What Philly Is Overreacting To: Domonic Brown's Spring

What Philly Is Overreacting To: Domonic Brown's Spring

Presented without explanation, our new feature: What Philly Is Overreacting To.

The graphic says it all. Domonic Brown sucks.

0 for 12? I had a streak like that—in little leauge, once. Well... 0 for 12 was probably normal actually. I think I was scared of the ball then. Dom Brown must be scared of the ball, too.

That's it! He's scared of the ball. It makes so much sense. How else do you explain the 21 consecutive recorded at bats dating all the way back to September 28 since Brown has registered a base hit in a Major League Baseball gamebook? Amazing he could make it to the show with such a glaring hole in his game.

Or, it's spring training, and the young man is working on his swing. What statistics can you recite, let alone find, from prior seasons' exhibition games? Any? C'mon, that time you were in Clearwater and Ryan Howard went 3 for 4 with a couple of moonshots is pretty remote, and doesn't count.

Look, these are the only relevant numbers so far.

73 plate appearances. Between regular season and playoffs, Brown has officially stepped in the batter's box a total of 73 times. Now I don't watch as much SportsCenter as I used to, but I can't remember the last time they posted a graphic detailing the best players in history through their first 73 at bats.

To put 73 plate appearances in perspective, it ranked 17th on the Phillies in 2010, even behind pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. Jayson Werth stood at the dish nearly 10 times that amount last season alone. Oh yeah, and Mr. Rock Star didn't hit his first career dinger until plate appearance number 70; Brown's already got two. Smoked.

Fourth on Baseball America's prospect list. This isn't just any kid Phillies fans are pinning their hopes and dreams on. Brown is legitimately one of the top young players in baseball. Just ask these people.

Obviously, Dom is on there for a reason. Maybe it's because he has excelled and then some at every level in the minor leagues, culminating with his participation in last year's All-Star Futures game. Maybe it's because he's a five-tool outfielder with so much raw athletic ability, he honestly could have played wide receiver for the Miami Hurricanes.

Regardless, Brown worked his way up that list. It's not a draft board, nor an entirely inconsequential rating. People in the know believe he's gonna be good.

Ben Francisco. That's not a number, you say? It's not always about Domonic Brown, ya know.

Because while Dom hacks away and learns the tools of the trade, Francisco is having the best spring of any Phillies hitter so far. If these games have anything to do with who will be in right field come April 1, there is no debate his .308 batting average and club-high five RBI's make Benny Fresh the early leader.

Ben Francisco can start in right field on Opening Day, and that's okay. It would arguably say more about the way he's getting it done at the plate.

Domonic Brown will play a major role on the Phillies in 2011 though, and likely beyond. He has outrageous physical talent, but he's only 23-years-old. Obviously he has a few things to work on, but there is plenty of baseball ahead. Talk to me when the struggles last into the summer.

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles (5-7) come into Sunday's game against the Redskins (6-5-1) on a three-game losing streak.

The Redskins exposed the Eagles' defense the last time these two teams met almost two months ago on Oct. 16.

Here are our (cough) expert predictions for this Week 14 matchup.

Dave Zangaro (4-8)
After losing three straight games, I couldn't pick the Eagles against just about any team in the NFL. Maybe Cleveland. Maybe Chicago. 

But against Washington? Nah. Can't do it. 

Sure, I know Washington comes into the Linc on a two-game losing streak, and they're clearly not a top team in the NFC. It just doesn't matter. Kirk Cousins is a decent quarterback and Washington clearly has enough weapons to shred the Eagles like they did for 493 yards in the first meeting. 

For the Eagles' offense, Carson Wentz hasn't looked good in a long time and this week he enters with a few of his skill position players banged up. 

This looks like another loss to me. 

Washington 26, Eagles 20

Derrick Gunn (5-7)
The Eagles are an embarrassed, desperate team, and a win over the Redskins could lift the weight of what has been a downward spiral. Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews returned to practice this week, but can they jolt this offense back to life? Carson Wentz has played like a rookie the last three games, and the once stout defense has crumbled.

So here come the Redskins, losers of two in a row but still very much in the playoff conversation. The Redskins' defense is beat up and could be missing several key players, but unfortunately for the Eagles, Washington's offensive weapons are relatively healthy, except for tight end Jordan Reed, who's listed as questionable with an AC joint sprain. Matt Jones and Robert Kelley pack a punch out of the backfield. 

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been in a zone. Over their last six games, Cousins has averaged 352.6 passing yards, plus he's thrown 12 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. 

The Eagles remember what Washington did to them back in Week 6, but I feel their revenge motives will fall short.

Redskins 27, Eagles 17

Ray Didinger (5-7) 
With all the talk this week about effort and players dogging it, I fully expect the Eagles to come out focused and fired up at home Sunday. Here's the problem: I just don't know if they are good enough to win the game. Motivation is one thing, but talent is another and right now, the Eagles are lacking in that area.
 
The players have been called out by their coach, by the media and by the fans so if they have any pride at all they will come out and play hard against the Redskins but I look at the matchup of this Eagles' secondary against the Washington receivers — especially a hot DeSean Jackson (25.3 yards per catch the last three games) — and I don't see a happy result.
 
Redskins 24, Eagles 17

Corey Seidman (5-7)
Close game, better performance from Carson Wentz and an awakening in the run game, but not enough defensive talent to shut down what Washington will try to do deep with DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder, over the middle with Jordan Reed and short with Pierre Garcon.

Redskins 31, Eagles 27

Andy Schwartz (5-7)
It's simply come to this. I can't pick the Eagles to win a game the rest of the season until they do.

I want to think the offense will benefit from the return of Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews. And I want to think the defense will play with desperation and break out of its "slump" and make some big plays.

But I won't believe it until I see it.

Redskins 24, Eagles 16

Shayne Gostisbehere suffers bone bruise on right hand in win over Stars

Shayne Gostisbehere suffers bone bruise on right hand in win over Stars

Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot off his right hand in the second period Saturday and has a bone bruise. 
 
The Flyers will watch it because sometimes the swelling prevents wearing a glove comfortably the next day.
 
Ghost, who has five points – all assists – over his past six games, was hit with a puck in the second period of a 4-2 win over the Stars. He went to the bench and tried to shake it off, but left for the dressing room shortly after a Flyers power play began in the period’s final three minutes.
 
He participated for part of the power play, then left the ice and did not return until the start of the third period.
 
“It was good by then,” he said. “Obviously, it hurt a bit.”
 
The Flyers play in Detroit on Sunday night. 
 
Ghost has 16 points (four goals) in 29 games this season. X-rays were negative, he said, adding he was not worried about the hand, which was badly swollen after the game.