Battle for PA Supremacy

Battle for PA Supremacy


Before I head over to the Flyers-Penguins game at the Wachovia Center this afternoon, I'm planning to get my picture taken with Santa the Commissioner's Trophy at the Majestic store, so I'll keep this short.

The Flyers and Pens are knotted in the standings, just a few points back from the Atlantic-leading Rangers. The last time they faced each other, the Flyers were down early, but stormed back to go up on the Pens, then coughed up the lead, went to OT and a shootout, where they lost. Today, they're coming off an energy-boosting comeback win over the Hurricanes, one in which they got smacked around for 40 minutes before finally realizing they were a much better team than Carolina.

But Sam Carchidi of the Inq points out that the Flyers know that if they play anything less than 60 minutes today, they'll likely lose. Every fan heading to the game today knows it too. The Pens are a great team with a lot of scorers spread over their lines. Fortunately, so are the Flyers. Marty Biron will be in goal today, looking for a huge game. More than likely, the forwards will have to keep pace with the Pens' attack though, and the defense will need to play better than they have lately.

It sounds as though they'll have Matt Carle back today; he skated at practice yesterday and put his chances of playing today at 90%, which is great news considering that earlier in the week, his timetable with an odd rib/back injury was indefinite. 

Opposing Players to Watch: League darling Sidney Crosby will be in the building today, as will his better half Evgeni Malkin. Malkin has 48 mouth-agape points on the strength of 36 assists... As of Friday, Michel Therrien wouldn't say who would be in goal for the Pens. Marc-Andre Fleury has missed 12 games with an injury, with Dany Sabourin filling in, but MAF has been cleared to play. Before getting hurt, the Pens' G1 was 8-3-2 with a 2.86 GAA. Despite a much better goals against (2.20), Sabourin's record while filling in is 6-5-1. So, pick your poison.

Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

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Malcolm Jenkins is prepared for both a zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump as president

A zombie apocalypse or Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States of America are both nightmare scenarios for many people. But Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins is prepared in the case of either.

At least that's what he says.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a bye this week, so Jenkins found the time to post the below video to Twitter, teaching us a little bit about his quirks.

"Something you might not know about me is that I'm a half-hearted doomsday prepper. For the last two or three years I've been silently preparing myself for a zombie apocalypse... or Donald Trump becoming President, whichever comes first. Communications, food, protection, everything, I've been stockpiling. I took a zombie survival course a couple of years ago," Jenkins said.

"Hopefully I won't have to use my skills."

 

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tonight's lineup: Tommy Joseph's last start of the year?

Tommy Joseph, who has been missing from the lineup lately, starts at first base and bats fourth tonight.

Joseph will most likely be making his final start of the season with Ryan Howard expected to start the final games of the season. Joseph is batting just .235 against the Braves this season, but does have two home runs. The rookie first baseman has 21 home runs and 15 doubles in 104 games during his first season in the majors. 

Howard will be playing what are almost definitely his final games in a Phillies uniform this weekend vs. the Mets.

Maikel Franco bats fifth and plays third base. Franco, who has been hot lately, has three home runs and is batting .320 over his last 25 at-bats. He will look to continue his success against the Braves, as five of his 25 home runs this season have come against them.

Cameron Rupp gets a day off behind the plate and will be replaced by veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis has exceeded expectations in a short sample since coming over in the Carlos Ruiz trade last month. Ellis is 8 for 28 with a home run and nine RBIs in 10 games with the Phils. He's batting .285, which is astronomically better than his paltry .194 mark with the Dodgers. 

Part of the reason for Ellis' start could be his history against Braves starter Josh Collmenter. He is 4 for 11 with two home runs and four walks against the former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher.

Here is tonight's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Maikel Franco, 3B
6. Cody Asche, LF
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jeremy Hellickson, P

And for the Braves:

1. Mallex Smith, CF
2. Dansby Swanson, SS
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Nick Markakis, RF
6. Anthony Recker, C
7. Jace Peterson, 2B
8. Rio Ruiz, 3B
9. Josh Collmenter, P