Eagles Fans' Incredibly Ambivalent Relationship with DeSean Jackson

Eagles Fans' Incredibly Ambivalent Relationship with DeSean Jackson

The Philadelphia Eagles are almost spoiled with two of the most talented and electrifying offensive weapons in the game in LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. Throw in the speed and cannon of Mike Vick and it makes for the chance of excitement every time the Birds have the ball.

But when they need a big play to get back in a game, the chorus from the armchair QBs at home is always the same: send DeSean deep.

Everybody wants to see that.

He really is remarkable to watch at times. When Djacc turns on the jets it seems like nobody in the game can stick with him. But as yesterday's game showed, even when DeSean beats a guy deep on a regular basis, getting the ball cleanly from Vick's hands to No. 10's is not always as easy as it may look.

DeSean dropped one deep ball that seemingly went right through his hands and found himself out of bounds when he caught another. Both incredibly frustrating to watch.

They later connected for a 61-yard score, which makes up a lot for earlier errors, but never entirely.

Those two screw ups aside though, it was a dumb penalty that really got the anti-Djacc blood flowing. It was on the Birds' final touchdown of the day that Jackson really cost his team.

If you didn't get a good look at the boneheaded penalty Jackson was called for on Vick's touchdown run to put them up 27-23 in the fourth, Ray Diddy gives a good description of it in the below video. Basically, DeSean got into it way away from the ball unnecessarily with a Chargers defender and cost his team 15-yards on the kickoff which basically turned into a net 40-yard swing that lead to the Chargers taking the lead for good.

He's a polarizing player, that's for sure. He leads the league in receiving yards after just two games and put up big numbers on Sunday. He found the endzone once for a huge score but as we stated, had his share of mistakes as well.

By all accounts, DeSean is a new player this year, putting the past contract squabble and lackadaisical play behind him. He's poised for a Pro Bowl type season.

Obviously, the defense earns the bulk of the blame for yesterday's loss. Djacc made some great plays for the Birds on Sunday and they probably wouldn't have been in the game without him. Still, if DeSean doesn't get that flag or maybe makes one of those earlier catches and the game could have very easily gone in his favor.

He shared the below photo on Instagram which points out that no individual stats matter when the Eagles don't get the 'W' ... but hey, look at my individual stats anyway.

Alec Asher's two-seamer shines in another effective outing

Alec Asher's two-seamer shines in another effective outing

NEW YORK -- Alec Asher’s two-seamer was nearly perfect against the Mets on Saturday night — even if the pitching line was attached to his name was decidedly less so.

The rookie exited after five innings with four unearned runs attached to his name — two Phillies’ throwing errors on playable ground balls will do that — but lowered his ERA to 1.66 in a 10-8 victory that was far, far closer than it needed to be.

Lost in the shuffle of the Phillies bullpen’s attempt at self-immolation was just how effective Asher’s newly-developed two-seam fastball was in the early innings against the Mets’ full lineup. The relatively slow pitch — it was sitting around 90 MPH Saturday — generated six popouts during his perfect first trip through the batting order.

“Being able to throw a pitch that’s not straight works wonders,” Asher said. “Last year, I didn’t really have success throwing the four-seam, so just adding that little bit of movement misses barrels, [generates] mishits and gave me a lot of ground balls and weak contact, which is all I can ask for.”

Opponents are batting just .182 off Asher’s two-seamer in his four starts this year, according to data from Fangraphs.com, a complete 180 from his disastrous September call-up in 2015.

In his first major league starts, Asher struggled to establish a mound presence with a four-seamer that nearly touched 95 MPH. Opponents batted .250 and got seven extra-base hits off the four seamer as Asher finished 2015 with an ugly 9.31 ERA.

The Phillies challenged Asher to generative more movement on the pitch and he returned in Spring Training with an entirely new repertoire.

So far, the effort has paid off.

“It’s outstanding. It’s been a real good pitch for him and his changeup,” manager Pete Mackanin said of Asher’s two-seamer. “He didn’t have either pitch last year, and for him to come up with it over the course of the winter and throw those pitches so effectively is huge.”

Asher relied on the changeup to escape the fifth inning — the only high-stress situation he faced all evening.

With four runs already in, a fifth runner poised on third base and a Citi Field crowd beside itself in hopes of a miracle comeback, Asher got pinch-hitter James Loney to top a low changeup out of the zone down the first base line that Tommy Joseph stopped with a dive.

“[I wanted] just to slow the game down and take it pitch by pitch,” Asher said.

Even if Saturday wound up being perhaps a bit more frantic than he would have liked to be, Asher has developed a formula for future success as he prepares for his final start of the season next Friday — also against the Mets — and 2017.

“Just establishing the fastball, commanding both sides of the plate and changing speeds,” he said.

His two-run single in the first inning on Saturday night — his first two career RBIs and, ultimately, the winning margin — was a bonus.

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Today's lineup: Jorge Alfaro makes second straight start

Today's lineup: Jorge Alfaro makes second straight start

Catcher Jorge Alfaro is making his second straight start after Saturday's 10-8 win.

Alfaro, the Phillies' top catching prospect, has gone 0 for 11 with a walk in his three career starts, all coming in the last two weeks since he was called up. Alfaro was acquired in the Cole Hamels trade last July and is 1 for 13 with a walk in five games. 

The 23-year-old will catch Jake Thompson in a game that means a lot more to the Mets (1:10/CSN).

Giving Alfaro playing time allows Phillies fans the chance to get a glimpse of the future. Roman Quinn has received plentiful playing time after was called up in the mid-September and Alfaro, like Quinn, is trying to leave an impression on the Phillies' brass before spring training.

Quinn is not in the lineup on Sunday as Aaron Altherr and Cody Asche man the corner outfield spots. Freddy Galvis moved up to second in the lineup after staying in the bottom half of the lineup in recent games.

Ryan Howard will bat fifth, playing likely his final game at Citi Field with the Phillies. While he has batted just .203 in 52 career games at Citi Field, he alos has 11 home runs there after smashing 12 homers at Shea Stadium, the Mets' previous stadium.

Here's the full lineup that will oppose Robert Gsellman and the Mets.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. Aaron Altherr, RF
8. Jorge Alfaro, C
9. Jake Thompson, P

For more on today's game, check out Steven Tydings' game notes

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