The Hunter Pence streaks are over. Since the Phillies brought up their new right fielder from AAAA Houston, he's hit in every game, and they've won 'em all. Ten straight proved too much though, as the Giants blocked a sweep with a 3-1 win on Sunday afternoon.
Roy Oswalt's return to the rotation wasn't terrible, but he allowed 12 hits and three runs in just six innings. Tim Lincecum, pitching out of the stretch for all but a four-pitch walk to Jimmy Rollins to lead off the game, got plenty comfortable soon after and shut down the Phils offense all day. Lincecum allowed seven hits on the day, but just one run, which probably could have been prevented with better defense behind him.
Overall, there's not too much to dissect in this one. Lincecum's a great pitcher with good numbers against the Phillies, and he beat them in a start where the Giants could only manage three runs off of Oswalt in his first MLB start since June. Knowing what we do about the pitchers and lineups in this matchup, if you were to predict an outcome and storyline today, this one would be fairly likely.
Oswalt had decent velocity and no apparent relapses of an injury that a lot of people worried might hasten the end of his career. While he's not in ace form yet, he managed to get out of some jams and strand most of the small army of baserunners he allowed.
The Giants won, but if I were in their dugout, I'd be more worried that they couldn't get more than three runs off of Oswalt today than I am about the Phillies not getting to a two-time Cy Young winner. Although, yes, it would have been encouraging to see the paddles come out on Mitch Kramer, whom they may see in a series opener come October.
Gallery: Plays of the Game
Loved seeing Carlos Ruiz go full extension after fielding a Lincecum bunt to apply a barehand tag to Aubrey Huff's neck. Brilliant shots by Jason O. Watson of US Presswire here:
Chase Utley joined Chooch in having a pair of hits, one of which came right after he accidentally threw the bat toward the mound on a foul ball. The bat hit Lincecum in the leg, and after the two exchanged sportsmanlike guttural utterances mere mortal ears can't hear, Uts snapped a single to right. Unfortunately, Linc and Javier Lopez were able to retire the side to end the eighth, and the Phils were once again shut down by Brian ::vomit:: Wilson.
Up next, a trip to LA.
After skating to their best record in four years, the Philadelphia Flyers quelled the notion that they would show the growing pains of a rebuilding franchise in 2016. A playoff berth in Dave Hakstol’s first year as head coach brought about the emergence of a new noisemaker in the crowded Metropolitan division, one that stretched the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to six games in the Quarterfinals.
The Flyers will look to build on the success of last season by relying more on budding players Shane Gostisbehere and Ivan Provanov while veterans Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Boyd Gordon all look to lead the team back to another postseason. And while excitement continues to build in Philadelphia, fans can find comfort in the fact that Flyers tickets on the secondary market are the least expensive they’ve been this decade.
On TicketIQ, a leading online aggregator that pools both primary and secondary market listings to give consumers the most transparent buying experience, Flyers tickets are averaging $108.32 across all 41 home games at Wells Fargo Center this season. That marks a 12.4 percent drop from the $123.64 average at the beginning of last season. It is the cheapest home average the Flyers have posted since 2010, when TicketIQ began tracking resale ticket data.
While Thursday’s home opener served as one of the NHL’s most expensive games this week, a March 15 matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be the most expensive Flyers home game this season. That game currently owns a $183.16 average, 69 percent over the season average, and the cheapest available tickets are priced for $73 each. Other top-priced games at Wells Fargo Center this season include January 4 against the New York Rangers ($163.62 avg./$57 get-in) and October 29 against the Penguins ($156.36 avg./$90 get-in).
For those looking for tickets to the cheapest Flyers games this season, an October 27 matchup with the Arizona Coyotes is the least expensive home game to attend. Tickets are averaging just $63.50, 41 percent below season average, and the get-in price is $16. Back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets on November 15 and 17 follow, with tickets starting from just $20 each at both contests.
For the best deals on Flyers tickets this season, make sure to download the TicketIQ app. Fans can save up to 10 percent on all IQ Certified listings in the only engagement-based loyalty program in the marketplace. Download the TicketIQ app and start saving today!
MIAMI — Scratch that January timetable for Ben Simmons, at least for now.
Sixers coach Brett Brown said on Friday night that he “misspoke” earlier in the day when he said that Simmons, the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick for 2016, is on schedule to return from foot surgery in January.
This had been the first time the Sixers put a timetable on the return of Simmons, who rolled his ankle when he landed on the foot of another player during an intra-squad scrimmage on Sept. 30.
On Friday night, before the Sixers played the Miami Heat, Brown said he misspoke on Simmons because he was “just getting excited about when he might be able to come back. There were so many dates and speculation that as a coach you sort of hear what you want to hear at times.
“I did mention a January hopeful return, and that was premature. That was a coach doing a lot more wishing than receiving instruction.”
Simmons, a 6-10, 240-pounder from Australia, was the national Freshman of the Year last season at LSU and then decided to bolt for the pros after just one collegiate year.
In six NBA summer league games earlier this year, Simmons averaged 10.8 ponits, 7.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
“We will play this out,” Brown said of Simmons. “Everything is on track with his rehab. It’s only been two weeks since the surgery. Over a short period of time, we will be better prepared to give a statement that will map out his future.”