MetsPhillies: Is This A Rivalry Or What?

MetsPhillies: Is This A Rivalry Or What?

Things didn't exactly improve a whole lot for us Phillies fans over the weekend.  Sure, the Phillies finally got that first notch in the win column, but they failed to capitalize on RISP opportunities on Saturday and Sunday and flew north with that one lonely notch waiting for some company.  One win in the first week of the season certainly wasn't what we were looking for.

%&^$ The Mets, originally uploaded by Cavalier92

The Rivalry Begins.  It's unfortunate for the Phillies that after one week, they're already looking up in the standings with the Braves being 4 games up on them.  That team from New York is looking down at us.  Jayson Stark sets the table for today and the future.

That moment every member of the Queens Division of the Jimmy Rollins Fan Club has waited for since January finally arrives Monday.

Phillies-Mets at Shea. Where it's always a Phillies lovefest, but especially this year.

Yeah, this year could be extra special -- because you might
actually get to witness a phenomenon that was probably bound to bust
out sometime or another in Mets history, if you were just willing to
wait about 45 leisurely years:

A real, live rivalry with that team down the turnpike.

Let's hope.  One of my best friends in college was a Mets fan and at the time I didn't even realize I was supposed to hate the Mets.  I even rooted for them against the Yankees in the Subway series.  In the years since that time, I've learned better.

It has all the necessary ingredients of a great rivalry.  Young stars who will play each other for years, close locales, passionate fans, and basically two sports cities who have no love for each other.  The Mets are the reigning NL East champs, the Fightins are the ones who need to step up and turn this thing into a rivalry.  You can't have one of those if you break your neck from looking up so damn much.

It all starts today in the beautiful ball park up there in Flushing.  Our man Cole Hamels goes up against John Maine.  First pitch at 1:10.  And so it begins.

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Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3

USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3


The Phillies rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Tommy Joseph won it with a single up the middle with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. The hit scored Aaron Altherr, who had singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.

The Phils have won just six of their last 27 games. Joseph has had a walk-off, game-winning hit in the last two wins.

In addition to Joseph, who also homered, the star of the game was the Phillies' bullpen. Four Phils' relievers combined on 3 2/3 scoreless innings after starter Jerad Eickhoff exited. The Phillies' bullpen is riding a 19 2/3-innings scoreless streak.

Starting pitching report
Eickhoff allowed eight hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up a bunt hit and a two-run homer to the first two batters of the game but took a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning. He allowed a leadoff single and a one-out RBI double in that inning as the Reds tied the game at 3-3.

Veteran Bronson Arroyo, back in action at age 40 after recovering from surgery the last two seasons, gave up three runs — all on solo homers — over five innings.

Bullpen report
Good work by Edubray Ramos to get two outs in the sixth to strand a runner in scoring position and preserve a 3-3 tie. Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris each followed with a scoreless inning. Neris struck out dangerous Joey Votto on a splitter with a man on base to end the top of the ninth. He got the win.

Austin Brice pitched two scoreless innings for the Reds. Michael Lorenzen took the loss. He gave up two hits in the ninth. Joseph's game-winning hit came on a 97 mph heater.

At the plate
Cesar Hernandez, Michael Saunders and Joseph all clouted solo homers for the Phillies. Joseph has six homers in his last 21 games.

Zack Cozart smacked a two-run homer against Eickhoff in the first inning. The Reds tied the game on a one-out double by Scooter Gennett in the sixth.

Remembering Bunning
Jim Bunning died Friday night. Larry Bowa recalled the impact that the Hall of Famer had on his career (see story).

Up next
The series concludes Sunday afternoon. Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.36) and Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.99) are the pitchers.

Soul hold off Valor in 48-47 win, remain unbeaten on the season


Soul hold off Valor in 48-47 win, remain unbeaten on the season

The Soul on Saturday survived a late scare and moved to 7-0 on the season with a 48-47 win over the Washington Valor at Verizon Center.

With 41 seconds left, the Valor scored a touchdown and appeared poised to tie up the game. However, a fumbled snap led to a failed extra-point attempt and the Soul promptly recovered the ensuing onside kick.

"It’s hard to win a game in arena football, but we'll take them any way we can," Soul head coach Clint Dolezel told the team's official website. "We are definitely happy with 7-0 and looking forward to this bye week to get healed up and ready to finish the second half of the season." 

Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh led the way with 148 passing yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Ryan McDaniel led the team with four receptions, racking up 49 yards, while Darius Reynolds had 54 yards on three receptions. Each receiver reeled in two touchdown catches while Shaun Kauleinamoku accounted for the fifth score.

Running back Mykel Benson ran in a one-yard touchdown while Chirs Duvalt returned a kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown before halftime.

The Soul have a bye week before returning to the Wells Fargo Center on June 10 to face the Cleveland Gladiators.