Lights Out On Those Dreams of a Parade

Lights Out On Those Dreams of a Parade

They got there.  The place that has eluded them for 14 years was finally reached this season.  It was a remarkable achievement at the time -- making the playoffs -- given many of the circumstances.  Once they got there, they sure didn't act like they had been there before.

Getting swept against the Rockies is a huge disappointment.  There's no other way to look at it.  This team which was known for its incredible ability to light up the scoreboard at will with that potent lineup, the one that included 3 legit MVP caliber players, found themselves barely able to get their guys on base let alone across home plate against Colorado.

They got swept.  It wasn't pretty.

They showed such an ability to battle through every curveball thrown at them this season yet when it mattered the most, they came up empty.

It was a hell of a ride.  This team had that special something that captivated the entire city if even only for a short week.  There were many of us who enjoyed all 162 -- save a half dozen or so meltdowns.  This 2007 version of the Phillies proved that Philadelphia can be a baseball town and an amazing one at that.  Just give us a winner.  Is that too much to ask for?

While tonight's loss hurts tremendously, we remain optimistic for the future.  If there is a single positive to come out of getting swept against the Rockies, it's the fact that the poor post season showing pointed out some of the glaring holes in this team.  We all know what they are.  A sweep hopefully won't let management rest on their, "but we made the post season" laurels.  Maybe the decision makers will finally admit it.  A bullpen with complete Russian Roulette type players like Jose Mesa, Tom Gordon, and Clay Condrey is not the kind of staff to provide any sort of confidence in winning.  The brass will finally have to realize that while a stacked lineup actually may get you into the playoffs once every fourteen years, it won't ever trump the fact that you're picking off the trash heap to fill the pen.

I tip my cap to this squad.  They fought through adversity all season long and gave us one hell of a ride.  In the end they fell short.  There's no excuse for that.  The NL East was certainly enjoyable.  But Champions of the world, they were not.  Not even close.

Yo, Pat, work on that for next year, would ya?  We could use it.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. -- On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches, said Sunday. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015 when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

“A little bit frustration,” he said. “A lot of frustration, to be honest. But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team.”

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is a popular and well-respected guy in the club's locker room.

“I feel so bad for him,” said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. “He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong.”

Edu, a defensive midfielder who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

“We’re gutted for Mo,” said Union manager Jim Curtin. “He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger.”

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

“What happened, happened,” Edu said. “I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group.”

Snap counts: Connor Barwin's snaps decrease; filling in for Bennie Logan


Snap counts: Connor Barwin's snaps decrease; filling in for Bennie Logan

During the week, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said he thought defensive end Connor Barwin could benefit from fewer snaps during games. 

That's exactly what happened on Sunday. 

Barwin, who came into the game with the most snaps by an Eagles defensive end, played 49 (64 percent) against the Vikings. He came into the game playing 79 percent of the Eagles' defensive snaps. On Sunday, he had a huge strip sack of Sam Bradford. 

Taking away some of Barwin's snaps on Sunday was even more impressive considering Vinny Curry played quite a few snaps inside as a defensive tackle with the absence of Bennie Logan (groin). 

Curry played 41 snaps (54 percent) against the Vikings after playing just 40 percent of the team's defensive snaps before this weekend. 

Beau Allen, who started in place of Logan, played 51 snaps (67 percent), while rookie Destiny Vaeao chipped in a career-high 30. Vaeao has had 58 snaps in the last two weeks. 

Ron Brooks played just seven snaps before going down with a serious leg injury. That meant Jalen Mills played 27 snaps and safety Jaylen Watkins played 46 snaps. 

Malcolm Jenkins continued his impressive streak. He played all 76 snaps on Sunday and the only defensive snap he's missed was that weird fake punt in the opener against Cleveland. 

On offense, Josh Huff saw his role increase some on Sunday and he made the most of it. Huff, who had just nine snaps last week, got 20 against the Vikings and caught four balls for 39 yards. Perhaps Huff's production is why Dorial Green-Beckham's snaps dropped to 28 (48 percent). 

Matt Tobin got some extended playing time (20 snaps) at left tackle thanks to Jason Peters' bicep injury. Peters said that had the game been close, he would have been fine to go back in. 

Zach Ertz got 48 snaps (83 percent) but walked away with one catch for 14 yards. He's been on the field, but can't seem to become a part of the passing offense. 

Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles each got 26 snaps on Sunday. Wendell Smallwood got five and Kenjon Barner 3. On the season, Smallwood has 28 carries on 42 snaps. 

Here's a full look at snap counts from Sunday: 

Allen Barbre, 58 snaps, 100 percent
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, 58, 100
Jason Kelce, 58, 100
Carson Wentz, 58, 100
Brandon Brooks, 53, 91
Zach Ertz, 48, 83
Jordan Matthews, 45, 78
Jason Peters, 43, 74
Nelson Agholor 43, 74
Brent Celek, 28, 48
Dorial Green-Beckham, 28, 48
Darren Sproles, 26, 45
Ryan Mathews, 26, 45
Josh Huff, 20, 34
Matt Tobin, 20, 34
Trey Burton, 13, 22
Wendell Smallwood, 5, 9
Stefen Wisniewski, 5, 9
Kenjon Barner, 3, 5

Malcolm Jenkins, 76 snaps, 100 percent
Nigel Bradham, 76, 100
Jordan Hicks, 76, 100
Nolan Carroll, 75, 99
Rodney McLeod, 75, 99
Brandon Graham, 57, 75
Fletcher Cox, 54, 71
Beau Allen, 51, 67
Connor Barwin, 49, 64
Jaylen Watkins, 46, 61
Leodis McKelvin, 44, 58
Vinny Curry, 41, 54
Destiny Vaeao, 30, 39
Jalen Mills, 27, 36
Mychal Kendricks, 24, 32
Marcus Smith, 18, 24
Ron Brooks, 7, 9
Steven Means, 5, 7
Stephen Tulloch, 5, 7