It's a bit easier to stay interested when the Phillies are playing down at Citizens Bank Park. You can still hop on the Broad Street Line, get a cheap ticket, eat some tasty ribs or a roast pork, wash it down with a Langunitas IPA, and mingle with friends while watching some baseball on a warm summer night. But now that they've dropped to 17.5 out in the East and 9 out in the wild card race with just a month to play, it's tough to get real excited about tuning in to watch the Fightins on the road, especially during Labor Day Weekend.
It's sad to say it, but the Phillies are relegated to background noise at the BBQ or deck at the shore this weekend. That is if you're not rocking out to some HOV or the Boss outside on the streets of Philadelphia or outfield of CBP.
That said, Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88) pitches for the Phillies tonight down in Atlanta, and any time Doc takes the mound it's worth keeping an eye on.
Halladay is coming off of a real solid outing against the Nationals in which he went 7.0 strong while allowing only 7 hits, and 2 earned while walking 1 and striking out 6 en route to a 4-2 Phillies victory.
He'll face left-hander Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71) who tosses for the Braves.
It's a 7:35 start time from Atlanta. The Barves currently hold one of the wild card spots, but Pittsbrugh and the Dodgers are certainly within striking distance. As we like to say, it's always fun to play spoiler.
Talking Points: If you missed it yesterday, here's video of the first play in question where Jimmy Rollins didn't hustle as much as Charlie Manuel would have liked. Personally, after watching it a couple of times today, it seems even more much-ado-about-nothing than I had originally thought.
The first of many for the kid.
Travis Konecny on Tuesday night scored goal No. 1 of what should be an exciting and promising career in orange and black.
Not only was it the 19-year-old's first NHL marker, but it ignited a third-period comeback from three goals down as the Flyers stunned the Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center with a 4-3 shootout win when they looked dead in the water at second intermission.
"Obviously, it makes it 3-1," Brayden Schenn said of Konecny's special moment. "It gets the crowd going a bit. It gets us going. Any time a guy scores a first goal, like I said, it gets a little more excitement through the building and through our team."
The goal wasn't of the flashy variety, but it epitomized the youngster's complete game. Teammates have routinely praised Konecny for his willingness to score ugly by finding the greasy areas — as we so love to call them — and doing work, despite his a not-so-intimidating frame.
So skillfully, Konecny deflected a power-play point drive by the other 19-year-old Ivan Provorov. Like a little kid — then again, he is a teenager — Konecny leapt into the boards in celebration, smiling ear to ear. In came Provorov for a big hug. Watching those two have fun is fun.
Flyers fans, frame this screenshot and hang it somewhere (and don't you dare cut out Matt Read). Meanwhile, for Konecny's goal and the celebration, watch the video above.
A very tired Flyers squad came back with a vengeance against the well-rested Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night to win, 4-3, in a shootout at the Wells Fargo Center.
Claude Giroux got the shootout winner.
It was an ugly affair for 40 minutes, starting with goalie Michal Neuvirth, who allowed three goals on 17 shots before being lifted in the second period for the second time in two weeks. The Flyers trailed 3-0 going into the third period.
Whatever energy the Flyers had coming back from Montreal on Monday was saved for the third period when they got three power-play goals from Travis Konecny, Brayden Schenn and Mark Streit to make it 3-3.
The Sabres had not played a game in five days while the Flyers are in the midst of six games in nine days and it showed.
The rookie Konecny scored his first NHL goal in the third period, tipping home Ivan Provorov’s point drive during a power play.
Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas returned after serving a six-game suspension to begin the season.
In an effort to get Schenn going — scoreless in three games coming in — coach Dave Hakstol dropped him to the third line with Nick Cousins and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Matt Read, the club’s top goal scorer, moved into Schenn’s spot on the top line with Giroux and Wayne Simmonds.
Boyd Gordon played his 700th NHL game.
Konecny’s first NHL marker.
There was probably not much Neuvirth could do on the Sabres' first goal. Zemgus Girgensons shot from a hard angle in the corner to the net and the puck jumped, hitting Tyler Ennis for a 1-0 lead in the second period. That said, he wasn’t very good on the next two goals. Neuvirth has been pulled twice in just three starts.
The Flyers' power play awakened. Konecny's goal, plus Schenn's and Streit's. That marked a season high, too.
Chris VandeVelde overskated the puck during a shorthanded two-on-one for what would have been a goal in the first period. Gordon lost a draw to Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Moulson jumped on it, went to the net with purpose for a quick backhander to make it 2-0 3:56 into the second period. Moulson had two power-play goals. The Flyers' PK units were poor.
Simmonds avoided a hearing and possible suspension for his cross check from behind to Montreal’s Andrei Markov on Monday night that jolted the Canadiens defenseman into the boards face-first. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reviewed the hit and saw no cause for action.
Dale Weise (suspended), Scott Laughton (knee), Michael Del Zotto (knee), Michael Raffl (abdominal pull) and Nick Schultz (healthy).
The Flyers will be off on Wednesday. They are in the midst of six games in nine days and will host Arizona on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center.