for most games played as a Phillies shortstop (1,731). As if that weren't momentous enough, not another run crossed the plate for either team. 
Not the most exciting nine innings of ball between fourth and fifth place teams, but thanks to Kyle Kendrick, that lone run stood as the winner. 
Picking up where Cole Hamels left off the night before, Kendrick threw seven scoreless innings. He allowed only five hits while striking out six and walking ze-ro over seven innings. Sinkers and changeups all night. Josh Lindblom and Jonathan Papelbon each threw a scoreless frame to hold and save the shutout for the Killer. 
If anyone needed a straight line of zeros, it was Kendrick, who'd given up nine runs over 7.1 innings in two previous starts since rejoining the rotation after the Joe Blanton was traded. Actually, every Phillie not named Jimmy Rollins needed Kendrick to put up that line, because after J-Roll's homer off of hard-luck Marlins starter Josh Johnson, they managed only three hits the rest of the night. Wasn't a pretty night at the plate.
But a win's a win, and that's three in a row. The Phils are now 2.5 games ahead of the Fish and just a game out of third. Stranger things... It may not scream "October baseball," but it's making August enjoyable. 

David Murphy
@HighCheese

Phillies are 17-12 since the All-Star Break. In 14 games since the July 31 trades, they are 9-5 with a 2.69 ERA.

14 Aug 12

TicketIQ: Affordable seats available to see Sixers face marquee opponents

TicketIQ: Affordable seats available to see Sixers face marquee opponents

Editor's Note: The following is sponsored content written by TicketIQ.

The improvements have been obvious for the 76ers this season. Just months removed from a franchise-worst 10-72 record, the Sixers have begun to see return on their rebuild with rookie Joel Embiid leading the charge.
 
December will be a big month for the team as it looks to rise in the Eastern Conference. Attending an upcoming game won’t come attached with big ticket prices, either. With several marquee opponents headed to Wells Fargo Center over the next four weeks, including the Lakers, Celtics and Raptors, fans can find relatively inexpensive ticket prices on the resale market all month long.
 
On TicketIQ, a ticket search engine that pools tickets and data from over 90 percent of the resale market, the average resale price for 76ers tickets in December is just $58. That makes December among the cheapest months to see the Sixers this season.

 
With the Lakers in town for a December 16 game, it will be the only 76ers home game this month that commands an average resale price above $100. On TicketIQ, 76ers vs Lakers tickets own a $112 average and the most inexpensive are listed from $27 each. It will be the Lakers’ sole visit to Philadelphia this season.
 
The Celtics will be the Sixers’ second most expensive opponent this month, but their December 3 visit is currently averaging nearly half the price the Lakers are seeing when they’re in town two weeks later. As it stands now the average resale price for tickets against the Celtics is $69 with a get-in price of $13.
 
The Nets, Pelicans and Raptors are all generating similar demand for their respective stops in Philadelphia later this month. With all three teams visiting over a six-day period between December 14 and 20, no game will average over $55 on the secondary market. Tickets start from as low as $7 each to when Anthony Davis and the Pelicans come to town on the 20th.
 
For those fans with interest in attending the most inexpensive games at Wells Fargo Center this month, the struggling Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets will serve as the most affordable opponents to see in action in December. The Magic play the Sixers on Friday night, where last-minute 76ers vs. Magic tickets are averaging $43. Their next home game against the Nuggets have an average resale price of just $35.

Instant Replay: Magic 105, Sixers 88

Instant Replay: Magic 105, Sixers 88

BOX SCORE

One way to try to win a game: Go up by six early in the first quarter and look to build on that lead.

One way to lose a game: Squander that advantage and give up a 16-0 run to the opponent. 

The Sixers' effort to beat the Magic ended almost as quickly as it began. The Magic outscored the Sixers 21-14 in the first and put the game out of reach in the third with a 21-point lead going into the fourth.  

The Sixers fell, 105-88, to the Magic in spite of increased playing time for Joel Embiid (26:56).

Inside the stats
Joel Embiid recorded a double-double with 25 points (10 for 21 from the field) and 10 rebounds, as well as four assists. Jahlil Okafor did the same with 16 points (8 for 10 from the field) and a season-high 13 boards.

Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 20 points (9 for 14 from the field).

Nikola Vucevic also had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double with five assists off the bench.

The Sixers shot just 6 for 26 (23.1 percent) from the field in the first quarter.

Embiid, Okafor play together
As anticipated, Sixers head coach Brett Brown paired Embiid and Okafor together against bigs Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo. 

They shared the court for 5:29 in the second quarter, during which the Sixers outscored the Magic, 12-9. The duo scored all of the Sixers' points during that span and combined for five rebounds. This combination allowed the Sixers to stretch the floor; Embiid made two threes in this spurt. 

Brown gave them another look in the fourth for over seven minutes when the Magic already had put the game away. This time they totaled 12 points and four rebounds, as the Sixers and Magic both scored 19 apiece during this stretch. Toward the end, Okafor was matched up with swingman Jeff Green. 

Injury updates
Robert Covington left the game in the fourth quarter with a left knee sprain after colliding with T.J. McConnell in front of the Sixers' bench chasing for a loose ball.

Jerryd Bayless (left wrist soreness) missed his third straight game. He is questionable for Saturday against the Celtics.

Familiar competition 
Before Embiid and Biyombo faced off in the NBA, they got to know each other before Embiid entered the league. The two bigs became friends in 2014 when they met training in Los Angeles while Embiid was preparing for the draft.

“He’s still the same guy,” Biyombo said. “Nothing’s changed with his goofy personality.” 

Up next
No rest for the Sixers. On Saturday they will host the Celtics for the back end of a back-to-back. Two days later, they play the Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday.