The Evster's tips on how to maximize your sports watching enjoyment during this bonkers time in sports watchingness

The Evster's tips on how to maximize your sports watching enjoyment during this bonkers time in sports watchingness

There sure is a whole lotta wet, hot, sports action on TV these days. From the Flyers-Rangers and #ThunderGrizzlies to Phillies baseball and GRUDEN'S QB CAMP, there's a very good chance you'll be divorced by Memorial Day. Luckily, I'm here to help. Step 1: Take out a massive life insurance policy and bulldozer your wife. By simply following these six basic rules you'll be able to maximize your sports watching and stay covered on your spouse's health insurance plan.

Tip 1: Buy a Backscratcher

It is a fact, a medical fact, that nothing feels better than a backscratch. (I guess it could be argued that getting your hair shampooed at a fancy salon is slightly better, but let's not split hairs here. ZINGER THAT DOESN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO MAKING SENSE.) During times of high sports-watching stress -- like Ryne Sandberg calling to the bullpen for BJ Rosenberg -- simply grab your trusty backscratcher and scratch your worries away. In a matter of seconds you will forget about everything in this dark, cruel, smelly world as those five razor-sharp teeth tear into your mole-covered skin.

So many claws!

 

Personally, I prefer the Bear Claw™ (only $4.13 on Amazon). It features a comfortable cushion grip handle, telescopic arm and a bear paw shaped metal claw. Perfect for any sized back (and also quite nice on the chest, too). 

Obviously it will be very tempting to ask your significant other for an actual backscratch during this high octane sports period, but I strongly discourage you to do so. Remember, she does not like you. 

Tip 2: Don't Listen to All Those Idiots Who Say Stuff Like, "It's wayyyyyyy too nice out to stay inside and watch TV."

You can, and you will. There will be plenty of nights this summer where you'll be able to dine al fresco. You live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not Oslø, Nørlånd. Stay inside, safe and on your couch, and far away from that giant, flaming ball of fire in the sky. I do not trust that thing. And yes, I realize that the sun is not actually out during nighttime, but it's still stupid to ever leave your house. I lost my car keys at the outlets last weekend and it was TERRIFYING.

Tip 3: Get a Cat

Have you ever watched a game with a real, live cat sitting in your lap? It's so calming. Like, so, so, so calming. You can feel your blood pressure drop while Russell Westbrook shoots pull-up jumpers on 37 straight possessions. Earlier this year I witnessed Ryan Howard whiff at a 3-0 curveball and only because I had Mr. Whiskerson on my lap did I not scream, "WHY DO YOU HAVE THE DUMBEST BUTT" at my television. All because of that furry, little, shitbag. Sure, that cat will shed all over your clothes and your bed will smell like cat piss, but let's be honest your bed already smells like cat piss.

Dope set up, ridiculous hat.

Tip 4: Use an Ottoman at All Times... ALL TIMES I TELL YOU

If you're gonna be spending hours and hours and hours on your couch, you can't be expected to sit up straight with your feet on the floor. This isn't Russia, Danny, is this Russia? Get an ottoman, sink into those cushions and let yourself unflurbolate. There is literally no useful information in this article.

Last week I went to see a doctor because I need a backiotomy and he was all, "Sitting is the worst thing humans can do. We're supposed to be swinging from trees not sitting on couches," and I was like "NOPE, THANK YOU!" and fired him on the spot. Then I realized you can't actually fire a doctor and he was the only medical specialist who took my Korean health insurance. Later he convinced me to start working at a standing desk but joke's on him because I don't have a job.

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/7igFN5e1A1w width=620 height=465]

Tip 5: Get Like a Million TVs

This is obviously a dope-ass move, but a little far fetched for a low roller like you. I guess you could just spend every night at the Fox and the Hound but honestly that place sucks so many butts. Then again pretty much every waitress there has dinosaur breasts.

Tip 6: Remember, Nothing Matters

Do you really think the world would be any different if Joe Carter popped out to left? Life is stupid. Go get some ice cream. You're welcome.

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

Phillies look to 'keep grinding' after latest rough loss to Rockies

Phillies look to 'keep grinding' after latest rough loss to Rockies

BOX SCORE

The Phillies have scored just two runs in 13 innings against a pair of rookie starting pitchers and the eventual outcome has been two losses to the Colorado Rockies the last couple of nights. The latest was an 8-2 setback on Tuesday night (see Instant Replay). That followed an 8-1 loss on Monday night.

What's happening right now at Citizens Bank Park is ugly. The Phillies are in the midst of a freefall that has seen them lose 19 of their last 23 games. They have been outscored 134-91 over that span.

Now, before we completely lose perspective here, the Phillies remain a building team and they were not expected to contend this season. But they weren't supposed to be this bad, either, and right now they are embarrassingly bad at 15-28.

John Middleton, the team's fiery managing partner, watched several innings of Tuesday night's debacle sitting beside Andy MacPhail in the club president's box. Oh, to have been a fly on that wall. Middleton is committed to a patient rebuild from the ground up, but he's also a man who has made it no secret that he likes to win a little. The show that the Phillies are putting on out on the field these days can't sit well with him. Surely it's not sitting well with the fans. Tuesday night's attendance was just 17,109, the lowest of the season, and many in that group headed home after Gerardo Parra's sixth-inning homer gave the Rockies an 8-1 lead.

"We're just in a big rut right now," manager Pete Mackanin said.

Shortstop Freddy Galvis added that he couldn't remember going through anything this bad.

"We have to keep grinding," he said. "Keep grinding, man. It's pretty tough right now."

Tuesday night's loss offered a tale of two young pitchers. Zach Eflin, the Phillies' 23-year-old right-hander and a veteran of just 18 big-league starts, was hit hard. Meanwhile, German Marquez, the Rockies' 22-year-old rookie, was impressive. He held the Phillies to one run over six innings. He twice faced bases-loaded jams and gave up just one run when he walked a batter.

On Monday night, the Phils were held to one run over seven innings by another rookie, Jeff Hoffman.

Rookie pitchers are often good medicine for struggling teams.

"That's the way I look at it," Mackanin said. "Unfortunately it hasn't happened.

"I know we're better than this. I think the team knows they're better than this. I can't fault the hustle. Someone might say there's no energy. Well, when you don't get any hits, there's no energy."

The Phillies have scored just three runs in the last three games.

The scarcity of runs gives the pitching very little room for error. But in this game, Eflin simply did not keep it close. He gave up 10 hits and eight runs over six innings of work. Phillies killer Charlie Blackmon torched Eflin for a pair of two-run homers and Parra got him for a solo shot.

"A poor outing," Mackanin said of Eflin's work. "He couldn't locate. The ball was up in the zone. He's struggling to keep the ball down.

"When he struck out Blackmon in the first inning, it was a two-seamer with great movement, I thought we're in for a good outing here. But then he couldn't keep the ball down. You have to pitch down or you're going to get hurt."

Eflin has given up 21 hits and 15 runs in his last two starts.

"It's frustrating, but it happens. It's baseball," he said. "There are going to be a lot of times in my career where I give up a lot of hits and a lot of runs. But I'm really not worried about it right now. I know that I'm going to continue to work hard and go out every fifth day and, you know, put up a line of winning baseball."

Blackmon has seven home runs in his last five games at Citizens Bank Park. He has three multi-homer games in Philadelphia.

"He seems to like hitting here," Eflin said. "But I just have to execute pitches. There's no excuse. I just have to be on top of my game."

Right now, the Phillies are at the bottom of their game.

"We have to stay together as a team and keep fighting, try to get out of what's happening right now," Galvis said. "It's a really tough situation, but we have keep playing hard."

NHL Playoffs Senators battle past Penguins to force Game 7

NHL Playoffs Senators battle past Penguins to force Game 7

BOX SCORE

OTTAWA, Ontario -- Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators bounced back nicely two days after a blowout loss put them on the brink of elimination.

Anderson stopped 45 shots, Mike Hoffman scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 Tuesday night to force a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The 36-year-old Anderson was coming off a pair of rough outings, including Sunday when he was pulled after yielding four goals in Ottawa's 7-0 loss in Game 5 at Pittsburgh.

"You can't change what happens in the past," said Anderson, who has credited work with a sports psychologist early in his career for helping him manage the mental side of the game. "From that moment on you have to look forward and get ready for the next one."

Hoffman fired a slap shot through traffic off a pass from Fredrik Claesson to put the Senators ahead at 1:34 of the third. Bobby Ryan also scored a rare power-play goal for Ottawa.

It was quite a response after the drubbing in the previous game.

"I think the biggest message for us was if somebody told us back in training camp in September that we'd have an opportunity to win Game 6 in the Eastern Conference final at home in front of our fans we would've taken it," Ryan said. "So let's not dwell, let's not kick ourselves and put our heads down. Let's embrace this opportunity to extend this for two more days together and go from there."

Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh, vying for its second straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final, the lead early in the second period and Matt Murray finished with 28 saves.

"I thought we played a real good game," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought we dominated zone time. We had lots of chances. We didn't score tonight. The puck didn't go in the net, but if we continue to play the game that way, then I believe we'll get the result."

Game 7 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh, with the winner advancing to face the Nashville Predators for the championship.

Ottawa was primarily looking for a return to structure in Game 6, beginning with a smoother start -- which they got. Notable in a scoreless opening period were two effective penalty kills, one of which saw Viktor Stalberg get the best opportunity short-handed.

Pittsburgh had four shots with the man advantage, but Anderson stopped them all. It was evident early that he had his game back in this one. He stopped Nick Bonino off a rebound in transition, Scott Wilson off a deflected shot by Phil Kessel, and Bonino again when Kyle Turris gave the puck away.

Anderson then stopped 22 of 23 shots in the second period.

"I think Anderson was the reason that they got this one, he played big for them," Murray said. "But in our room we just focus on what we need to do. We played really well, we just didn't get the bounces and weren't able to put one home."

Anderson's performance was a reminder for Senators coach Guy Boucher of why he took the job with Ottawa in the first place last May.

"I'll be honest with you, if I didn't have a No. 1 goalie, I didn't want the job," Boucher said. "I've lived it for quite a few years, and it's hell when you don't have it because everything you do turns to darkness, and there's nothing that really matters when you don't have a real No. 1 goaltender.

"It's like a quarterback in football and a pitcher in baseball, and we have it," Boucher added.

Murray was also sharp. The 22-year-old, who replaced Marc-Andre Fleury after Game 3, made maybe his finest save of the first on Derick Brassard, who found an open lane down the middle of the ice following a pass from Ryan.

The Penguins appeared to have opened the scoring just over three minutes into the second, but Trevor Daley was deemed to have interfered with Anderson following an Ottawa challenge.

Less than two minutes later though, Pittsburgh took the 1-0 lead anyway off a few moments of brilliance from Malkin. The playoff scoring leading (24 points) bounced off a check from Zack Smith behind the goal and after being stopped on his drive to the net, followed up with a nifty backhand rebound to beat Anderson.

It was the 153rd career playoff point in 142 games for Malkin -- three back of Sidney Crosby for second among active players behind Jaromir Jagr -- who had been jarring with Hoffman a few minutes earlier.

The Senators had little going until a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage for 1:24 just past the midway point of the period. The Ottawa power play, which had gone 0 for 29 in the previous 10 games, came through with Ryan ultimately wiring a one-timer short-side to tie the score.

It was the sixth goal and 15th point of the playoffs for Ryan, who is second on the Senators behind captain Erik Karlsson (16 points).