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Hits for Astros on Monday during 13-4 victory over Phillies

Although he doesn’t recall playing sports very often with his father, Eric Fisher has fond memories of watching sports with his Dad, who passed away this past Saturday.

Despite concerns about Nerlens Noel’s inconsistency, he’s playing better in January. Eric Fisher also provides good news and bad news about two 20-year-olds who are supposed to be part of the Sixers’ future, tells us which teams are moving up toward playoff position and examines the Sixers’ upcoming schedule.

The hiring of Sam Hinkie as 76ers president and general manager brings the analytics craze to Philadelphia. Eric Fisher questions whether the numbers will add up to success.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…  

1. Eagles training camp begins Eagles open training camp with rookies, QBs and select veterans. First practice was Monday. First full squad practice is Thursday. First practice open to public is Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. Eagles release CB Dwayne Gratz, place DT Beau Allen (pectoral), rookie CB Sidney Jones (Achilles tendon) on active/non-football injury list. Neither is expected to be ready during training camp, although they could be activated if cleared to play. Eagles sign Canadian rugby star Adam Zaruba (6-5, 265), who hasn’t played competitive football since high school. Dane Evans, undrafted free agent from Tulsa, as 4th QB.

2. Pederson: Matthews may be limited Receiver Jordan Matthews, who was limited during OTAs and mini-camps as he recovered from knee injury, might still be limited during training camp, according to head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson also revealed that LB Jordan Hicks had “minor procedure” during offseason to fix broken bone in hand and might be limited during training camp; that veteran CB Ron Brooks is starter in slot; and that RB Ryan Mathews, who is expected to be released when he’s healthy, will continue to rehab injury on his own.

3. Astros pour it on against Phillies Astros pound out 18 hits, including 8 for extra bases en route to 13-4 victory over host Phillies in game delayed 1 hours, 52 minutes by thunderstorms. Before rain hits during top of 4th inning, Phillies start Vince Velasquez allows 4 runs, 6 hits and walks 3 in 3-plus innings. After rain, Astros tee off on reliever Ricardo Pinto, producing 7 hits, 6 runs (3 earned) in 1 1/3 innings. Nick Williams, who extends hitting streak to 8 games, makes score appear less embarrassing with bases-loaded triple in 7th inning. Cesar Hernandez paces Phillies with 3 hits. Nick Pivetta starts tonight (7 p.m.) as Phillies continue series with visiting Astros.

4. Kendrick making impact Howie Kendrick improving trade value ahead of next Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline by delivering pinch-hit single Friday during Phillies’ 6-1 victory over Brewers. Kendrick goes 1 for 5 during Saturday’s 9-8 loss, then contributes 2 hits, 2 RBI to Sunday’s 6-3 victory. Brock Stassi sent to Class AAA Lehigh Valley. Daniel Nava leaves Friday’s game with sore hamstring. Despite describing Aaron Altherr’s right hamstring strain as mild after he injured, Phillies place Altherr on 10-day disabled list. Estimate for Altherr’s return downgraded to 3-4 weeks, but manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday that Altherr could return as early as Tuesday.

5. Spieth recovers, wins British Open Jordan Spieth recovers from horrendous tee shot on 13th hole to shoot 1-under-par 69 in 4th round, winning tournament with combined 12-under 268. Spieth captures 3rd major title, ending streak of 7 straight major winners who were winning major for 1st time. Matt Kuchar, who has never won major, shoots 69, finished 3 strokes behind Spieth. Kuchar, Spieth tied after 12 holes, then Spieth hits tee shot far out of play to right. After 20 minutes to find ball, find drop area and get rulings on obstructions such as TV tower and sponsor trucks, Spieth takes 1-stroke penalty, hits from practice greens. Spieth escapes with bogey, then regains lead from Kuchar with 3 birdies, 1 eagle on next 4 holes.

6. Venus Williams, Querrey sink Freedoms Wimbledon runner-up Venus Williams defeats Sloane Stephens in women’s singles, teams with Anastasia Rodionova to shut out Freedoms in women’s doubles as visiting Washington posts 20-15 victory. Loss ends Freedoms’ winning streak at 4, including 2 straight wins over Washington. Wimbledon semifinalist Sam Querrey posts 5-3 win over Darian King in men’s singles. Final score looks more respectable because Freedoms shut out Kastles in mixed doubles. Freedoms, with Andy Roddick in lineup, host New York tonight (7 p.m.) at Saint Joseph’s.

7. Dempsey boosts U.S. into final Clint Dempsey enters scoreless game in 2nd half, sets up Jozy Altidore for goal, then scores on free kick to lift United States to 2-0 victory over  Costa Rica in semifinals of  CONCACAF Gold Cup at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. U.S. will play Jamaica, a 1-0 semifinal winner over Mexico, in championship game Wednesday (9:30 p.m.) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

8. Crew shut out Union Columbus scores in 65th minute to defeat visiting Union, 1-0, in first half of home-and-home series. Union (6-9-5), who fall 8 points behind Columbus in battle for final playoff berth in Eastern Conference, missing several players due to international obligations, injuries. Union to host Crew (10-10-1) on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.).

9. Sixers’ Bolden to Israel As had been reported earlier, Sixers’ 2nd-round pick Jonah Bolden signs 3-year contract to play for Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv.

10. Rose signs with Cavaliers Guard Derrick Rose, a former NBA MVP signs 1-year contract with Cavaliers. Rose averaged 18 points for Knicks last season, but he has been plagued by knee problems. Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving wants to be traded.

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WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
Phillies 6, Brewers 1
Freedoms 23, Washington 17

Saturday
Brewers 9, Phillies 8
Columbus 1, Union 0

Sunday
Eagles open training camp
Phillies 6, Brewers 3
Freedoms 20, Washington 18

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Astros 13, Phillies 4
Washington 20, Freedoms 15

Tuesday
Astros at Phillies
New York at Freedoms, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday
Astros at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Springfield at Freedoms, noon
Columbus at Union, 7:30 p.m.
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Finals

U.S. vs. Jamaica/Mexico, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday
No games scheduled

Friday
Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Orange County (Calif.) at Freedoms, 7 p.m.

Saturday
Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Soul at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
San Diego at Freedoms, 7 p.m.
Union at New England, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday
Braves at Phillies, 1:30 p.m.
Freedoms at Springfield, 7 p.m.

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

Training camp preview: Battling for position

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Training camp preview: Battling for position

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Fish ‘n Chips

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July - 13 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

With the worst record in baseball at the All-Star break, it’s not surprising that the Phillies’ mid-term grades aren’t very good. There are only two A’s and a whole bunch of failing grades. Check out Eric Fisher’s mid-term grades. Is he too easy or too harsh?

Unlucky in Vegas: Fultz injures ankle

July - 9 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Sixers rookie guard Markelle Fultz, the first overall pick in the NBA Draft, leaves Saturday’s 95-93 victory over the Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League with a left ankle sprain, but isn’t expected to miss significant time due to the injury.

Pirates' Jose Osuna throws out 3 Phillies