The Evster remembers the Southwest Philly Floater

The Evster remembers the Southwest Philly Floater

Earlier this week, The 700 Level named the Southwest Philly Floater as our #1 favorite Philly sports moment of the year. Now while you can argue that the Snow Bowl was more epic, or that Spencer Hawes not sucking was more mind-blowing, there was no play -- or post game interview -- that was any more "Philly" than the Southwest Philly Floater.

The shot itself? whatever. It wasn't even really a floater. More of a hop-step, looping layup that pretty much every combo guard in the country has in his arsenal, regardless of where he grew up. The game? meh. A 13th-seeded mid-major knocking off a 12th-seeded bubble squad happens pretty much every March. But there was something about this moment that was just so "Philly."

Tyrone Garland (who by the way, is only the THIRD ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER in the Public League's history, behind only Maureece Rice and a guy named WILTON NORMAN CHAMBERLAIN) didn't settle for an end-of-the-game pull-up jumper like Carmelo, or a step-back 3 like Steph, he drove it into the paint, because that's what Philly guards do. Garland's "Floater" is a high-percentage look in any gymnasium and on every blacktop, regardless of heavy winds or double rims. When the game is on the line in Philly, you don't launch a fadeaway jumper, you take it to the rack. And then you shout out your whole goddamn neighborhood.

What's wrong with Philly fans that this makes us SO happy? To have a stupid basketball play -- and one of the roughest sections of town -- as the lead story on the 11 o'clock SportsCenter? I think it's clear that we have some sort of major inferiority complex, built up from years of living in the shadows of DC and New York. We don't have the polish and pull of the nation's capital, and we can't even come close to the glitter and glam of the Big Apple. The two biggest celebs we've raised in the last 30 years -- Will Smith and Kobe Bryant -- both stuck us in their rearview mirror on the way to LA. Whether or not we choose to admit it, THIS STINGS US DEEPLY, but when a guy like Tyrone Garland -- who left Philly to play ball at Virginia Tech, but then came back! -- puts Southwest Philly on the map, it makes us all proud to be from America's fattest city.

(And by the by, anyone who says Kobe isn't "Philly," shut up. Just shut up. The dude's dad was as Southwest Philly as you can get, playing at the same high school (and college) as Tyrone Garland. Just because Joe Bryant chose to raise his family ZERO POINT THREE MILES west of City Line Avenue, does not mean that his son is a Main Line wimp. If there is a ballplayer whose game is any more "Philly" than Kobe Bryant's -- playing through injuries, attacking the rim, locking up on D -- please show him to me. Rasheed Wallace left North Philly for the wine and cheese of Chapel Hill. Does that make him an outsider? KB is a stone cold killa AND he got a 1080 on his SATs.)

The thing is, most Philly fans who leapt out of their seats after Tyrone Garland's buzzer beater were not from Southwest, nor were they even La Salle basketball fans. I can safely say that La Salle is BY FAR my fifth-favorite city team. Maybe even sixth depending on how Drexel's lookin'. The only time I ever go to Southwest is to pick up a 50-pack of munchkins from the Dunkin Donuts on Island Avenue on the way to the airport. But after Tyrone Garland knocked off Mississippi, we were all from Southwest. We all had a Cousin Bern. And we all considered Craig Sager to be the world's biggest dork.

For one night in March, it didn't matter if you were #TempleMade or belonged to the Merion Cricket Club, Tyrone Garland was representin' for all of us. Nowhere else in the world did coaches teach their guards to take it into big guy's necks. Nowhere else did fellas rock pointy, bushy beards. Nowhere else did people get goosebumps by simply watching the opening credits of Trading Places. Only in the 2-1-5. Only in Illadelph.

Lionel Simmons played Gameboy like a boss.

Yeah, we might mispronounce the plural form of "you", and our public school system is a friggin' joke, but this is the home of the Southwest Philly Floater. The town where Ben Franklin invented a little somethin' called E-LEC-TRICITY. The place where the fastest, most bonkers offense in the NFL put up 54 big ones against the Chicago Bears.

Next victim: the bitch-ass Dallas Cowboys.

YA HEARD?

Follow The Evster @TVMWW

Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Cardinals 1

usa-freddy-galvis-phillies.jpg
USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Phillies 5, Cardinals 1

BOX SCORE

Aaron Nola had everything working Thursday in his most impressive start of the season,  allowing just one run on four hits over 7⅓ innings with a season-high eight strikeouts.

Nola had remarkable, Greg Maddux-like movement and command of his two-seam fastball, especially with two strikes. He fooled the Cardinals all afternoon by starting it outside to hitters from both sides of the plate and having it run back over the outside corner for called third strikes. Of his season-high eight strikeouts, five were looking.

He also had his good, tight curveball working. When Nola pitches like this, he looks like a legitimate No. 2 starter or perhaps even more.

Leaning on Nola, the Phillies beat the Cardinals, 5-1, to avoid a sweep. It was still a series loss, though, their 17th in 24 series this season.

The Phils are 23-48; the Cards are 33-38.

Starting pitching report
Nola consistently worked ahead and stayed ahead of Cardinals hitters, throwing 20 of 27 first-pitch strikes.

Nola improved to 4-5 on the season with a 4.32 ERA. It's been an up-and-down season for him but this was the kind of start that can really get a starting pitcher into a groove.

His most impressive sequences came against Cardinals leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter, who may be the most selective hitter in the majors after Joey Votto. In Carpenter's second at-bat, Nola froze him with a two-seam fastball that darted back over the plate at the last second. The next time up, Nola struck out Carpenter swinging on one of his best, sharpest curveballs of the day.

Nola was on his way to potentially the first complete game of his career before running into some trouble in the eighth inning. He allowed a leadoff homer to second baseman Paul DeJong and walked Carpenter with one out before being lifted for Pat Neshek.

Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez had just an OK afternoon by his standards. He allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings with four strikeouts. Both earned runs came on solo home runs. Martinez was also a victim of poor infield defense in the fifth inning when the Phils scored an unearned run.

Martinez is 6-6 with a 2.87 ERA. He entered Thursday with the fifth-highest strikeout rate among NL starting pitchers.

Bullpen report
Neshek has been money in the bank all season, even if there are frustrating restrictions with his usage. He entered for Nola in the eighth inning and needed just five pitches to induce an inning-ending double play from Tommy Pham. 

In 31 appearances, Neshek has a 0.63 ERA. He's one of only two pitchers in baseball this season to allow two runs or fewer in 20-plus innings. Neshek has allowed two in 28⅔ innings. Dominant Yankees setup man Dellin Betances has allowed two in 22⅔.

Luis Garcia got the final three outs in a non-save situation, but he was set to enter even before the Phillies tacked on their final two runs in the eighth.

Garcia on June 7 in Atlanta allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning in a 14-1 Phillies loss. Aside from that game, he has a 1.65 ERA in 24 appearances. He might be the Phils' closer for a little while with Hector Neris scuffling.

At the plate
Freddy Galvis (7) and Tommy Joseph (11) each hit solo home runs. 

Galvis' homer was his 21st of the last calendar year. The only National League shortstop with more over that span is MVP candidate Corey Seager (23).

Joseph added a two-run single for insurance with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. It was the kind of hit he needed — entering that at-bat, Joseph was hitting .204 in 122 chances this season with men on base.

In the field
Cardinals second baseman DeJong had a rough fourth inning. He dropped a throw from Martinez which could have started a double play but instead placed runners on first and second with no outs.

Three batters later, DeJong couldn't handle a flip from shortstop Aledmys Diaz which would have resulted in an inning-ending forceout. Instead, everyone was safe, and the dropped ball allowed a heads-up Andres Blanco to score all the way from second. The error on the play was charged to Diaz.

On the bases
Odubel Herrera committed a baserunning gaffe for the second straight game. He was picked off of third base with one out in the fourth inning, erasing an RBI opportunity for Daniel Nava.

This just 17 hours after Herrera ran through Juan Samuel's stop sign and was thrown out at the plate by about 30 feet in the ninth inning of a tie game.

Up next
The Phillies head out West for four games in Arizona followed by two in Seattle.

They will face left-handers Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray, and then right-handers Zack Greinke and Taijuan Walker. 

The Phillies haven't yet named a starter for Friday's game.

Flyers begin 2017-18 season out West, face Vegas for 1st time in February

Flyers begin 2017-18 season out West, face Vegas for 1st time in February

For the second straight year, the Flyers are beginning the season out West.

The NHL on Thursday released its 2017-18 schedule and as reported Wednesday, the Flyers open the season in San Jose on Oct. 4 as part of a four-game road trip that includes games in Los Angeles, Anaheim and concludes in Nashville on Oct. 10.

They'll return home on Oct. 14 for their home opener against the Washington Capitals that kickstarts a five-game homestand (see story). The Flyers will host the Islanders on Black Friday.

Flyers fans will have to wait a while for their first taste of the Vegas Golden Knights. The Flyers will face the Golden Knights for the first time on Feb. 11 in Vegas.

Vegas comes to Philadelphia on March 12. The Flyers and Golden Knights play just twice this season.

The Flyers will end the season at home against the New York Rangers.

You can see the Flyers' full schedule here.