Flyers in Buffalo With Two to Go, Playoff Seeding on the Line

Flyers in Buffalo With Two to Go, Playoff Seeding on the Line

We have two more regular season Flyers games in which to find either comfort or agony. That may sound a bit melodramatic, but that's how the games have felt for the better part of at least the past month, and with the postseason looming, I don't see us going monk on the outcomes of the final two. The Flyers have a possible playoff preview on their hands in tonight's visit to Buffalo, a game that also has heavy implications on the overall Eastern Conference playoff picture. 

The Flyers are still playing for seeding and for the pride of a first place finish, whether in the conference or the division. Things like the President's Trophy and first place finishes don't mean much in the shadow of the Stanley Cup, but it's still nice to be able to look back on history and count division titles (particularly if the team also wins the Cup). 

The Sabres have two games left and a one-point lead over the eighth-seeded Rangers, who have only one game remaining and could still be caught by Carolina. If the playoffs were to start today, the Flyers would be hosting Buffalo. However, the Penguins can knock the Flyers to fourth place if they win both of their remaining games and the Flyers lose one of their remaining two. Boston still has a shot at the second seed as well. 

Despite being without Ryan Miller in goal, Buffalo has won three of their last four games and earned points in each of them. Jhonas Enroth, tonight's likely starter for the Sabres, has turned some heads with wins over the Rangers, Hurricanes, and Lightning. He'll face Flyers playoff starter Sergei Bobrovsky before presumably returning to the backup role with Miller nearly ready to play.

So who will respond to whatever call Homer barked out during the closed door meeting? 

West Chester baseball wins Atlantic Regional, moves on to national championship tourney

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Photo credit: Ed Mailliard

West Chester baseball wins Atlantic Regional, moves on to national championship tourney

West Chester University baseball is moving on to the 2017 NCAA National Championships.

The Golden Rams won the Division II Atlantic Regional Final on Monday with a 12-7 decision over Winston-Salem State at Russell Diethrick Park.

Sophomore first baseman Jared Melone reached base six times, going 5 for 5 with a walk and four RBIs, while shortstop Nick Ward scored four runs and collected three hits to help West Chester capture its fourth regional title in program history.

Senior right-hander Josh McClain picked up the win in relief with three innings of one-run ball, as the Golden Rams scored five in the eighth inning to win their first regional crown since 2012, the year they won the national championship. 

West Chester is now 40-11 overall and will open national championship tournament play on Saturday at 3 p.m. against North Georgia in Grand Prairie, Texas.

For more details, see below.

Instant Replay: Rockies 8, Phillies 1

Instant Replay: Rockies 8, Phillies 1

BOX SCORE

The Phillies' offense was quiet again in an 8-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

The Phillies had just three hits. They mustered just three in losing, 1-0, at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

The loss was the Phillies' 18th in the last 22 games. They have been outscored 126-89 over that span.

The Phils are 15-27.

Colorado's 29-17 record is the best in the National League.

Starting pitching report
Jerad Eickhoff gave up nine hits and four runs over six innings. Four of the hits that Eickhoff allowed came in the third inning when the Rockies scored three times. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Eickhoff is 0-5 with a 4.70 ERA in nine starts.

Colorado rookie Jeff Hoffman, called up from Triple A earlier in the day, was impressive in the eighth start of his big-league career. Make that very impressive. He scattered three hits and a run over seven walk-free innings and struck out seven.

Hoffman, a 24-year-old product of East Carolina University, was a first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, going ninth overall, two picks behind Aaron Nola. He was dealt to the Rockies in the trade that sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Jays.

Bullpen report
Pat Neshek pitched a scoreless seventh inning and struck out two.

Scott Oberg, Mike Dunn and Jake McGee closed out the Phillies.

At the plate
The Phils were out-hit, 13-3.

Aaron Altherr had a pair of doubles against Hoffman. He scored the Phillies' lone run on a hit by Tommy Joseph in the fourth.

Charlie Blackmon flared a two-run double to left to score the Rockies' first two runs in the third. DJ LeMahieu followed with an RBI single. Carlos Gonzalez doubled, moved to second on a hit by Mark Reynolds and scored the Rockies' fourth run on a line-drive sacrifice fly by Gerardo Parra in sixth.

The Rockies blew the game open with four runs in the top of the ninth. Nolan Arenado highlighted things with a two-run homer off Luis Garcia.

In the field
First baseman Joseph made a costly error in the ninth.

Lineup stuff
Michael Saunders, who opened the season hitting fifth, was dropped to eighth in the batting order. "He's not hitting," manager Pete Mackanin said in explaining the move. Saunders entered the game on an 0-for-11 skid, hitting just .232. He went 0 for 3 to extend his hitless streak to 14 at-bats.

Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night. Zach Eflin (0-1, 4.25) opposes Colorado right-hander German Marquez (2-2, 4.34).