In Final Series of 2012, Phillies Can Still Play Role of the Spoiler Against Washington

In Final Series of 2012, Phillies Can Still Play Role of the Spoiler Against Washington

For five consecutive years, some poor saps in the opposite dugout had to retreat back inside the clubhouse with heads hanging as the inevitable unfolded on the diamond: the Phillies celebrating an NL East pennant. On three of those occasions, the poor saps were the Washington Nationals.

At some point in the next three days, there's a very good chance the shoe will finally wind up on the other foot. However, inevitable it is not.

The Nats currently hold a three-game lead over Atlanta, which means if the Phillies sweep Washington, and the Braves sweep the Pirates, there will be a tie for first place. That would result in a one-game playoff to determine the division champion, and Philadelphia spared the sight of a rival popping corks.

What are the odds the Fightins can pull this off? Well, they did beat the Nats in seven of eight at one point this season before dropping the last two, including a sweep. Down south, the Braves are 19-8 in September, the Pirates 7-21. It's plausible.

If the Phillies are to get it done, they would first need Kyle Kendrick to cooperate as he shoots for a career-high 11th win. KK has been shaky in two of his last three outings though, and especially his latest start which happened to be against Washington: 2.0 IP, 5 ER. Then a lineup absent Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, who has the night off with a calf tweak, will have to solve unbeaten John Lannan, 4-0 in five starts this year.

And tomorrow, it sounds like the game will be in the bullpen's hands, with pitching coach Rich Dubee informing reporters Johnny Wholestaff will be the starter.

So sweeping the Nats, and expecting the Braves to do the same to Pittsburgh isn't the likeliest of scenarios. But it is a scenario, so there you have it.

The Rockies Twitter account tweeted whole game in 'Rocky' quotes

The Rockies Twitter account tweeted whole game in 'Rocky' quotes

If you watched Monday night's Phillies loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, you probably weren't very entertained -- unless you're a Rockies fan.

But if you followed the game on Twitter and happen to follow the Rockies' account, you may have been slightly more entertained.

Slightly.

They tried something we haven't seen from an opposing team just yet. They tweeted throughout the game using only quotes from the Rocky movie franchise.

Now, you can debate how successful of a move this was but you have to at least give them some points for creativity. And it's not like this was a playoff game with high stakes. This was a relatively boring Monday night game in the middle of May.

You can read our recap of the Phillies' 8-1 loss right here. Or here's how the night transpired on Twitter:

Are we there yet? Philly Sports Talk examines the state of the Sixers

Are we there yet? Philly Sports Talk examines the state of the Sixers

All week on Philly Sports Talk on CSN, we examine how our teams got to this point and where they are in the rebuilding process. 

On Tuesday, Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato takes a look at the state of the Sixers

How did we get here?
By now, you all know about “The Process.” The Sixers last competitive season was five years ago when they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012. They began dismantling that group, and the following year, went 34-48 under Doug Collins. 

The Sixers then entered a three-year period of dismal basketball with a revolving door of players coached by Brett Brown that culminated in a 47-199 record. During that time, they stockpiled injured players, draft-and-stash prospects and a handful of future picks through transactions made by then-general manager Sam Hinkie.

Hinkie stepped down from his role with a memorable 13-page resignation letter last April. The Sixers hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations, marking a new chapter in the organization. 

The 2016-17 season was the first glimpse into the potential of “The Process.” They finished 28-54, including a 10-5 month of January. Joel Embiid made his NBA debut after two years. While he was limited to 31 games because of (another) injury, he quickly proved he can dominate when healthy. Dario Saric came to the NBA two years after being drafted in 2014 and emerged as a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate after Embiid was shut down for the season. The Sixers landed the number one pick in the 2016 draft and are waiting on the debut of Ben Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in training camp. This season, the Sixers established legitimate pieces for their future, rather than players who could be on the summer league team. 

Are the Sixers on the right path back to prosperity?
The Sixers are on the right path back to prosperity, and it starts this offseason. They have the third pick in the 2017 draft, with the possibilities of adding another young talent or packaging the pick to land a more established player. The Sixers have flexibility with plenty of cap space — which they could use to acquire a key free agent. The team has maintained they will not rush into making a trade just for the sake of it  — Jahlil Okafor’s future with the Sixers is still uncertain — or spending money just because it’s available. The Sixers showed flashes of potential last season. If they gather the right pieces this summer and — a big “and” — they stay healthy, the Sixers will continue to move toward an upward trend of rebuilding with the longer-term goals (this isn't happening overnight) of becoming a contender again. 

Coming Wednesday: A look at the Phillies' rebuild