It Was Fun for a Minute! Phils Get Butts Whipped in Home Opener

It Was Fun for a Minute! Phils Get Butts Whipped in Home Opener

The start was so promising. The sun was shining. Charlie Manuel talked about hope and the energy and exciting atmosphere in South Philadelphia. Chase and Ryan got back-to-back hits multiple times. Dom Brown and Erik Kratz destroyed a pair of baseballs. Kyle Kendrick even looked really sharp for a minute. But it ended in a shellacking. More specifically, it ended with fans departing as early as the sixth inning as darkness and its windy chill of disappointment covered Citizens Bank Park. Really. It turned ugly fast.
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The Phils got off to an early lead with a little small ball from the heart of the order and a pair of long balls from the young outfielder and fill-in catcher. They scored in all of the first three innings but went silent the rest of the way.

How bad did it get? They were hitless after Michael Young's one-out single in the third, according to Todd Zolecki, with only one base runner the rest of the way.

It was the other way around for the Royals who couldn't get much of anything going in the first four frames. They only managed two his after four innings, but they unloaded on Kyle Kendrick after that, as well as on reliever Jeremy Horst who was brought in during the sixth to attempt and save him.

Chad Durbin (1.0 IP, 1 ER) and Raul Valdes (2.0 IP, 4 ER) also contributed to the masacre. The middle relievers continue to be a real worrisome area for this team.

The Royals finished the game with 19 hits. The final score was 13-4.

Back at it tomorrow with John Lannan on the hill.

*

In a ridiculously small redeeming moment of sorts, the 15% or so of fans remaining in the bottom of the ninth had a pretty good sarcastic rally towel moment. Kudos, Philly fans.

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Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tonight's lineup: Struggling Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp sit

Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, both struggling mightily through the first month of the season, will get Saturday night off when the Phillies take on the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Joseph is hitting .190 with one homer and 18 strikeouts in 18 games, while Rupp is batting .180 with one homer and 20 strikeouts through 15 games. Last season, Joseph had 21 home runs and Rupp 16.

Brock Stassi will spell Joseph at first base and bat seventh. Andrew Knapp takes over for Rupp behind the plate and will bat eighth.

Daniel Nava also receives a start, playing left field. The first-year Phillie is hitting .346 with a pair of homers and as many walks as strikeouts (seven).

Zach Eflin takes the mound in a meaningful start for the right-hander (see story). He opposes resurgent Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (see game notes).

Here are tonight's lineups:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Daniel Nava, LF
7. Brock Stassi, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Zach Eflin, P

Dodgers
1. Andrew Toles, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal, C
5. Yasiel Puig, RF
6. Cody Bellinger, LF
7. Chase Utley, 2B
8. Chris Taylor, 3B
9. Brandon McCarthy, P

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

Eagles draft Washington DT Elijah Qualls with final pick

With their final pick of the 2017 draft, the Eagles selected 6-foot-1, 313-pound Washington defensive tackle Elijah Qualls in the sixth round on Saturday.

He's the second Washington player the Eagles took in this year's draft. They selected injured cornerback Sidney Jones in the second round (see story).

Qualls had 77 tackles, 11½ tackles for loss and 7½ sacks in 30 career games (see bio).

"I for sure stop the run well," Qualls said at the NFL Draft Scouting Combine. "And I'm actually a lot better pass rusher than a lot of people think. Typically a lot of our game plan as far as pass rushing was to keep the quarterback contained, so I really couldn't get after him like I'm capable of.

"I'm not going to say I'm one of the best pass rushers ever or anything like that — I've only been playing defensive line since I got to college. I'm still learning, but I'm a lot better than people do think."

Qualls was actually a running back in high school, but he said he got bored scoring touchdowns.

"I was 260 playing running back in high school," he said. "I had 1,300 rushing yards, though. It honestly became too easy, that's why I switched to defensive line. Scoring touchdowns wasn't exciting to me anymore, it was just something I expected.

"Then my last year, my coach came to me and said, 'Hey, would you be willing to play some defense?' My mindset was that if I played defense, I could get the ball back. So I played some defensive line, middle linebacker. I was recruited at both of those positions.

"I kind of just did a little research project trying to see what the long term was like for both running backs and defensive linemen, and defensive linemen tend to last longer, have less severe injuries, and honestly on average probably make more money, so I decided to be a defensive lineman. Plus I like the challenge."

With Bennie Logan leaving as a free agent, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Beau Allen and now Qualls in the mix on the interior of the defensive line.

"I feel like I can fit into any scheme," Qualls said. "I can do anything you ask me to, I played everything from zero to outside linebacker, so there's not much I can't do. It's just whether or not someone can accept me being a couple inches shorter than the person they prefer playing there.

"But I'm stronger than a lot of people, and my football intelligence is top notch."