The Phillies Suck But At Least This Darin Ruf On-Base Streak Is Fun

The Phillies Suck But At Least This Darin Ruf On-Base Streak Is Fun

Unsurprisingly, there haven't been a lot of positives to take from the Phillies' play as of late. When you lose 13 games in 14 tries and find yourself ten games further out of first place--ten games!!--than you were just a couple weeks ago, the cloud's way too big for you to find where any kind of silver lining might start. It's been a miserable, deadening slog that only got worse when the trade deadline passed and we were still stuck with the same exact crappy team that had already tanked the season beyond repair; going nowhere and unlikely to find direction anytime soon.

But yeah, there's been one good thing. It's probably been the only one, with Chase Utley and Cliff Lee slumping and the rest of our good players either injured or not really that good in the first place. But no doubt, Darin Ruf has been a find for this team. Stepping in for Ryan Howard upon the Big Piece's likely season-ending injury, Ruf has provided production that by nearly any measure has been superior to what the $125 million man was giving us, hitting at an impressive .299/.413/.494 clip, compared to the .266/.319/.465 RyHo was giving us.

The really impressive thing, though--and the only fun subplot of the Phils' post All-Star rock-bottoming--has been his on-base streak. 23 games into this season, and Ruf's yet to go a single game without safely reaching base in some manner. He's had a hit in 18 of his 23 games, and in the five hitless ones, he drew a walk in three of them and got hit by a pitch in the other two. (He already has as many HBPs as three-time league HBP champ Chase Utley this year, one of the season's more remarkable statistical feats.)

Bill Evans of the South Jersey Times even points out that going back to last year, Ruf has never failed to reach base in a game that he started, hitting safely in eight of his nine starts last year and drawing a walk in his ninth. Across both years, the streak is the longest of its kind running in baseball, and the longest for the Phils since Chase reached in 33 straight, a streak Ruf can tie tomorrow night against Chicago. And even fun streakiness aside, Ruf's ability to get on base is pretty impressive--his .413 OBP is easily the highest on the Phils (Michael Young and Ben Revere tie for second with mediocre .338s), and would be good for third in the whole NL if he qualified, which of course he doesn't in just 92 PAs.

Even with all this, Phils fans are wise to keep expectations tempered with the 26-year-old sophomore, who like his predecessor at first, also strikes out a metric ton (38 times in 35 games for his career) and plays pretty sub-par defense (worth -.3 wins already this year according to Baseball-Reference), and whose mediocre performance at Triple-A this year suggests his pro numbers may come down a bit before year's end. Still, we owe Ruf some gratitude for giving us a reason, any reason to still give the slightest of cares to this team's performance, to have something to watch for every night, no matter how trivial. It's not the same as Dom Brown's May dominance, perhaps, but we'll take what we can get on this friggin' 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.

About NBC internships

Eagles 34, Redskins 24: Studs, duds, turning point and more

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Eagles 34, Redskins 24: Studs, duds, turning point and more

The Eagles didn't look like the best team in the NFL. Not even close.

For most of the first half on Monday Night Football, the Eagles were a mess. They were committing penalties, giving up big plays and floundering on offense.

Then things changed.

Then Carson Wentz started to look like an MVP. And then the Eagles started to look like the team fans in Philadelphia have become used to seeing over the first half of the season.

They started to look like the best team in the NFL again.

The Eagles recovered from their early missteps to beat Washington 34-24 at the Linc on Monday night to remain in control of the division and the conference.

With the win, the Eagles are 6-1 and are all alone with the best record in the NFL. They also gained more ground, sweeping the season series with Washington, which fell to 3-3.

While the Eagles picked up a big win, they did suffer a couple losses. Jason Peters (knee) and Jordan Hicks (ankle) both left the game and did not return. The Eagles have lost important players before but these will be hard to overcome. 

Wentz was dynamic on Monday Night Football. In a second straight nationally televised game, Wentz dazzled and showed why his name is at the forefront of the NFL MVP discussion.

Wentz completed 17 of 25 passes for 268 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. His four touchdowns went to four different receivers. Wentz finished the game with a passer rating of 126.3. It's the third game in a row he's had a passer rating over 100 and it's just the sixth such game of his career.

Turning point
The Eagles looked awful early in the game but then they broke out of a funk when Wentz hit Mack Hollins on a 64-yard touchdown bomb. That changed the game and brought some life back into the Linc.

Key stat
Before the Arizona game, Wentz had never had a three-touchdown game. He has three in a row now and 11 in three games.

Wentz has more touchdown passes in the last three games (11) than 19 teams have all season.

Offensive stud
Wentz is the real deal. After a bad start, he made some spectacular plays and carried the team. He's a legitimate MVP candidate.

Offensive dud
Torrey Smith didn't have much of an impact. He didn't have a catch and was targeted just once.

Defensive stud
Malcolm Jenkins played a great game on Monday night. He was everywhere. He stopped Jordan Reed on a key third down before Wentz hit Hollins on the deep touchdown pass.

Defensive dud
We'll give this to Najee Goode but that's probably unfair. It looked like Chris Thompson was his responsibility on the touchdown. Hard duty, as Jim Schwartz would say.

Key plays
•Corey Graham picked off a Kirk Cousins pass to give the Eagles great field position and Jake Elliott drilled a 42-yarder to add three more points.

•On 3rd-and-8, Wentz somehow pulled off a magic trick and escaped a sure sack. He was able to escape and scramble for 17 yards. He capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. It was Wentz's fourth TD pass of the game and it put the Eagles up 31-17.

•Cousins hit Reed on a short touchdown pass to cut into the Eagles' lead. It made the score 24-17.

•Wentz threw a ridiculous pass while getting hit by two guys and hit Corey Clement in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown. Clement tapped both feet in to put the Eagles up 24-10.

•After a Washington three-and-out, Wentz and the Eagles got the ball with 1:52 left in the half and drove down to score another touchdown. The big play on the drive was a 46-yarder to Zach Ertz, who then caught a four-yard touchdown pass to put the Eagles up 17-10.

•Wentz hit Hollins on a 64-yard touchdown bomb in the second quarter to tie the game at 10-10. It was Wentz's fourth 50-yard pass of the season. He had just three all last season.

•Cousins found Thompson for a seven-yard touchdown to put Washington up 10-3. Thompson was wide open in the flat and the Eagles were missing Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks.

•Elliott drilled a 50-yarder to start the second-quarter scoring. It was his 11th straight make.

•Derek Barnett picked up his first solo sack to end a Washington drive in the first quarter. It came at a good time.

•After Washington kicked a field goal on their opening drive, the Eagles' first offensive drive was a disaster. They had four penalties and gained just five yards. It ended when Wentz threw a deep interception that was basically an interception.

Injuries
Ronald Darby (ankle) might return next week but was inactive against Washington. So was Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), who popped up on the Eagles' injury report during the week.

The Eagles lost Hicks (ankle) on the second play of the game and Peters (knee) on the first drive of the second half (see story).

Up next
The Eagles have two more home games before their bye week. Next Sunday, they'll face the winless 49ers and then face the Broncos before their week off.