Eagles deal Kolb to Cards for Rodgers-Cromartie


Eagles deal Kolb to Cards for Rodgers-Cromartie

Less than 16 months after they traded Donovan McNabb to the Redskins to make Kevin Kolb their quarterback of the future, the Eagles on Thursday finalized their long-awaited blockbuster Kevin Kolb trade, ending Kolbs Eagles career after four years and just seven starts.

In exchange for Kolb, the Eagles received Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick in 2012.

Kolb, who was entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, received a five-year extension worth 63 million with about 21.5 million in guaranteed money. The last two years of his deal with the Eagles were worth 12.26 million guaranteed.

Kolb, who turns 27 next month, has won just three of seven starts in his four-year career. Rodgers-Cromartie, who turned 25 in April, was a Pro Bowl pick in 2009 (more on him here).

Hes very well deserving of this opportunity, head coach Andy Reid said after the Eagles afternoon training camp practice at Lehigh University. Hes got a great head coach thats got an offensive mind (Ken Whisenhunt) and a pretty good wide receiver (Larry Fitzgerald), whos one of the best in the business, so hes in a good position there with good players around him.

I know hell do a great job, and Im pulling for him, because hes so deserving of it. Hes that good. Hes that good where he can do this.

The trade was engineered by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who also unloaded McNabb to the Redskins last year.

In exchange for two quarterbacks who werent going to play here, the Eagles got an all-rookie safety, a Pro Bowl cornerback, a likely linebacker contributor in Casey Matthews and second- and fourth-round picks in 2012.

We think the world of Kevin Kolb, Roseman said. This is really a win-win for both teams. Arizona is getting a quarterback in Kevin Kolb that is going to be a heck of a player for them. We feel very strongly about Kevin Kolb. This was a great opportunity for both sides to improve their own teams.

Kolb went 3-4 in seven starts with the Eagles, but passed for 300 yards three times and was twice named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. But his fate was sealed only one half into his first opening-day start, when he suffered a concussion just before halftime against the Packers and Michael Vick immediately began performing at an extremely high level in his place.

Once Reid decided to stick with Vick, Kolbs fate was sealed. The only drama was where the Eagles would trade him, and during the final weeks of the lockout, Arizona emerged as his likely destination.

His hard work rewards this football team, because by him leaving we were able to get first-round compensation and a second-round pick, Reid said. That tells you that other people believed he was a good football player. When hes had opportunities, hes done a good job. ... His work ethic is phenomenal.

The Cards have been looking for a quarterback since likely Hall of Famer Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season. They released 2010 starter Derek Anderson earlier this week and have only Max Hall, John Skelton and Rich Bartel on the roster at the quarterback position.

Kolb, a second-round pick out of Houston in 2007, became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first two NFL starts, a loss to the Saints and a win over the Chiefs, while McNabb was hurt in 2009. Kolb also had a 326-yard game against the Falcons last year.

Even though he only started seven games as an Eagle, Kolb ranks sixth in Eagles history with three 300-yard games, behind only McNabb (27), Randall Cunningham (12), Ron Jaworski (12), Sonny Jurgensen (10) and Norm Snead (eight).

But despite several brilliant games, Kolbs overall numbers as an Eagle werent overwhelming.

He completed 61 percent of his passes in an Eagles uniform, with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for a 73.2 passer rating. In three starts last year while Vick was out with a rib injury, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 810 yards with five TDs and three INTs.

Kolbs 61 percent completion percentage is second-highest in Eagles history among quarterbacks whove thrown at least 200 passes. He trails only Vick (62.1 percent) and is just ahead of Bubby Brister (60.3 percent).

Vick, who turned 31 last month, ranked fourth in the NFL in passer rating (100.2) and won eight of 11 regular-season starts last year in his first season as a starter since 2006 with the Falcons. Vick last fall threw 21 touchdowns and six interceptions and rushed for 676 yards and nine more touchdowns.

Kafka, who turned 24 on Monday, is expected to remain the Eagles No. 3 quarterback this year. The Eagles will likely dip into free agency to find Vicks backup.
E-mail Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com

Related: Rodgers-Cromartie helps Eagles solidify secondary Didinger: Babin signing says a lot about Washburn

Best of MLB: Dodgers deny Cubs' Jake Arrieta 21st straight win


Best of MLB: Dodgers deny Cubs' Jake Arrieta 21st straight win

CHICAGO -- Scott Kazmir and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, matching zeros with Cubs ace Jake Arrieta before the Los Angeles Dodgers got to Chicago's bullpen for a 5-0 victory Tuesday night.

Arrieta went seven scoreless innings, but was denied his 21st consecutive victory. The Cubs had won in Arrieta's last 23 starts.

Cubs left-hander Clayton Richard (0-1) gave up three straight singles to lefties in the eighth, the last Adrian Gonzalez's liner to left that scored Chase Utley and ended the Dodgers' 16-inning scoreless streak.

Corey Seager hit a three-run homer off Trevor Cahill in the ninth.

Joe Blanton (3-2) struck out three in two perfect innings as the Dodgers snapped the Cubs' six-game winning streak.

Kazmir allowed a single and a walk with seven strikeouts in six innings. Adam Liberatore struck out one in a perfect ninth (see full recap).

Betts hits trio of homers in Red Sox win
BALTIMORE -- Mookie Betts hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs, and the Boston Red Sox cruised past the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Tuesday night to open a three-game lead in the AL East.

Betts led off the game with a shot to center and added a three-run drive to left in the second inning. After lining out to second base in the fourth, Betts hit a bases-empty homer to right in the seventh.

Batting in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the major league record of four homers in a game, Betts grounded out to second against rookie Ashur Tolliver.

Still, he's the first Boston player to hit three homers in a game since Will Middlebrooks against Toronto on April 7, 2013. Betts' 12 home runs rank second on the team behind David Ortiz, who has 14.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts stretched his career-best hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the seventh inning (see full recap).

Rockies tie franchise record with 7 HRs
DENVER -- Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each hit two of Colorado's team record-tying seven homers, powering the Rockies to a 17-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to hit leadoff homers in back-to-back games and added his first career grand slam in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez homered for a fourth straight game, while DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra also went deep.

It was the first time Colorado hit seven homers at Coors Field. The team also had seven on April 5, 1997, in Montreal.

Rockies right-hander Jon Gray (3-2) allowed three runs in six solid innings.

Jon Moscot (0-3) was hit hard in his return from the disabled list. He surrendered seven runs and four homers in two innings. Moscot also was grazed in the right ear in the third while bunting. Moscot stayed down for a moment before taking his base (see full recap).

Difference in talent, power glaring as Phillies continue to lose to top teams


Difference in talent, power glaring as Phillies continue to lose to top teams


The gap in talent level that exists between the Phillies and some of the top teams in the majors has really been evident over the last eight games.
The Phillies have lost seven of those eight games to the Tigers, Cubs and Nationals. Tuesday night brought the latest defeat, a 5-1 loss to the National League East-leading Nats at Citizens Bank Park (see Instant Replay). The Nats have won the first two games of the series and go for the sweep on Wednesday night.
While losing seven of their last eight, the Phillies have seen their feel-good story turn to dust. Their record has gone from 25-19 to 26-26 and their deficit in the NL East from two games to 5½.
“We had a good month and a half,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “When things are going good, they snowball. When things are going bad, they snowball. We’ve got to keep that snowball from rolling. We’ve got to get out of it.”
There are a number of reasons the Phillies have hit hard times. Poor offense is a big one. They have been held to two or fewer runs five times in their last seven losses and 20 times for the season. They are now averaging 3.15 runs per game, the lowest mark in the majors. Offense like that is the reason why Aaron Nola can pitch six innings of two-run ball and lose on two mistake pitches as he did Tuesday night. These pitchers have no margin for error.
One of the offensive’s big shortcomings is the lack of power. The Phils have been out-homered 15-7 in the last eight games. Washington hit four longballs on Tuesday night; the Phillies hit none. In fact, the Phillies had just four hits – period.
“We’re just getting out-homered every night,” Mackanin said. “We’re not hitting home runs. I feel like it’s a broken record. We’re not hitting.”
For the season, the Phillies have 39 homers. Only Atlanta has hit fewer.
And it doesn’t appear as if things are going to get all that much better any time soon. Management would consider trading for a bat close to the July trading deadline – if the team is in the race. With reality striking hard lately, it’s tough to see this team being in the race for anything but a top-10 pick in next year’s draft. In the short term, the Phils could soon have Cody Asche back on the roster.
“Our pitching overall has been very good,” Mackanin said. “We’ve just got to hit.”
The Nationals won this game with power and good starting pitching.
Right-hander Joe Ross held the Phils to a run over seven innings – an RBI triple by Cesar Hernandez.
Meanwhile, Jayson Werth capitalized on a poorly located fastball by Nola and homered two batters into the game. Daniel Murphy got Nola in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.
Nola would like to have had both pitches back.
“The pitch to Werth was right down the chute,” he said. “With Murphy, I wanted to get it in a little further and I didn’t.”
Other than that, Nola was pretty good. He pitched out of trouble in the second inning and was supported by a double play started nicely at second by Hernandez and a nice catch by Odubel Herrera in center field.
“We’re doing some things right but not enough of them,” Mackanin said.
“That’s baseball,” Nola said of the lack of run support. “Sometimes we pitch bad and get a lot of run support. The guys are battling. I feel like we’re going to bounce back the next couple of games.”
The Nationals blew the game open with three runs in the ninth against reliever Colton Murray. Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run homer and Stephen Drew followed with an inside-the-park homer.
The two home runs deprived Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon a chance at a save as he recorded the final three outs against his old team.

Instant Replay: Nationals 5, Phillies 1


Instant Replay: Nationals 5, Phillies 1


The Phillies' late-May slide continued in a 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
Aaron Nola delivered a solid start, but got poor run support. The Phillies entered the game averaging 3.2 runs per game, lowest in the majors.
The Nationals scored all their runs on home runs.
The Phillies have lost nine of their last 11 games. They are 1-7 in their last eight and have gone from 25-19 and two games back in the NL East to 26-26 and 5½ games back.
Starting pitching report
Nola went six innings and allowed two runs, both on solo homers. He walked one and struck out six. He is 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
Washington right-hander Joe Ross (5-4) pitched a strong game. He gave up just three hits and a run over seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Ross has given up just two runs over 14 innings in his last two starts.
Bullpen report
Jonathan Papelbon closed it out for the Nats in a non-save situation.
At the plate
The Phillies had just four hits. They have been held to two or fewer runs 20 times in their 52 games.

Cesar Hernandez tripled home the Phillies' only run.

Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy accounted for the Nationals’ first two runs pair of solo homers against Nola. Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run homer off Colton Murray in the ninth and Stephen Drew followed with an inside-the-park homer.
Murphy also singled in the game. He had 47 hits in the month of May, tying a Washington/Montreal franchise record that had previously been shared by Al Oliver and Marquis Grissom.

Lineup stuff
Mackanin was trying to send Hernandez a message by batting him eighth (see story).
Bryce Harper did not play for Washington. He was hit on the right leg by a pitch in Monday night’s game.
Slumping Ryan Howard started at first base and went hitless in three at-bats to fall to .154. He hit .101 (7 for 69) in the month of May.
Howard will not start Wednesday night against Max Scherzer. He is 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against Scherzer. Tommy Joseph will start that game.
Minor matters
Cody Asche’s minor-league rehab stint expires Wednesday. He could rejoin the team at any time.
Up next
 The series concludes on Wednesday night. Lefty Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67) pitches against Washington right-hander Scherzer (5-4, 4.05).