Phils Lose Game, Series, on Brad Lidge Walkoff Hit By Pitch

Phils Lose Game, Series, on Brad Lidge Walkoff Hit By Pitch

Watching all 10 innings of the Phillies' game against the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon, it kind of felt like watching a back-to-back doubleheader. Problem is, the Phillies only won the first one.

Roy Halladay weathered a two-run first inning and was picked up by his offense, who answered with two of their own in the top of the next frame. Carlos Ruiz homered with Raul Ibanez on base before Chase Utley rocked a solo shot in the third inning. Doc didn't allow another run through five, and the game became official just before it was halted for a rain delay. Halladay's outing was over, but another game loomed with a start time of 4:30. It didn't end as well as the first, particularly for Brad Lidge.

With spot starter/long man Kyle Kendrick unavailable due to pitching for Roy Oswalt after a long rain delay on Friday, the Phillies turned to Michael Schwimer. The second pitch of Schwimer's career left the yard off the bat of Danny Espinosa. As if that's not bad enough, Schwimer did the pop-up point-out thing.

It could only get better from there for Schwimer, and it did. The rookie retired eight of the next nine batters he faced, and no more runs. In the top of the ninth, Ibanez and Ruiz were again a big part of the offense, with Raul drawing a walk and Ruiz singling him to second. Michael Martinez singled to bring in Ibanez, and the Phils entered the ninth up 4-3.

Antonio Bastardo came into the game and racked up three strikeouts. Unfortunately, he gave up a solo shot to Ian Desmond between K's two and three. Aside from that dinger, Bastardo looked untouchable. The remaining fans were on their feet with two strikes and two outs, as close to certain of a win as you can get. But the remnants of a rain-soaked crowd were in store for an even longer day, as Bastardo hung one a bit, and Desmond drilled it out to left.

After a scoreless top of the tenth, Brad Lidge took over for Bastardo, at which point it got pretty ugly for the Phils and their pilgrims. Lidge allowed a double to Ryan Zimmerman. Lidge got behind in the count to Michael Morse, and with everyone in the park knowing he'd have to rely on a fastball to get back in the at bat, the Phils put on the sign for a free pass. Jayson Werth thankfully didn't deliver the winning run, but he did load the bases with a single.

Lidge struck out Espinosa, but then induced vomiting around the Delaware Valley, rather than a double play. Lidge hit Jonny Gomes' giant padded elbow with a pitch, and the game was over. The bullpen blew a save for the second third time this series, and then gave up the winning run on a HBP. Other than a shitty end to the DC trip, there's not much to worry about here.

Jimmy Rollins Leaves
Oh, except Jimmy Rollins left the gain with a groin strain. He's said to be day-to-day, but will get an MRI. We'll keep you posted, but it's certainly not great news.

The Doc Who Stares at Goats
One of the more entertaining moments of the game came when Halladay struck out Werth for the first of two times, both times looking. Werth flipped his bat down, and drew the ire of the ump and Doc, who gave him a solid stare.

Up Next
The Phils come home for a series against the Mets, followed by a weekend set with the Marlins.

Flyers Notes: Wayne Simmonds defends hit on Andrei Markov

Flyers Notes: Wayne Simmonds defends hit on Andrei Markov

MONTREAL — Wayne Simmonds didn’t feel as though he did anything wrong. Or that he even touched Andrei Markov.
Thing is, however, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety may have a different view of it come Tuesday morning.
Early during first-period play Monday night, the Flyers' winger came out of the penalty box after serving a minor for holding and cross-checked Markov from behind.
The Canadiens' defenseman went face-first into the boards and fell to the ice, where he appeared to try and sell a penalty. Nothing came of it, but the hit will likely be reviewed anyway.
“I barely touched him,” Simmonds. “When you got a bunch of guys diving all over the place, what are you going to do? Stand on your feet.”

There were a number of tough hits from both sides in the Flyers' 3-1 loss to the Canadiens (see game recap). It was evenly played and the Flyers deserved a point.
“We played a solid game,” Simmonds said. “Obviously, we lost and it’s not what we wanted but we have four more games this week.
“We go home and we've got to be focused on the positive things that we did and carry it over the rest of the week.”
Gudas eligible
Radko Gudas has yet to play a real game this season.
The Flyers' bruising defenseman has been serving a six-game suspension for a careless hit in Boston that closed out exhibition play earlier this month.
Tuesday night, the Flyers will play the back end of a back-to-back against Buffalo at the Wells Fargo Center and Gudas likely will return to the lineup now that his suspension has ended.
“It seems like forever,” Gudas said. “I could use more games behind me. I think I’m ready with my conditioning and skill level, so I can’t wait to get back in there.”
The decision as to who comes out will be difficult. A good guess right now would be Nick Schultz.
“We've got the information at this point,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “It will be a tough decision, no question, if we are healthy.”
At some point — Nov. 5 — Michael Del Zotto will be eligible to come off LTIR. That means another veteran blueliner would become available and an even bigger problem will arise because Del Zotto carries a $3.875 million cap hit.
Barring injury or trade, when Del Zotto returns, the Flyers will have to move two players off their roster entirely just to be cap compliant.
For now, following Monday’s loss, Hakstol has to decide whether to stick with his current defense or put Gudas back in. Given the Flyers have missed Gudas’ physical presence — teams have taken liberties on smallish rookie Travis Konecny — it makes sense to reinsert Gudas.
“Obviously, teams are going to take advantage of smaller guys,” Gudas said. “I would love to be out there if anything happened. All the guys here are responsible and I think they did a pretty good job defending that. It’s not happening a lot.”
No, but it’s happened enough that the Flyers should take note of it.
Hakstol said his decision does not have to come until Tuesday.
“That’s not to say we haven’t looked at things and thought about the [issue], but that decision comes after tonight,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gudas finally has come to the conclusion that the NHL is watching his every hit.
“They’re looking at me since Day 1 I got here,” he said. “The guys made up their minds. I have to make sure I don’t give them an opportunity to call again.”
Maybe he should change his ringtone to say, “Player Safety calling.”

Loose pucks
Simmonds and Matt Read saw their four-game goal-scoring streaks come to an end. ... The Flyers were credited with 39 hits, the most they’ve had since 41 in a home game against Montreal on Jan. 5, 2016. Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Schultz were credited with five apiece. ... Ice-time leaders: Ivan Provorov (21:31), Shayne Gostisbehere (21:27) and Brandon Manning (20:36). … Boyd Gordon was 10 for 12 (83 percent) on faceoffs. ... Jakub Voracek had five shots, giving him 21 overall, which ties him for 10th in the league. His goal gave him eight points and ties him with five other players for fourth in the NHL.

RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai 'calms the storm,' rebounds in 2nd start

RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai 'calms the storm,' rebounds in 2nd start

Halapoulivaati Vaitai wasn’t Lane Johnson on Sunday against the Vikings.

But he didn’t look like Halapoulivaati Vaitai either ... at least the version that was a revolving door last week in Washington.

In his NFL debut last week, Big V gave up two sacks, a quarterback hit and a hurry. Against the Vikings, he gave up just one QB hurry.

What led to the change?

“I just think learning from the week before, quite honestly,” head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday. “He really, again, detailed his work during the week. He practiced extremely well. He used his hands better.

“He was able to calm the storm, so to speak, and played a fine football game. He played the type that we saw [in] him and he’s capable of doing. Now it’s something that he can continue to build on.”

While it seemed like Pederson curtailed his offense some to counteract what could be a shaky offensive line, he said it was more about utilizing his team’s strengths. Still, Carson Wentz attempted just four passes that traveled over 20 yards on Sunday and didn’t complete a pass that went more than nine yards in the air.

Despite Vaitai’s scary performance in his debut, Pederson decided to stick to his plan and leave him at right tackle instead of shuffling the offensive line by moving Allen Barbre to tackle and replacing him with Stefen Wisniewski.

The jury is still out on the decision, but the Eagles probably have more confidence in their offensive line for the next eight games of Johnson’s suspension than they did before playing the Vikings.

The Eagles' O-line didn’t give up a sack to the Vikings after giving up five the previous week.

“I thought our guys [Sunday] did a great job of no sacks against a team that had 19 coming in,” Pederson said. “Protected [Wentz], kept him clean and it just gives him confidence now and gives our whole unit confidence moving forward and coming away.”