Video: James van Riemsdyk Hits Home Run at Citizens Bank Park

Video: James van Riemsdyk Hits Home Run at Citizens Bank Park

A group of Flyers came over to Citizens Bank Park after their morning skate around to take batting practice before Monday's Phillies-Cardinals series finale.

James van Riemsdyk, who we've seen play soccer with the Philadelphia Union, stole the show from his teammates this afternoon, crushing a couple of balls to the warning track before finally hitting a home run over the left field wall.

"He's a complete player, eh?" teammate Claude Giroux said of JVR's power.

If van Riemsdyk was the Ryan Howard of the Flyers' bunch, Giroux was the Shane Victorino, spraying base hits all across the field. Both played baseball a little growing up, but never at any high level.

Alternate Angle:

Two Phillies players who came out to watch the Flyers take some hacks were Pete Orr and Brian Schneider, both with Canadian connections.

"I want to do a skate around with them," Orr said.

A native of Toronto, Orr said he still plays hockey on Saturdays in the winter. "Our first game is October 14th. I don't think I'm going to make it."

Shane Victorino briefly stuck his head out of the dugout to talk some smack to the orange and black.  We'd tell you what he said exactly, but it was an inaudible string of words from where I was standing.

Scott Hartnell was having none of it.

"Stick around and watch. Take notes," Hartnell said. "The Flyin' Hawaiin doesn't skate or what?"

Hartnell wasn't all that successful at the plate, chirping that he needed a right-handed pitcher, but he did cover a whole lot of ground fielding flyballs out in right center.

And yes, Harts hit the grass on numerous occasions.

"Good thing he's not wearing white shorts," Giroux joked of Hartnell.

*

Other Flyers who took some hacks included Matt Carle, Kimmo Timonen, Jody Shelley, and Max Talbot.

Photos and video by The700Level.com

Eagles-Bengals Week 13: What they're saying

Eagles-Bengals Week 13: What they're saying

The Eagles have left themselves little to no room for error. 

A second consecutive loss dropped the Eagles (5-6) under .500 for the first time this season and pushed them a game and a half behind the Redskins (6-4-1) for the second wild card spot, with a number of teams still vying for that sixth and final position.

Now the Eagles will try to keep their fading playoff hopes alive as they travel to Cincinnati to face the struggling Bengals (3-7-1). Cincinnati is currently riding a three-game losing streak and hasn't won a game since Oct. 23. 

The last time these two teams met was all the way back in 2012, when the Bengals routed Nick Foles and the Eagles at the Linc, 34-13.

To find out more about the A.J. Green-less Bengals, here's what they're saying about the Eagles' Week 13 opponent heading into Sunday.

Starting slow …
The Bengals' problems this season have started on their first defensive drive. While Cincinnati boasts an average scoring defense at 17th overall (22.3 points per game), opposing offenses have scored with ease against the Bengals to open games.

In seven of the Bengals' first 11 games, the opposition has scored on its opening drive, with a touchdown coming six times of those times. In over half of their games the Bengals have trailed after the first quarter, in which they have gone 1-5.

According to Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer, if Cincinnati's defense could get off to a fast start it could help turn around the Bengals' fortunes down the stretch.

"On one hand, this seems like it should be easy enough to do. It’s just one possession," Owczarski wrote. "And, the Bengals are allowing 20.0 points per game over their last five games – a number that would be 10th in the NFL – and allowing 18.7 over their last three. But for some reason, opposing teams have been able to carve up the Bengals defense on the first drive and score touchdowns to give their team an immediate advantage. If the Bengals can avoid that defensively, it may create the change at the end of the game the team needs."

… finishing slower
While their defense has came up small at beginning of games, the Bengals' offense has sputtered at the end of games.

In fourth quarters Andy Dalton and company have mustered just one touchdown and 13 points overall in the past six weeks. For the season, the Bengals are averaging 4.1 points in the final quarter (31st overall) and are tied with the Giants for the most total punts in fourth quarters.

According to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals' offensive output in fourth quarters has been historically bad compared to the rest of the Marvin Lewis era.

"The Bengals are on pace for 66 fourth quarter points on the season. The dreadful number lags far behind all but one season in the Marvin Lewis Era. Only the debacle of the 2008 season with a Carson Palmer injury saw a smaller output," Dehner Jr. wrote. "... The defense owns a fair share of blame in the fourth quarter failure, though much of their mystery comes with the first drive of the game where they have allowed a touchdown in six of the last eight weeks. As for how the final quarter came to this epic fail, like anything, theories are abound though they matter little anymore."

Red Rocket coming back down to earth
Following a strong 2015 campaign that saw him throw 25 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions and boast a 106.2 quarterback rating, Andy Dalton has come back down to earth this season. Dalton has 12 touchdowns compared to six interceptions and a quarterback rating of 89.7.

Dalton is currently riding a streak of four games where he hasn't posted a quarterback rating any higher than 81.8 and it certainly hasn't helped his cause that star wideout A.J. Green has been out of the lineup for the past game-plus with a hamstring injury.

Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com listed Dalton as one of the six Cincinnati players to watch Sunday, as he'll be going against a capable defense that's looking to back on track.

"Dalton told ESPN that his shoulder was fine despite being on the injury report for two straight weeks," Terrell wrote. "But something is amiss, whether it’s his shoulder, his receivers or his offensive line. He hasn’t had a passing rating of more than 80 since Oct. 23, and the Bengals offense has struggled with only one touchdown in the last six quarters."

Predictions
Vegas has this game even as a pick-em and that was reflected in this week's national prediction roundup, with the Bengals gaining just a slight edge overall. 

ESPN: Six of nine experts picked the Bengals

CBS Sports: Five of eight experts picked the Bengals

FOX Sports: Four of five experts picked the Eagles