Papelbon's Second Blown Save Hurts More Than His First, Nats Rally to Avoid Phils Sweep

Papelbon's Second Blown Save Hurts More Than His First, Nats Rally to Avoid Phils Sweep

Jonathan Papelbon probably wasn't going to go the whole season without blowing a save, and we were lucky that his first failed conversion of the year--two nights ago, against this same Nats team--was redeemed by a bottom-of-the-ninth Phils rally, capped by a Domonic Brown RBI single to drive home Ben Revere. However, blown saves result in heartbreak more often than not, and tonight, the Philly offense failed to bail out their closer, when a Jayson Werth RBI single off Pap in the 9th tied things up at 2-2, and Ian Desmond broke things wide open with a grand slam in the 11th. Final score: Nats 6, Phils 2.

Remarkably, not only did the Phils have a chance to win this one in the bottom of the ninth again, but it was almost the exact same scenario as it was two nights ago. Not only did the Phils have two on with two out, they had Dom Brown up at the plate again with the chance to let Pap off the hook and send the Philly Phaithful home happy. He even squibbed a soft liner up the middle that looked like it had a chance of depositing in shallow center, as his winner on Monday did. But this time, the ball died gently in the shortstop Desmond's glove, and the Phils never again got a real chance.

Tonight was not the Domonator's night in general. For the second straight night, he went 0-4 with multiple strikeouts--in fact, the aforementioned soft liner in the 9th was his only time even putting the ball in play. Add in some sluggish defense out in left, and Dom is officially in a bad way at the moment, now having gone ten straight games without an extra base hit--this, of course, immediately following a stretch where he homered ten times in 13 games. In a way, this is a relief, because we knew we were gonna get some serious regression to the mean with DomBro sooner or later, but man, it's almost getting to the point where he's as cold now as he was hot previously. (Almost.)

That said, there's plenty of blame to go around in the Phils' lineup tonight, which after a two-run Michael Young homer in the first, went the next 33 outs without bringing a single man across the plate, racking up just two additional hits in the process. The weak offensive effort wasted a stellar pitching outing from Kyle Kendrick, who had one of his best outings of the season against the struggling Washington offense, going 7 2/3rds with six strikeouts, letting up just two hits, a walk and a run in between his 23 outs. Still, he got to hand the ball over to Jonathan Paplebon with the lead, and up until this series, that'd been good enough for the Phils this year. Sigh.

At least the end of the series means no more Jayson Werth for a while. Werth ends the series 4-12 with a homer and four RBIs, as well as a big walk in the 11th inning tonight, all continuing the time-honored tradition of ex-Phils excelling upon their return visits to Philadelphia. The Nats also leave town having reclaimed the runner-up spot in the NL East, Philly falling back to three games under .500 and eight behind the victorious Braves.

Day off tomorrow, then three against the Mets. The really sad thing about the Phils sub-.500 record is how many crap teams they've played over their first 70+ games, and how even with a sweep of the again-lowly Mets, we'll still be a definitively mediocre team with the real meat of the schedule still yet to come. Hopefully a couple more healthy regulars will help with compensate for that--Chooch got a hit tonight, while Chase began his rehab stint in Reading--but man, getting Dom swinging the bat again (and actually hitting the ball while doing so, preferably far) would be pretty nice as well. Otherweise, getting to .500 might be as good as it gets with this team.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Sixers suffer predictable letdown loss in Memphis, life still mostly beautiful

Sixers suffer predictable letdown loss in Memphis, life still mostly beautiful

You could see this one coming a mile away. As a fan, you always hope that your team is somehow immunized itself against the letdown loss, but even the Golden State Warriors get 'em a couple times a season, and these Philadelphia 76ers ain't the Warriors (yet). And so, after a 5-1 stretch against six teams all in the playoff hunt, the Sixers dropped a should've-been-easy one to the Memphis Grizzlies, thanks to sparkling performances from NBA luminaries Myke Henry, Andre Layton and Jerrell Martin.(And if you can't tell which of those three names I just made up, well, that's sort of the point.) 

The culprits? Well, throw a blind one at your Sixers dartboard: Sloppy turnovers, streaky shooting, foul-prone defense, lack of playmaking down the stretch, and of course, a big fat blown lead. (Only 15 points this time -- this Sixers team rolls out of bed and blows a 15-point lead at this point.) Amazingly, the L came despite a career performance from Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot -- 20 points on 6-8 shooting from deep -- and a combined seven triples from Robert Covington and Dario Saric, which would usually be a pretty solid recipe for Sixers success. 

But Joel Embiid (15 on 5-13 shooting) and Ben Simmons (six on 3-8 FG) were both kept in check, and in the fourth quarter, nobody could either hit a shot or make a clean pass, with more wild crosscourt dishes over the heads of our wing shooters than I can ever remember in one game. Most disturbingly, Jo missed three clutch free throws late, after being practically automatic from the line in clutch situations all year. And yet, somehow, the Sixers could've still won it -- down two with about ten seconds to go, they got a steal under their own basket. But Covington badly misread the time and score -- or just picked a terrible time for one hell of a heat check -- and dribbled out for a sprawling three attempt that was beyond off. Final score: Grizzlies 105, Sixers 101. 

Maybe it was an NFC Championship hangover. Maybe the Sixers wanted to drop one to a team battling with the Lakers in the tanking rankings. Or maybe the Sixers are a good NBA team that occasionally lays an egg against an undermanned, under-talented opponent, because that's a thing that happens in this league, and it hadn't happened yet to Philly in 2018. It sucks, and in this case it costs the Sixers two places in the East standings, but on the whole it's mostly unavoidable. 

Oh well. Chance for redemption Wednesday against Chicago. Even last January, during the invention of #SixersJanuary, the team still lost five games against their ten wins. 5-2 is still about the inverse of where I thought we'd be at this point in the month. Wash this one out with a couple hundred viewings of the Robinson pick six and the ATV going up the Rocky steps and we should all be fine.