Flyers-Devils Game 3: Onwards and Upwards

Flyers-Devils Game 3: Onwards and Upwards

Today's game day post is a special guest edition by none other than Flyers Goal Scored By. These are his words:

Webster's Dictionary defines 'mulligan' as: "A turd of a hockey game that leaves way too many unanswered questions." The Flyers were frustratingly casual on Tuesday night, gift wrapping a winnable game for the New Jersey Devils. Instead of a comfortable two game lead, the Flyers woke up to the fact that this Devils team is good and advancing to the Eastern Conference Final will be no cake walk.

Oh how fickle playoff hockey can be.  Up 1-0, dreams of a L.A. Kings vs Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup series fluttered through our heads. Now tied 1-1, we're casting doubts on a once great powerplay and wondering where the dominating Flyers have gone. The Flyers had great success generating a forecheck against the Penguins.  Add a Marty Broduer-sized wrench (Editor's Note: That's a big wrench) in the works and you start seeing problems.  Devils are clearing their zone with ease, something that needs to change in order for Philadelphia to be successful. At this point of the series, Chooch is hitting more than Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers need their sandpaper to muck it up in front of Broduer and to get that forecheck going. You saw Simmer and Schenn doing work in the Devils zone on the Matt Read goal on Tuesday night. This is the type of Jam that Laavy likes to smother on his english muffins on Sunday mornings. Give him his jam, Flyers. Give. it. to. him.

The biggest doubt I have about this series is wether or not the Flyers can win a game where they don't have to score more than 3 goals. That may be a roundabout way of chirping Ilya Bryzgalov, but Philly's goalie wasn't the issue on Tuesday night. Bryz kept a lethargic team in the game with a lead for 2+ periods. If the Flyers can get that performance out of Bryz tonight, they'll be in good shape to grab a victory. The Bryz Cadet gets a lot of flak when he let's in a softee like Sykora's pillow in Game 1, but his control in game 2 should give Flyers fans hope of grabbing a game or two in North Jersey.

Can the Flyers play a sound enough game defensively that won't require them to *have* to put a snowman up on the scoreboard? That is looking like the question of the series.

So pay the tolls, feather your hair and acid wash those jeans, we're headed to North Jersey. The Devils already look to be a tougher opponent than the Penguins in almost every area. It's up to the coaches to adapt their gameplay and for the players to muster enough emotion to take this series back. Playoff JVR playing in his backyard? Fuggedaboutit. Bartender, first round is on us, let's giddy up and f*cking go!

Let's Go Flyers.

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

Instant Replay: Nationals 4, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

The Phillies were beaten, 4-0, by the Washington Nationals on Monday night, but wins and losses don’t matter as much as development in a rebuilding season, so there was a bright spot: Rookie right-hander Jake Thompson finally broke through with a good start in holding the Nats to two runs over seven innings.
 
The Phillies’ offense was not good. It produced just four hits on the night.
 
Washington got all the offense it needed when Jayson Werth, the second batter of the game, homered off Thompson in the first inning.

The Nats lead the NL East at 76-55. The Phils are 60-71.
 
The crowd of 16,056 was the smallest of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
 
Starting pitching report
Thompson had struggled in four starts — 9.78 ERA — since arriving from Triple A and there were questions whether he’d even make this start. But he put together a nice outing. After giving up two runs in the first inning, he pitched six straight scoreless innings, finishing his outing with three strikeouts, the last of which came on his 111th pitch when he froze Trea Turner with a breaking ball with two men on base. Thompson allowed seven hits — four in the first three innings — and walked one.
 
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark pitched seven shutout innings to improve to 14-7. He held the Phils to four hits and a walk and struck out five.

Roark is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA (two earned runs in 28 innings) in four starts against the Phillies this season. The Nats are 15-4 in his last 19 starts.

Bullpen report
Frank Herrmann gave up two runs in the ninth.
 
At the plate
Odubel Herrera had two of the Phillies’ four hits.
 
Werth’s homer in the top of the first was his 19th. Anthony Rendon drove in a run with a two-out single in that inning. Clint Robinson and Turner had RBI singles in the ninth to push the Nats’ lead to 4-0.
 
ICYMI
Herrera is staying in center field for the remainder of the season, Pete Mackanin said (see story).
 
Up next
The series continues on Tuesday night. Jerad Eickhoff (9-12, 3.87) pitches against Washington right-hander Max Scherzer (14-7, 2.92).

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Eagles sign Soul DT Jake Metz following workout

Jake Metz has gone from the Soul to the Eagles.

Soul majority owner Ron Jaworski on Monday night tweeted a congratulatory message about the defensive tackle signing with the Eagles.

Metz and Soul wide receiver Darius Reynolds, fresh off an ArenaBowl title last Friday, worked out for the Eagles this afternoon before practice. Metz is the 74th player on the roster, which means the team is still below the next cut line — which is Tuesday at 4 p.m. — of 75. The Eagles' roster has to be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Metz, 25, graduated from Souderton Area High School and played his college ball at Shippensburg University. For the Arena Football League champions, Metz posted Soul highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (10).

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

Pete Mackanin says Odubel Herrera will stay in CF this season — but beyond?

A couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a chance he could look at Odubel Herrera in a corner outfield spot over the final weeks of the season.

Scrub that idea.

“Not this year,” Mackanin said Monday. “If we decide we're going to do that, we'll encourage him to play a corner in winter ball and then in spring training, if that's what we decide to do.

“I thought about doing that. But I don't know if we want to do that now. We’ll just let him get back on track offensively. I won't say it won't happen here or there. But we're not going to make that move right now.

“Let's try to keep his mind as uncluttered as possible right now. It looks a little cluttered.”

The Phillies have thought about moving Herrera to a corner spot because they have a top center field prospect in Roman Quinn. Also, Aaron Altherr is an excellent defender in center.

Quinn seemed to be on target for a call up after the Eastern League playoffs, but that could be in doubt now that he’s on the disabled list with a concussion.

Still, Quinn may be this club’s centerfielder of the future. And behind him is Mickey Moniak, this year’s top draft pick. He’s a ways away. But it’s worth wondering if the Phillies believe Herrera’s future is at a corner outfield spot. Or whether Herrera will be wintertime trade bait.

Mackanin was asked if he believed Herrera’s future would be in a corner spot.

“You know, I'd rather not really even comment on that,” he said. “I don't want him to think that we're not pleased with him. I just want to keep him confident the rest of the season.”

Herrera’s defense in center field has slipped this season.

“He was better last year defensively,” Mackanin said. “He's made a lot of mistakes this year. I think we've all seen that. But that doesn't mean he's not going to play center field anymore. There's another month left to see what happens.”

Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game. He hit .294 with a .378 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage before the All-Star break. Since then, however, he was hitting .252 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage entering play Monday night.