Fan Report: Sox Fans Not So Die Hard When Losing

Fan Report: Sox Fans Not So Die Hard When Losing

Loyal reader Loqiel was down at the ball park last night and sent in this Fan Report. If you're going to a game and would like to share your photos and game experience, hit us up.

Having taken a partial day off, I met up with a friend from work and
headed out to the ballpark  As soon as we hit the parking lot, our worst
fears were confirmed: there were Red Sox fans EVERYWHERE.  They didn't
outnumber us, but they were certainly there in force.  We got in early
to catch some BP, and were greeted with a light sprinkle from the
heavens as we made our way to Bull's BBQ.  Shawn ordered some ribs
while I had a pulled pork sandwich (it was above average but not
wonderful).  Eventually we made our way to our seats in the fine 400
level while watching the Sox take BP.

The fireworks started early last night.  No, I'm not talking about on the
field.  I'm talking about RSN trying to start up a "Let's Go Red Sox"
chant... and promptly being shouted down.  Much to my enjoyment, before
the game would be the only time they tried to start it up, as Rollins
and Howard connected for three quick runs off of former Cy Young
award-winner Bartolo Colon's bloated carcass (note to Colon: you're not
David Wells.  Mix in a salad, wouldja?)

That's how it went most of the night really.  The Phils jumped out
to a 4-0 lead, with Hamels dealing.  Colon couldn't throw strikes to
save his enormous self.  The Sox got two back, RSN started to stir a
little and was promptly silenced by a four-run sixth in which we saw
Mike Timlin spontaneously combust on the mound (much to our great
delight).

That's the way it ended: Phils 8, Sox 2.

Final line on
Colon's corpse: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3HR allowed, 70 pitches.
I guess when you're dead and faking it 100 pitches is no longer an
option.

For his part, Hamels went over a hundred pitches for seven plus
innings, had a hit and a fine sacrifice to set up a pair of runs,
limited his mistakes to two solo home runs, and did everything short of
don a yellow shirt and sell concessions.  Can we sign this guy to a
serious contract?  Please?  I don't ask for much, but I would really
like this.

We will not be needing your services tonight, Mr. Lidge.  Mr. Hamels is in control.

Some random thoughts:

-I saw a ton of Sox fans leave early, starting in the eighth.  Typical.
-The Sox fans sitting next to me in the 400 level left even earlier, after the four-run sixth.  So much for being die-hard.
-The rain held off, ironically for my second straight game of somehow
coming up with tickets to covered seats and then not being rained on.
This means the next time it thinks about raining and I go to a game
with open seats, I'm going to need an ark to get home.
-More and more people think this is a possible World Series preview.
I'm just fine with that if it means we can shut RSN up for a year.
-Also, one game does not a series make, but I'd be just fine with
winning this series. As Casey Stengal once said, "they don't pay me to
win every game, just two of three".
-Who is that dude in the pink gorilla suit that dances around the
stadium during games?  Is he the Phillies equivalent to Fat Dancing Guy
for the Flyers?
-There is no greater joy than watching a big, slow hitter leg out a
triple.  It's like watching Manny make his way around left field; you
know he'll get there sometime, but whether he beats the ball to the
spot is another matter.  Ryan and Pat, I'm talking to you.
-We booed the crap out of J.D. Drew when he was announced, when he
came up to bat, every time he changed pose in the dugout, you name it.
This city has such a long memory; it's too bad we don't have more
positive things to remember.
-We booed Manny too.  This I didn't understand.  Yes I know he's the
enemy and all, but isn't booing Manny like booing your
idiosyncratic-but-otherwise

-Harmless uncle?  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  While Drew was greedy, Manny is just Manny.

"Don't boo him!  He's just misunderstood!"

All in all a good night out, and I finally got to see a win this year.

-Loqiel

Flyers Notes: Promising performances from young defensemen

Flyers Notes: Promising performances from young defensemen

The most impressive thing about the Flyers' 4-0 preseason win over the Islanders on Tuesday night was the play of the their young defense and the outstanding work by the penalty kill.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers each gave a strong accounting of themselves while veteran Andrew MacDonald proved why experience helps with some terrific PK work during an extended five-on-three Islanders power play in the third period.

“Overall, they did a good job,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “I look at some of the opportunities we gave up, especially in the second period, we gave up three or four Grade A opportunities that Mase (goalie Steve Mason) was great on, but I put those on our forwards.

“We’re still not into regular-season form on our play without the puck. I thought as a whole, the group of defensemen did a good job and the young guys in there were good tonight.”

Sanheim had strong plays the entire game from the point and picked up two assists (see highlights). He gets the puck quickly on net and joins the play up front.

“It took me a little bit, even in this game,” Sanheim said. “As I play more, I started to jump up more and you start to see my game more. It’s something I want to bring to this next level.”

Provorov logged 21:43 of ice time following nearly 29 minutes at New Jersey. He had 5:17 on the PK. Some of his clears weren’t deep or hard enough, at times, possibly because of fatigue.

He also took a bad boarding hit on Joshua Ho-Sang in the third period that set up an Isles five-on-three power play. It became extended because of a trip call to Myers but MacDonald did yeoman’s work on the extended PK.

Provorov quarterbacks the first-unit man advantage for now until Shayne Gostisbehere joins the crowd. He had some very skillful passes. The Russian can find the seam up the ice on the breakout quickly and had a no-look, hard pass to Nick Cousins in the second period for a quality one-timer on net.

Expect Provorov to handle the second-unit power play during the season, should he make the roster.

The goals
Although the Flyers, using a better NHL lineup, were lacking for offensive chances early against the Isles' "B" squad, they found their way in the final four minutes of the opening period.

First, Dale Weise had one of those pinball goals as a bouncing puck hit a couple of players in the slot, including goalie Chris Gibson, to make it 1-0 during four-on-four play.

That was the Flyers' first goal of preseason in three games. A little more than a minute later, Wayne Simmonds scored off a rebound just as a Flyers power play ended. Simmonds had two goals in the game, including a wrister from the left circle to open the final period.

Smallish (5-foot-7) — but bullish — centerman Andy Miele, a former Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey’s top player (Miami-Ohio), made it 3-0, out-battling Thomas Hickey for the rebound of Michael Raffl’s shot.

The shield
Simmonds is wearing a visor for the first time. It’s an experiment for now.

“Everyone is all over me about it,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. It wasn’t too bad tonight. The only thing is trying to track pucks in the sky when you are getting the glare from the lights. A little bit of an adjustment."

He said neither his mother nor girlfriend had pushed him as hard to wear the shield as someone else: “Ron Hextall,” he said flatly. “He gave me a call.”

Because of his tenacious play in the slot where sticks are high and pucks are deflected, a shield makes sense.

“Yeah, I think so, being that front guy and doing work on the PK,” he said. “Getting sticks in lanes like that, the game is really fast and pucks get deflected.

“Sometime you don’t know where they’re going and can’t react to that. Obviously, the shield is good for that."

He added he would wear the shield in a fight, too.

“Every time I fight and someone has a shield on, I’m at a disadvantage so I guess this evens it up,” he said.

Loose pucks
Weise did a nice job sticking up for teammates late during a melee after a Ben Holmstrom crosscheck to linemate Nick Cousins. “It was a bad crosscheck and you’re defending your teammates,” he said. “The ref was in the way and I kind of went overtop him. That’s what I’m about. Guys take liberties on my linemates, I’ll stand up for them.” … Matt Read had just 6:54 ice time through two periods. Fourth-liner Boyd Gordon had more ice time there — 9:39 — but Read finished with 13:55 to Gordon’s 13:41. More than half of Gordon’s ice time was on the penalty kill. … Goalie Steve Mason faced some point-blank chances among the first 17 shots he faced and finished with 23-save shutout.  

Carson Wentz named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Carson Wentz named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Another week, another award for Carson Wentz.

This time the Eagles' electrifying rookie has been named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Steelers.

In the 34-3 win over Pittsburgh, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 125.9. It was the first 300-yard game of his very young career.

Wentz is the first rookie QB in Eagles history to win an Offensive Player of the Week award, and the first Eagle to win the award since Jeremy Maclin in Week 9 of the 2014 season.

Through three games, the 23-year-old has completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns. He's the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to achieve those stats in the first three games of a career. He still hasn't thrown an interception in 102 passing attempts, which is a record for rookies.

It looks like Wentz will have plenty more opportunities for awards this season.