"Move Domonic Brown up in the batting order!" you demanded, and your comments did not fall on deaf ears--Ryan Howard heard your cries, and will be heroically sitting out with a "sore knee" in order to give our young masher a chance to do his damange one spot higher in the lineup tonight, and we here at the Level are very excited. It's just like our man Kulp said: "Stop! No! Don’t do it! Right now you don’t want Dom Brown thinking about anything other than what he’s been doing already...Don’t make a single change that might mess with the hot streak he’s riding." Oh. Well, tough noogies, Kulp, he's batting fifth.
Domonic Mordecai will get his chance to tee off in one of the first two innings off Red Sox starter Franklin Morales, who despite pitching in 175 games across seven seasons for the Rockies and Red Sox in his career, has never started a big-league game before. Morales will be taking the place of injured All-Star Clay Buchholz, and hopefully the Phils can find ways to take advantage of his lack of experience, like convincing him that the home team gets four outs in the first three innings of the game! Classic reliever-turned-starter prank.
In the meantime, also take a minute to say hello to Philly second baseman Cesar Hernandez, making his first-ever start for the Phillies tonight after an extremely successful start to the season for the IronPigs, posting a .305/.328/.428 stat line with 15 steals in 19 attempts. Only 23 years old, Hernandez is already being pegged as a potential long-term successor to Chase Utley, though it may be a good game to see him play at least one game for the Phillies (maybe even five) before we deem the best Phillie since Mike Schmidt expendable in his name. I know, formalities.
7:05 first pitch from CBP. Jonathan Pettibone on the mound for the Phils, with the chance to go 4-0 for the year and get the Phils back up to .500 for the first time in a month-and-a-half in the process. Do it for Shane, Jonny.
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.