We Can (And Really, Really Should) Build on This: Doc Looks to Follow Up Huge Win Against Marlins

We Can (And Really, Really Should) Build on This: Doc Looks to Follow Up Huge Win Against Marlins

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Tuesdays' win against the Marlins was the biggest of our still relatively young season. It was a game that started out like many of the other horrorshows the Phils have taken in part in recently--giving up quick runs, getting in scoring chances early and squandering them with double plays and strikeouts, coming back in one inning only to relinquish the lead again in the next.

The Phils had every opportunity to give up on that game, but for the first time in what feels like...probably a lot longer than it's actually been, the boys rallied back each time, eventually taking the game by a 10-8 final. It was the legitimate breakout performance we kept expecting over their miserable last few weeks, but were consistently denied. And on a night when the future of the NL East was breathing down their necks, the Phillies simply could not have picked a better moment for such an "F--- you, we're not dead yet" statement.

The good news? Tonight we get to follow up the win by sending Roy Halladay to the mound, who somehow managed to win his last two decisions even amidst the team's offensive woes (going 27 up / 27 down in one of them certainly helps). The ungood news? The offense has to try to encore against Josh Johnson, the towering Marlins ace who probably ranks as the division's second-best pitcher. (Well, with more than one career start, anyway.) JJ is off to a predictably beastly start this season (6-2, 2.10 ERA, over 3:1 K/BB), and in his last start against the Phils, he was a Cameron Maybin error away from forcing Doc to stretch his perfecto into extras.

As a pre-emptive strike against Johnson, Charlie Manuel has reinserted Jayson Werth into the starting lineup for the game. After a nice two-day rest in which the offense managed to get back on track without him, we can only hope that Jayson can now cease putting the weight of the entire city into each of his two-strike swings for the fences, and ease back into being the brilliant all-around hitter we all know him to be. With Ryan starting to groove just a little, and Chase and Raul looking like they're starting to catch up themselves, there's really no overestimating how powerful this lineup can be with Raw Power back in a good headspace.

7:05 pitch from CBP. You're not likely to see a better showdown of aces this year, so let's just hope our offense can provide the kicker. (Yeah, sorry, my skin crawled a little at that one too. Whatever, wash it down with some Maiden.)

St. Joe's to meet St. John's in 2017 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase

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St. Joe's to meet St. John's in 2017 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase

With the matchups for Saint Joseph's men's basketball's conference slate already set, the Hawks have now added an old northeast corridor rival to the nonconference portion of their schedule.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday afternoon that St. Joe's and St. John's will meet on Dec. 20 during of the seventh annual Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Providence and Houston will play in the other contest of the two-game event.

“We are honored to be associated with the Basketball Hall of Fame, an organization that promotes all levels of the game," Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli said in a statement released Monday. "We're delighted for our players to have the opportunity to compete against the legendary St. John's program and are looking forward to an old-fashioned Philly vs. New York matchup.” 

The two schools have played just once in the past 37 years—when the sides met at Hagan Arena in 2013, the Red Storm pulled out a narrow victory to advance to the second round of the NIT. But December's matchup will be the 58th all-time meeting between the programs.

Saint Joseph's last played at the Mohegan Sun Arena back in the 2015 Hall of Fame Showcase, losing to Florida before knocking off Old Dominion in the consolation game. The Hawks return nearly their entire roster for the 2017-18 season, including all five starters, led by the backcourt duo of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble.

Utley made a sick diving play during a very Chase weekend


Utley made a sick diving play during a very Chase weekend

While things in the world of the Phillies are going about as poorly as anyone could have expected, Chase Utley reminded us over the weekend that he is still a bad man at the ripe old age of 38.

Check out this sick diving stop he made over the weekend during the Dodgers game against the Florida Marlins.

Just Chase being Chase.

Oh, and earlier in the weekend Utley is sprinting out of the dugout to get up in people's grills when Giancarlo Stanton even looks in his teammates' direction. Miss that guy. Always.

(Let's just ignore his numbers on the season (.205/.302/.289))