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Monday, October 3, 2011

Eagles, Phillies Collapse


          Two big leads weren’t enough for the Eagles or the Phillies on Sunday, and suddenly both seasons are in peril.



Phillies



          The Phillies came back from a shocking 3-0 first inning deficit on Saturday to blow out the Cardinals, 11-6. Roy Halladay settled in after a rocky first inning and shut down the Cards until the offense kicked in. With the offense rolling, I didn’t think the Cardinals would get a win in the series.

          Instead, they flipped the script on Sunday. The Phillies were up 4-0 in the third inning with Cliff Lee on the mound. It felt like the series was over. Apparently, the Phillies offense felt the same way. After running St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter early in the game, the Phillies were shut out by their bullpen.

          I know Philly hates to credit Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, but I think you have to last night. He made the boneheaded decision to start Carpenter on short rest, but then worked his bullpen masterfully.

          Lee threw a ton of pitches early on, recovering from a lead-off triple in the first and a double in the second to keep the Cardinals off the scoreboard. But he threw a lot of pitches, and gave up 3 runs in the 4th, 1 in the 6th, and 1 in the 7th. He’s 0-3 with a 7+ ERA in his last 3 postseason starts. I’m not panicking about him, but it’s something to be aware of.



Eagles



          Heads should roll.

          But it’s the Eagles, and they know more than everyone – just ask them – so we know nothing will happen.

          Up 23-3, the Eagles managed to lose 24-23 to the San Francisco 49ers who came into the week with the worse ranked offense in the NFL.

          That’s what happens when you hire your offensive line coach to be your @#!$ offensive coordinator.

          Their rookie kicker missed two makeable field goals, their running back had the dumbest play anyone will ever see, and a last-second comeback was thwarted by another end-of-game choke by Jeremy Maclin who fumbled as the Eagles approached field goal range.

          But the worst part was that fans felt it coming with a 23-17 lead in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had missed field goals. Ronnie Brown had his brain freeze, throwing the ball as he was being tackled at the goal line for absolutely no reason. And as classless as it was to hear an Eagles fan screaming at Brown that he needed to be cuton television (good job, Fox), it’s hard to argue.

          The Eagles said they were “all-in” this season, and they need to react.

          Ronnie Brown should be released to wake this team up.

Juan Castillo should be fired.

Andy Reid should be fired.

But none of it will happen because the Eagles know best – just ask ‘em.



The difference between the two franchises



          Moving forward, I do believe both seasons are in jeopardy. The Phillies are suddenly in a 3-game series where anything can happen. The Eagles are in last place.

          The Phillies have Cole Hamels to turn things around.

          The Eagles have Andy Reid.

          Thank God we have the Phillies.

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