They beat the Dodgers in the West Coast series, then lost the series to the same team at home. They give up early leads, then give up late leads, then win in extra innings, after a historic collapse earlier in the season.
Who are the Phillies this season? Are they a team of destiny, if they can only figure out how to put together all their talent into what ultimately defines the top clubs - a consistent game plan and style of play?
But the early season questions and challenges should be answered at this point. The Phillies need to get it together fast, writes David Murphy. The time to win is now.
Last night may have set the tone, but only if the wins keep coming.
❓Will the Phillies win their series against the Braves, who helped sink the Phillies’ playoff hopes last season? Email us back for a chance to be featured in the newsletter.
A Moniak decision looms for Phillies
The Phillies will soon have to make a decision on Mickey Moniak and in turn their plan in center field. One of the big stories of spring training, Moniak made the opening day roster only to be sideline by a broken right hand suffered in the final game of spring. He started a rehab assignment at single-a Clearwater on Friday and will be in double-A Reading next week. Meanwhile, the current center fielders on the Phillies roster aren’t exactly lighting it up. Roman Quinn is batting .143/.172/.315 this season. And Odúbel Herrera was batting .176 on this homestand entering Sunday’s game, .250/.278/.456 overall. Joe Girardi might be in wait-and-see mode, but there does seem to be an urgency in how Moniak is moving through his rehab assignment.
The trade deadline is Aug. 2 but it’s never too early to look at some potential deals that could address the Phillies’ biggest weaknesses.
The Phillies avoided a sweep by the Dodgers thanks to a gaffe by Max Muncy in a 4-3 win in 10 innings on Sunday.
Next: The Phillies open a four-game series in Atlanta at 7:20 p.m. Monday (NBCSP). Zack Wheeler (2-3. 3.49) will take on Braves left-hander Tucker Davidson (1-0, 5.87).
Howie is on a roll
Eagles GM Howie Roseman has been able to engineer an offseason that has drawn praise, as he has used free agency, the draft, and trades to build up the roster. And if it seems that Roseman has been pulling the right strings sources tell columnist Marcus Hayes that in fact he has taken almost full control of the Eagles’ player personnel decisions. That doesn’t mean Roseman isn’t taking input from others, but when it’s time to make a decision, he’s been going with his gut.
Villanova legend takes on a new challenge
Villanova alum Collin Gillespie accomplished a lot as a collegiate player, winning an NCAA title, reaching the Final Four and being named Big East Player of the Year. Now that his career with the Wildcats is over, he’s on to the next challenge, which is impressing NBA types and proving that he has enough talent to play at the highest level.
That effort started in earnest at the NBA draft combine for Gillespie, who will now shoot across the country and workout for teams in preparation for the June 23 draft. The Inquirer’s Gina Mizell spoke with Gillespie in Chicago about this new mountain to climb and his effort to “be a sponge” and prove that he belongs in the league.
The Union have been atop the Eastern Conference rankings for quite some time, almost as long as they’ve been without a league win, even (since April 9 versus Columbus). As commendable as it has been for a team to only lose once in league play (April 16 against Toronto), teams play games to win, not merely to avoid losing.
So it was with some relief that the Union got back into the win column and earned a little bit of breathing room atop the conference standings, courtesy of their victory on Sunday night over the Portland Timbers.
Next: The Union take on the New England Revolution on Saturday, May 28 at Gillette Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Worth a look
Game on: Want to get a gamer off the couch and into a game that mimics the thrills they crave with an added exercise element? It’s possible.
On this date
In 1991, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Tommy Greene threw a no-hitter against the Montreal Expos for a 2-0 victory, striking out 10 batters and walking 7. It was only his second start of the season, as he pitched in place of Danny Cox, who was sidelined with a groin injury. Greene was the first visiting pitcher to hurl a no-hitter in Montreal’s history.
What you’re saying about Jalen Hurts
Hope so, not sure, he’s good enough. If not, he has no excuses. He has a great offensive line, outstanding receiving trio and a good running game. That said, he is going to have to go through his progression reads faster, not be so quick to run. I have not seen him do it yet; he will have to if he and the Eagles are to succeed. This is the year, the second as a starter and 3rd in the league. He knows how important it is for both him and the team. I can’t predict, nobody can, but I think he will make big strides and that means the team will also. So, I predict him and the Eagles will be successful. A big part of this responsibility is his. I think he will do it. Go Eagles. — Larry W.
I think that Jalen will step up his game to match the solid talent that has been added to both the offense and defense. His one weakness was his arm strength, which I think he has worked on this offseason. The addition of A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal at WR will allow him to light up their offensive efficiency in the passing game. I predict he will break all of the Eagles’ records for passing yards and TD’s via the air! He will be more confident with the protection offered by one of the best O-Lines in the NFL. He will still run, but more as part of a called play vs scrambling for his life! In addition, the Eagles will have more sustained drives keeping the ball away from the opponent’s offense while tiring the opponent’s D. The Eagle’s D will give the Eagles’ offense more opportunities in almost every game in 2022! Yes, JH will step up his game to make the Eagles a true SB contender! — Jim S.
The quarterback position is the missing link for the birds. We need a QB that can throw the long pass. We signed good receivers but they are useless without a long passer. Hurts can run the ball but I’m sure by now other teams have figured out how to stop him. Hurts seems to be a good guy but that alone doesn’t win Super Bowl Games. The Eagles needed to trade for a QB during the off-season last year. The Eagles have what appears to be a good team and an easy schedule so I guess it’s produce or get traded for Hurts. What I’ve seen of Hurts so far is he won’t be getting one of those 40 million dollar QB contracts next year. — Jerry R.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Alex Coffey, Marcus Hayes, Gina Mizell, David Murphy, Jonathan Tannenwald and Terry Akman.