Phils Lose Series As Offense Bottoms Out

Phils Lose Series As Offense Bottoms Out

For a moment, Jimmy Rollins finally appeared poised to produce some runs from the three spot. Down 2-0 in the third inning with one out and runners on first and second, J-Roll lined a 1-1 curve ball deep to left that would have scored at least one, and potentially tied the game. Ryan Braun gave chase as the ball hung in the damp night, and instead the left fielder stabbed it out of the air in front of the wall (not pictured). Ryan Howard would ground out to end the threat.

Rollins' shot was one of several well-hit fly balls Brewers outfielders were able to snare, as Randy Wolf earned his third career win over the Phillies, and the Milwaukee bullpen pitched three scoreless innings to secure a ghastly 9-0 shutout. It was the first time the Fightins have been blanked this year.

The game may as well have ended on Rollins' near-miss, because the offense certainly was finished. Shane Victorino's double to set up that scoring opportunity would prove to be the final base hit of the game for the Phils, one of their whopping two. Carlos Ruiz, hit by a pitch in the fourth, was the last baserunner until only two outs remained in the ninth inning.

While the bats were a major disappointment, you have to credit the Brewers' pitching and defense to some extent. With the exception of the hanger he threw Rollins, Wolf kept the Phillies' hitters off balance for much of the night. He pitched six strong innings, striking out five. Most of the trouble Wolf did actually experience, he got himself into as a result of his three walks. The guys behind the mound bailed him out of the rest of the tough spots, particularly the very active and rangey outfield.

The game was still close until the seventh inning, when the Brewers were finally able to break it open. Trailing 3-0 with runners on, Charlie Manuel was hoping Roy Halladay could get through the inning so they could pinch hit for him in the bottom half. When Ryan Howard was unable to snag a sharply hit groundball off the bat of Prince Fielder that increased the lead to four, it was David Herndon time.

The next batter, Casey McGhee, found a pitch right in his wheelhouse, and gave it a ride over the left field fence to make it a 7-0 game. The inning would drag on further, and it was a nine-run deficit until all was said and done. At that point, Manuel began lifting starters from the game, including Ruiz who earlier had a Halladay pitch hit him in an unprotected area on his foot.

Fielder and Braun were a two-man wrecking crew, combining for five hits, four runs, and two RBI's on the night. Halladay was tagged for six earned runs in 6.2, and while it clearly wasn't his best stuff, he didn't pitch that bad. The Brewers did not hit many balls hard, but they were able to string together enough offense to score in the second, third, sixth, and seventh innings. Two of those runs were credited to Doc on the Herndon bomb.

Getting back to the Phillies' offensive woes, there is some cause for concern on the whole as they haven't scored more than four runs in over a week. It's been true for some time already they aren't as potent as when they delievered a championship in 2008, and we may be beginning to see some cracks with the current makeup of the lineup.

This is baseball though. The first 10 days, they were knocking the cover off the ball. Now they've come back to earth a little. It's a long season.

AP Photo

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

Matt Rhule's first Baylor hires include 4 Temple assistants

WACO, Texas -- New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state's high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.

Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor's coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

Sean Padden will serve as Baylor's director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.

Rhule didn't immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.

Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.

Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master's degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.

Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn't know yet if he'd be coaching offense or defense.

"Given the opportunity, it's really a unique deal," Wetzel told the newspaper. "I feel like it's God's timing for me to be in the right place at the right time."

When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn't rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn't had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles' staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.

Note
Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor's recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham fined by NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats

Dorial Green-Beckham didn't support any charity with his cleats last Sunday.

In reality, he was funding the NFL.

The Eagles' receiver was fined $6,076 by the NFL for wearing Yeezy cleats (Kanye West's shoes), which had no affiliation to a charitable organization or cause, CSNPhilly.com has confirmed. Players around the NFL last weekend wore decorative spikes supporting a charity or cause they felt passionately about as part of the league's My Cleats, My Cause promotion. Green-Beckham was fined because his cleats were unapproved by the league; earlier this season Houston receiver DeAndre Hopkins was fined for wearing Yeezy cleats. 

Green-Beckham told NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks he was supporting the "Yeezy Foundation." ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the fine on Friday. 

Bradham fined for tackle
Speaking of fines, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was hit with a $18,231 fine for his horse-collar tackle last Sunday on Bengals running back Jeremy Hill in the third quarter.

The first-year Eagle finished the game with five total tackles and a forced fumble.