Phillies Kick Off Milwaukee Series with Issues Looming

Phillies Kick Off Milwaukee Series with Issues Looming

With the Phillies and Brewers getting underway just after 8 tonight, you can get a guilt-free Flyers fix in for an hour. The Flyers will host the Devils on CSN at 7, with Ray Emery scheduled to play the whole game.

For a team with a 6.5 game lead on their division with 11 games remaining, the Phillies aren't exactly storming into October. The Lidge situation is a total mess and nobody can come up with a workable solution -- if there even is one. Charlie has said over and over that Lidge is his guy, for better or for worse. The way he's been pitching lately it certainly looks "for worse."

There's only one way I can see this ending well.

So I just spent about twenty minutes writing, deleting, writing, and deleting a scenario in which I could see it ending well. The only problem was, I didn't believe any of it myself.

It looks to me, as of today, that Charlie is going to stick with Lidge. I don't get it. I wouldn't do it. But it seems to be what he's saying.

So how does this all end well? If I had to bet on a dream scenario given the current circumstances, I'd say Charlie goes with the hot hand. Only on some nights, he thinks Lidge has the hot hand. Someone over at Beerleaguer joked about picking a name out of a hat, and as ridiculous as it sounds, it might actually work better than simply putting Lidge out there for every save opportunity. They're just going to have to get lucky.

Alright, enough Lidge. It's infuriating and depressing. I think if there's been any point in the Phillies season to pray something works it self out, it's right now with the back of the rotation. Worth a shot at least.

The Phils kick off a four game set tonight at Miller Park where the nuts are roasted warm and coated in cinnamon. They're actually pretty damn good.

The Brewers have no shot at the postseason so whether they're motivated by playing the spoiler role remains to be seen.

Tonight it's J.A. Happ against Jeff Supan. First pitch is set for 8:05.

Feel free to discuss both the Flyers and Phillies games below.

Flyers lines tonight via AntSanFlip: Gagne-Carter-Briere, Asham-Giroux-van Riemsdyk, Maroon-Laperriere-Pyorala, Laliberte-Betts-Carcillo

Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

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Today's lineup: Phillies try to salvage game against struggling Anibal Sanchez

Justin Verlander mowed down the Phillies last night in a 3-1 Tigers victory, but the Phils have a chance to strike back this afternoon against a struggling pitcher who hasn't had much career success against them.

Anibal Sanchez will take the hill for the Tigers and oppose Aaron Nola in today's series finale (1:10 p.m. on CSN). To say Sanchez hasn't had a great start to his season would be an understatement. He's 3-5 with a 6.32 ERA and opponents are batting .270 against him.

In his career against the Phillies, Sanchez is just 4-8 with a 4.94 ERA. Granted, most of those numbers came in the early part of his career with the Florida Marlins, when he regularly faced powerful Phillies lineups. As one might expect, Ryan Howard, who is again in the lineup today as the designated hitter and batting fifth, has seen Sanchez plenty of times. His 42 at-bats against Sanchez are tied for third-most against the 32-year-old righty. Howard's done OK against Sanchez — 9 for 31 (.290 average) with two homers and four RBI. Maybe some familiarity will finally lead to a breakout game for Howard. But, if his massive slump is any indication, maybe not.

For as poor as Sanchez's start to the season has been, Aaron Nola's first six weeks of 2016 have been at the other end of the spectrum.

Today's Phillies starter is 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA. But he's been better than those numbers show.

His .900 WHIP is third in the NL, as is his 5.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.45 hits allowed per nine innings is fourth in the NL, as is his 1.65 walks per nine innings. His 64 strikeouts rank eighth in the NL. Imagine if he got more than the 2.89 runs of support he's been getting in his starts.

As for the rest of the Phillies' lineup today, the only changes see Andres Blanco getting the start for Cesar Hernandez, batting seventh and Cameron Rupp behind the plate, batting sixth.

Phillies
1. Odubel Herrera CF
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Maikel Franco 3B
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Ryan Howard DH
6. Cameron Rupp C
7. Andres Blanco 2B
8. Tyler Goeddell LF
9. Peter Bourjos 1B

Tigers
1. Cameron Maybin CF
2. J.D. Martinez RF
3. Miguel Cabrera DH
4. Victor Martinez 1B
5. Nick Castellanos 3B
6. Steven Moya LF
7. James McCann C
8. Mike Aviles 2B
9. Jose Iglesias SS

Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

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Watch: Miguel Cabrera gives Jeremy Hellickson thumbs up for fooling him on nasty pitch

The Phillies once again couldn't find much offense and fell to the Tigers in Detroit last night by a final of 3-1.

But at least the pitching showed something.

There was a fun moment between Jeremy Hellickson and Miguel Cabrera after Hellickson threw quite a nice pitch that fooled Miggy.

Here's how Jim Salisbury described the fun battle:

Hellickson served up a down-the-middle fastball to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and Cabrera swatted it for an RBI double. He has four RBIs in the first two games against the Phillies.
 
In the third inning, Hellickson struck Cabrera out on a nasty changeup for the third out. The pitch was so good that Cabrera flashed Hellickson a thumbs-up before spiking his helmet to the ground.
 
Hellickson’s changeup has been very good lately.
 
“I really feel comfortable with it right now and I’m throwing it for a lot of strikes,” he said.

And here's the thumbs up:

Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

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Eagles 2016 training camp schedule features 2 open practices

Eagles rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans will report to training camp on Monday, July 25. 

The rest of the veterans will report on July 27, with the first full-team practice of training camp taking place on Thursday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m., the team announced Wednesday. 

The majority of training camp practices this summer under Doug Pederson will take place at the NovaCare Complex, beginning at 8:15 a.m., which is earlier than the team practiced during camp under former head coach Chip Kelly. The early practices hark back to training camps under Andy Reid at Lehigh, although now the team will have its walkthroughs in the afternoon. 

The Eagles will have two practices open to fans at Lincoln Financial Field: Sunday, July 31 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. Both open practices are free and don't require tickets. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The Eagles will have several off days throughout camp: Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 12. And camp ends on Aug. 16, with the preseason opener vs. the Tampa Bay Bucs in the middle, on Aug. 11.