Phillies Lose Final Home Game of Regular Season 6-1

Phillies Lose Final Home Game of Regular Season 6-1

There were fireworks at Citizens Bank Park this evening on fan appreciation night as the Phillies played their final regular season game of the year in South Philadelphia.

That's not a metaphor for the Phillies offense or anything. No, they stunk all night. There were actual explosions in the sky once the game ended 6-1 in favor of the Nationls.

The Phillies managed only two hits in the first eight innings. They scrapped together a pair of meaningless hits and a lone run in the ninth but that was too little too late.

Roy Oswalt was not nearly as bad as his final line of 6 earned runs on 7 hits over 7.2 innings of work may appear. The Nats got to him for a pair of runs in the third inning after Chase Utley and John Bowker couldn't get together on a bloop between them (pictured) that could have kept the Nats off the board. The play was ruled a double, but it looked as if one of the Phillies should have made the catch. If Hunter Pence is out there, I'd suspect he would have made the play.

There were fireworks at Citizens Bank Park this evening on fan appreciation night as the Phillies played their final regular season game of the year in South Philadelphia.

That's not a metaphor for the Phillies offense or anything. No, they stunk all night. There were actual explosions in the sky once the game ended 6-1 in favor of the Nationls.

The Phillies managed only two hits in the first eight innings. They scrapped together a pair of meaningless hits and a lone run in the ninth but that was too little too late.

Roy Oswalt was not nearly as bad as his final line of 6 earned runs on 7 hits over 7.2 innings of work may appear. The Nats got to him for a pair of runs in the third inning after Chase Utley and John Bowker couldn't get together on a bloop between them (pictured) that could have kept the Nats off the board. The play was ruled a double, but it looked as if one of the Phillies should have made the catch. If Hunter Pence is out there, I'd suspect he would have made the play.

Oswalt also gave up a costly three-run homer to Michael Morse in the eighth. Those were his only real costly mistakes on the night. After the game, Oswalt said things very easily could have gone differently.

"You look at two plays tonight and it could have been eight innings, zero runs," he said.

The scoreboard at Citizens Bank Park showed Roy Oswalt consistently hitting 93-94 with his fastball. He looked sharp and said he felt great.

"I felt pretty well," Oswalt said. "Actually spotted pitches pretty well early. Probably the best I've felt all year."

If you had any worries about Oswalt heading into the postseason, I would stress too much. He looked pretty on point this evening.

As for the offense, that's another story.

"Our offense is kind of out of rhythm," Charlie Manuel said. "We've had so many guys on the field, different guys, but also our regular guys' timing is off. "

The 1-5 hitters tonight in the Phils lineup were a combined 0-16.

The skipper didn't want to make any excuses for the guys on the field tonight, but he also isn't too concerned about the offense going forward and heading into the playoffs. He''ll wait and see until he gets the lineup he wants back with Howard and Pence batting four and five rather than Raul Ibanez and Ross Gload as they did tonight. And you certainly won't see John Bowker or Pete Orr in your lineup come playoff time.

"Once we get all of our guys back, Howard's due back tomorrow more than likely. I think Pence is due back Saturday," Manuel said. "Once we get our regular lineup back in there, hopefully we'll get a little balance, a little timing and rhythm back and we'll start producing some runs."

Phillies fans are waiting to see it.

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The Phillies were swept in a series of at least three games for the first time all year.

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

With one season in Philadelphia under Jim Schwartz’s belt, Eagles fans are well aware of the intensity the defensive coordinator brings to the sidelines. But before joining Doug Pederson's staff, Schwartz attracted plenty of attention during a five-year stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-2013. A highlight of his tenure in the Motor City developed a new wrinkle this week.

Maybe the most memorable moment during his time in Detroit was the unnecessarily ugly midfield feud in 2011’s Week 6 with then-49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Schwartz marched to midfield for the postgame handshake after his Lions took their first loss of the season. Harbaugh, a usually-excited guy with cause for a little extra enthusiasm after a fourth straight win, came in too strong for Schwartz’s liking. Schwartz chased down Harbaugh as he ran for the tunnel and the two exchanged some choice words. Coaches and players flocked to the tussle. What started as standard postgame procedure became the national talking-point nobody needed for the ensuing week.

The six-year-old incident returned to the conversation this week with Harbaugh, now the head coach at the University of Michigan, admitting on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast (and as transcribed by ESPN) that he was to blame for things getting out of hand. 

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake," Harbaugh said on the podcast. "We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. ... There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as a loser. You just, 'Nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong."

On top of discussing his gifting Pope Francis a pair of Jordan sneakers and his theory that bringing a glove to catch a foul ball is acceptable for fans, Harbaugh went on to explain the last time he got in a real fight, as opposed to the silly scrum that went down at Ford Field that fateful day. He was 39, at the end of his days as a player, and got into it with two men at a restaurant.

"I did not win," he said. "I cannot say I won. I didn't get crushed, either. I got some blows in."

Harbaugh has a reputation for his passion, and the handshake debacle with Schwartz was no exception. It’s just that his passion often translates to doing things in a non-traditional way. He’s the khaki’s guy, always sporting his trademark dad-pants on the sidelines — he even tucked an Allen Iverson jersey into them once. He’ll do anything to get a leg up in recruiting, for example, sleeping over at a recruit's house for some “Netflix and Chill.”

Schwartz, similarly, is frequently fired up, and that aggression bleeds into his defensive scheme. 

Harbaugh is in the college game now, so the development in this nearly forgotten exchange isn’t life-changing. But if he ever returns to the pros, it’s good to know a postgame handshake with Schwartz wouldn't revive any bad blood.

Phillies minor league affiliate to ban tacos for one night to demonstrate bacon superiority

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Phillies minor league affiliate to ban tacos for one night to demonstrate bacon superiority

Everybody loves bacon. Everybody loves tacos. So why can't we all just get along and eat bacon tacos?

That's not what will go down on Saturday night when the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are BANNING the sale of tacos at all concession stands at Coca-Cola park.

Brutal!

It's all part of the Bacon vs. Taco night as the IronPigs host the Fresno Tacos.

"It was an easy decision. Serving tacos on Saturday would be hypocritical," said Lehigh Valley IronPigs President and General Manager, Kurt Landes.  "Saturday is about proving once and for all that there is absolutely no substitute for bacon. Period."

Yeah, but like I said: BACON TACOS.

The IronPigs are at least trying to make up for their lack of tacos by making bacon bits available to add to any food item for the low price of 75 cents. Seems like a steal. And there's always the candied maple bacon on a stick at least.

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We're going to share some of the official press release for this event because it's just so juicy:

While the feud between Lehigh Valley and Fresno seemingly dates back to the beginning of mankind (or at least the beginning of Minor League Baseball), we should remind you that it was the IronPigs who first received national and international acclaim in 2014 for their "Smell the Change" rebrand that included the introduction of their now iconic bacon strip on-field cap and bacon-themed uniform. The IronPigs have doubled-down on bacon recently, embracing the "Bacon, USA" theme by doubling the amount of bacon sold at all games. The original bacon cap remains one of the top-selling lids in the history of Minor League Baseball. With widespread interest and publicity, the bacon logo quickly sold to each of the 50 states as well as Australia, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

It wasn't until a year later in 2015 that the Fresno Grizzlies announced a one-game name change to "Tacos" (we don't get it either) hoping to garner similar attention while claiming the Central Valley of California as the "Taco Capital of the World."

Regardless of your favorite team or food, there's little argument that these two clubs have distinguished themselves promotionally throughout Minor League Baseball and professional sports. In fact, the IronPigs have been awarded the most Golden Bobbleheads in the history of the award, honoring promotional excellence in Minor League Baseball across various categories. Recently, Fresno captured the top prize in 2015 and Lehigh Valley in 2016. The winner of this contest will have a leg up in the race for the 2017 Golden Bobblehead award.