Unsponsored Keys to the Game

Unsponsored Keys to the Game

We know how important Sarge's Chrysler Jeep Eagle Saturn Lexus Not-At-All Obvious Keys to the Game are to all of you, so we've decided to come up with a few of our own to sate you early this afternoon. Feel free to chime in with your own.

Get to Francis early (Sarge loves this one for its creativity). Their bullpen got used and abused in the play-in game, and it'd be great to get them involved early in Game 1.

Run. Yorvit Torrealba has a girl's arm, and the Phils have been a terror on the basepaths against poor-throwing catchers (Lo Duca!). Unfortunately, it's also not too hard to steal on Chris Coste, who will catch for the ailing Carlos Ruiz today. Ruiz is starting! At least we have the faster team, and I bet we see Charlie try to mix in some "manufactured runs" today.

Cole's change-up. If it's on, and the 3:00 shadows are out, the Rockies don't have a chance.

The Phrenzy. A playoff atmosphere of starving fans on a warm day? It's going to be intense down there, defining the home-field advantage. The Phillies will win this game.

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.