Looking back at Philadelphia pro athletes' Movember mustaches

Looking back at Philadelphia pro athletes' Movember mustaches

With another Movember in the books as of last Saturday, it’s time for The 700 Level to take a look back at some of the fine mustaches that adorned the upper-lip areas of your favorite Philadelphia pro athletes.

Yes, mostly Flyers are featured. Sorry.

A relentless search of the interwebs and social media didn’t produce any clear evidence that any Eagles grew a Movember mustache. The Phillies aren’t in season so Cole Hamels’ superb effort from the beginning of the season was disqualified from contention.

It should be noted that most of the Flyers are still sporting their respective looks even though we’re now five days into December. Despite that detail, this is written in past tense since Movember is over.

[Related: All facial hair posts on the Level]

Got all that?

Here we go…

Steve Downie

Downie, who scored his first goal back with the Flyers last night during the team’s 6-3 victory in Detroit, sported a magnificent mustache during Movember. It’s hard to tell but it looks like he may have even dyed it black, which would give him extra points.  Seriously, he looked like he should have been collecting mushrooms, stomping on the heads of Koopa Troopas and trying to save Princess Peach alongside Mario and Luigi. Bravo, Mr. Downie.

Spencer Hawes (USA Today)

We all know that Spencer Hawes loves him some America and isn’t afraid to let the public know how much he loves him some America. Well, his Movember ‘stache was so American that I can barely even put it into words. It was a hairy reminder of why we’re the No.1 country in the universe. Does he get a bonus since he also sported a mullet and a red, white and blue headband? You’re damn right he does. I like to imagine Spence spends his down time working on that mustache, wearing tank tops that feature the American flag and drinking Bud heavies.

Scott Hartnell (AP Image)

Hartsy has been known to rock all different kinds of facial hair during his time with the Flyers. His full-beard look from the 2010 Stanley Cup Final reminiscent of Yukon Cornelius and/or Rowlf from "The Muppet Show" is a personal favorite. This Movember, Scotty decided to go with the Hulk Hogan-esque Fu Manchu. It was a safe play by Hartsy but you can never go wrong with a Fu Manchu. Still a real solid look.

Claude Giroux (AP Image)

During Movember 2011, Giroux took the then-unprecedented step of dying his feather duster-like mustache. It produced a glorious result. This year, he decided to stay with the ginger ‘stache. While it wasn’t bad, it just doesn’t live up to what he had two years ago. To his credit, the fullness of it was still there and that’s key.  But the main lesson here is that dye is almost never a bad idea.

The Schenn Brothers (image via)

Luke Schenn is 24 years old. Brayden Schenn is 22 years old. Each sported particularly bad peachfuzz that I was able to grow in like sixth grade. They each get an “A” for effort but an “F” for execution. It’s not their fault, though. Genetics can be a kick to the groin sometimes. If it makes them feel any better, they’re professional hockey players and, well, I’m just a professional hockey blogger. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

BONUS: This photo of Hal Gill and Steve Downie (image via)

Oh my goodness. Where to even begin on this one? There’s so much going on here. Much like Hartnell, Gill went with the Fu Manchu. As stated above, you can never go wrong with a Fu Manchu. Didn’t’ think it was possible, but Downie’s mustache looked even more magnificent here. He looked like what Chuckie from the 90s kids TV show “Rugrats” would look like once he hit puberty. Kudos, gentlemen.

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off for first time in 84 games

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off for first time in 84 games

A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).

It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.

Cesar Hernandez gets the night off, with Andres Blanco batting second and playing second.

Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.

Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.

1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Aaron Nola looks to build on extremely impressive return from DL

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Aaron Nola looks to build on extremely impressive return from DL

Phillies (16-29) vs. Reds (22-24)
7:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

Following their first win in a week, the Phillies open a new series this weekend against a beatable team in the Cincinnati Reds, who are 3-9 in their last 12 games and 1-7 in their last eight road games.

Let's have ourselves a look-see:

1. Nola's turn
Aaron Nola is on the mound tonight for his second start since a month-long DL stint. He was extremely impressive his last time out, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings in Pittsburgh.

Nola's fastball reached as high as 95.5 mph against the Pirates, which is notable because he threw only two pitches faster than 94 mph all of last season. His velocity was up before the lower back strain and it's a great sign that the elbow injury which ended his 2016 season is truly in the past.

In Pittsburgh, Nola (2-1, 3.52) threw 19 of 27 first-pitch strikes. He got 11 outs on the first three pitches of at-bats. 

He's faced the Reds twice in his career and dominated them both times, allowing two earned runs in 14 innings with one walk and 17 strikeouts.

Current Reds have gone 7 fo 39 (.179) against him with just two extra-base hits. Joey Votto is 0 for 5.

2. What to do with Odubel
Pete Mackanin has an interesting decision to make this weekend with slumping Odubel Herrera, who on Thursday became the first player in the majors this season to go 0 for 5 with five strikeouts in a game.

Herrera is down to .226 on the season with a .275 on-base percentage. In May, he's hit .194 with one walk and 28 strikeouts.

Mackanin could bench Herrera like he did with Maikel Franco for two games earlier this week. It would send a message to the player that poor at-bats and wild swings have consequences. And, quite frankly, sitting Herrera for a day or two might give the Phillies a better chance to win.

The issue, of course, is that there's a thin line between giving a player a chance to clear his head and ridding him of opportunities to get back on track.

Plus, the Phillies don't have great options in replacing Herrera in the lineup. They have a four-man bench at the moment and the only options would be putting Ty Kelly or Brock Stassi in left field and moving Aaron Altherr to center.

(Update: Mackanin is taking the opposite approach with Herrera, leading him off Friday night.)

Herrera just has not been himself this season and it's troubling. At this point last season, Herrera was hitting .327 with a .901 OPS. He's been an undisciplined hitter in 2017 and when you have two of them in the middle of the lineup in Herrera and Franco, it makes things really easy on pitchers at times.

Herrera started the year hot, hitting in his first eight games. Since then, he's hit .203/.239/.324 in 155 plate appearances with six walks and 42 K's.

3. Tommy time
Tommy Joseph has been one of the very best hitters in baseball this month, batting .329/.400/.671 with six doubles, six homers and 15 RBIs in 22 games.

He's 148 games and 499 plate appearances into his major-league career and has hit .257 with 23 doubles, 28 homers, 69 RBIs and an .804 OPS. That's about 10 points higher than the league average OPS from first basemen over that span.

Had Joseph's April slump continued into May, prospect Rhys Hoskins might have already been called up. But Joseph has done enough so far to hold off Hoskins, who appears to have more upside because of his combination of power and plate selection.

Controlling the strike zone is the next step for Joseph. He has a .311 OBP so far with 33 walks and 112 strikeouts as a Phillie.

But over the last two seasons, he's been one of the few Phils who's taken advantage of this ballpark. Joseph's hit .276 with an .844 OPS at Citizens Bank Park compared to .240 with a .769 OPS on the road.

4. Scouting the Reds
The Phillies face 29-year-old Reds right-hander Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19).

You look at the ERA and think, OK, maybe the Phillies' bats will wake up tonight. But keep in mind that the Rockies' four starting pitchers this week entered the series with a combined 5.27 ERA and the Phillies scored three runs against them in 27 innings.

There's nothing special about the 6-foot-5 Adleman. He throws his fastball and sinker in the 88 to 91 mph range with a mid-80s changeup and mid-70s curveball. His opponents have hit .300 against his fastball and have eight extra-base hits with a .290 batting average against his changeup.

In six starts this season, Adleman's yet to go deeper than six innings. The Phils faced him last season and scored three runs in five innings. Cesar Hernandez went 2 for 2 with a walk and Franco went 1 for 3 with a double.

As for Cincinnati's offense, Votto is obviously the hitter you worry about most. He's hit .299/.422/.591 this season with 12 doubles, 12 homers, 38 RBIs, 35 walks and 24 strikeouts. A typical Votto season.

Shortstop Zack Cozart has been surprisingly hot these first two months, hitting .340 with 20 extra-base hits, 22 walks and 29 strikeouts. It's most surprising to see him walking this much because he never has. He's 15 walks away from matching his career high.

Leftfielder Adam Duvall has killed the Phillies over the last two seasons. He went 5 for 11 with two doubles and a homer in the season-opening series in Cincy and went 8 for 18 with four doubles against them last season.

5. This and that
• Over the last seven games, the Phillies' bullpen has allowed just two earned runs in 22⅔ innings.

• Howie Kendrick started at third base for Lehigh Valley during his rehab assignment Thursday. He was hit by two pitches and removed from the game.  

• Reds closer Raisel Iglesias is one of the most underrated relievers in baseball. He's 8 for 8 in save chances this season with a 0.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. He's struck out 28 and allowed just one home run in 24⅔ innings. His ability to go multiple innings is what makes him stand out — he's Andrew Miller-like in that regard. Iglesias has pitched more than one inning in 7 of his 19 appearances.