Flyers-Bruins: Winter Classic Revenge Much?

Flyers-Bruins: Winter Classic Revenge Much?

Now that the Flyers have dusted off a few wins against the dregs of the conference, it's time to see how they look against teams that are in or near their weight class. The final two games of this homestand are against current playoff teams, tonight against the Bruins, who have slid all the way to the eighth seed, and Saturday against Chicago, the top seed in the West. Get out your measuring sticks.  

The Bruins have won two of their five games since the break, oddly enough against two of the three teams the Flyers have beaten since then (NYI, TOR). They also went into the break on a four-game winning streak, just like the Flyers, so they can't be too thrilled going 2-2-1 especially with that OTL coming against the Leafs. Tonight, it's two teams whose seasons haven't gone as planned so far, both of whom still have the opportunity to make up for that with a strong finish and hot entrance into the playoffs. 

That and the fact that these teams hate each other should make for a pretty entertaining game. 

The Flyers say that there will be no lineup changes tonight, which is especially fortunate considering the fact that three guys had to leave the last game with lacerations. You've probably heard that Marc Savard will miss this one. Matt Cooke's headshot heard 'round the world may have even ended Savard's season. Whether that hit was actually dirty within the current rule book is a matter of great disagreement (feel free to leave your opinion). There's no word yet as to whether Zdeno Chara will play; the giant is listed as a day-to-day after being affected by a LBI and missing Tuesday's game, but he did participate in the morning skate today. 

The Boston goalie situation hasn't been announced yet either. After giving bags of money and an extension to Tim Thomas after the journeyman (and silver medalist!) won the Vezina Trophy, the B's have seen Tuukka Rask start 26 games this season and post a better record, GAA, and save percentage than the Tank. Rask has been on the shelf with a knee injury lately, with Thomas starting the last four games.  

The Flyers aren't playing their best hockey right now, but they're still winning games. There's definitely something to be said for that—finding a way to win (even if it's against weak teams). But will that trend continue as the quality of comp picks up, followed by a four-game road trip? Or, can the Flyers just get back to the 60-solid-minutes brand of hockey we've seen them play for a few stretches this season? 

Updates: Rask will start, Chara is in the lineup. 

Watch: Eagles fan wearing Donald Trump mask gets roll thrown at him

Watch: Eagles fan wearing Donald Trump mask gets roll thrown at him

Philadelphia sports fans have a storied history of throwing things.

They threw snowballs at Santa Claus back in 1968 and bracelets onto the ice at the Wells Fargo Center during a Flyers home playoff game last April.

On Sunday, one fan took that long-standing reputation to new heights.

At a tailgate outside the Linc leading up to the Eagles-Steelers game, a dancing Birds fan wearing a Donald Trump mask had an Amoroso roll thrown at his face.

(h/t Deadspin)

Instant Replay: Mets 17, Phillies 0

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USA Today Images

Instant Replay: Mets 17, Phillies 0

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — This time, there was no lead for the Phillies’ bullpen to blow.

Sunday, the Mets tagged five Phillies relievers for 14 runs in a 17-0 demolition and won the four-game series. 

The Phillies only recorded three hits against Robert Gsellman, a rookie righthanded starter who stands to play a large role in the Mets’ injury-ravaged rotation down the stretch.

The Mets — for now — regained control of the first wild card spot in the NL. They had entered Sunday tied in the standings with the Giants. The Giants’ game against the Padres had no score when the Mets’ game concluded. The Cardinals sit a half-game back of both teams. Their game against the Cubs does not begin until 8:08 p.m.

The Phillies fell to 70-86.

Players from the Mets and Phillies both poured out of the dugouts for a pregame moment of silence in honor of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who died early Sunday morning in a boating accident at 24 years old.

Starting pitching report
Jake Thompson showed life on his changeup, a pitch he has struggled to wield effectively since his August arrival in the majors. He ran into trouble in the second inning when he surrendered a double to Jay Bruce on a middle-in fastball and a single to T.J. Rivera, but escaped with only one run in damage after inducing James Loney into an easy double play.

He nearly imploded in the fourth, surrendering a solo homer to Curtis Granderson to lead off the inning and then walking Jose Reyes with the bases loaded and two out to force in a run. Thompson elicited a popout to left from Asdrubal Cabrera to end the bases-loaded scenario, but that was the end of his afternoon.

Gsellman erased the rough memories of his first major league start, a 5-1 defeat to the Phillies at Citi Field on Aug. 28 in which he surrendered four runs on five hits and was pulled in the seventh inning.

He struck out eight batters in seven shutout innings. Gsellman only ran into trouble in the first inning when he faced a runners-on-the-corners, two-out situation in the top of the first. He promptly got Ryan Howard to ground out to first base.

Gsellman even managed to reach base with a bunt single in the third despite not being able to swing a bat because of a labrum tear in his non-throwing shoulder.

Bullpen report
Phil Klein made his first appearance since being called up for the second time on Sept. 10. He had been dealing with elbow soreness. Klein retired just one batter in the fifth and surrendered two runs on two walks, two singles and a pitch that hit Rene Rivera in the left hand. He departed with the bases still loaded.

Colton Murray entered to clean up the mess in the fifth and allowed an inherited runner to score on a wild pitch. He added a scoreless sixth but loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and got pulled.

Frank Herrmann inherited the bases-loaded situation and promptly walked the first batter he faced, Jose Reyes, to force in a run. It was all downhill from there, as Asdrubal Cabrera took him deep to right for a grand slam.

Patrick Schuster gave up four runs in the eighth on a Jose Reyes double with the bases loaded and a two-run single by Eric Campbell.

Luis Garcia allowed two runners to score in the eighth on a Michael Conforto double, one of which was assigned to Schuster.

At the plate
Cesar Hernandez’s 29-game streak of reaching base safely came to an end.

Freddy Galvis was the only Phillies player to advance past second base, singling in the first and then advancing on a wild pitch and steal of third. He was stranded by Howard’s grandout.

In the field
Hernandez and Freddy Galvis turned a 4-6-3 double play in the second inning in a runners-on-the-corners, no out situation.

Health check
Tyler Goeddel did not play as he recuperates from his concussion. Relievers Luis Garcia and Severino Gonzalez were unavailable last night because of ankle issues. Garcia pitched the end of the eighth in mop-up duty.

Up next
The Phillies will have a day off before they start their final homestand of the season against the Braves on Tuesday. Jerad Eickhoff (11-14, 3.75 ERA) will start for the Phillies. He has a 1.75 ERA against Atlanta in four starts against them this season.

The Braves’ scheduled starter has yet to be determined and their game against the Marlins scheduled for Sunday was cancelled once news emerged of Fernandez’s death.

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