Losses in 11 games in California for Phillies before beating Giants on Saturday

The Greek God of Wrestling examines the rapid rise of Jinder Mahal, who will challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Backlash. Achilles Heel also recaps Ring of Honor’s War of the Worlds (and previews the show at 2300 Arena), tells you which Ring of Honor star may be headed for WWE, and tells you when you can see the United Kingdom show on WWE Network.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Dallas Cowboys’ fast start, the legendary career of the late Bill Campbell and how NASCAR’s new Chase format may have elevated anger levels.

With players such as third baseman Maikel Franco (pictured) and Odubel Herrera enduring awful seasons, there is a strong sentiment to call up players from Lehigh Valley, but Eric Fisher warns not to expect too much from the young players when they arrive.


A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…  

1. Eagles, Darby defeat Bills Ronald Darby intercepts pass, returns it 48 yards against his former team as Eagles defeat visiting Bills, 20-16, in preseason game. Eagles intercept 3 passes, including CB Mitchell White’s interception at goal line on final play to preserve victory. First-team offense doesn’t pick up first down until its 4th series. Carson Wentz completes 6 of 9 passes for 56 yards. Alshon Jeffery catches 2 passes for 23 yards in his 1st game as Eagle. Steven Means has 2 sacks. First-round draft pick Derek Barnett has sack. Corey Clement, Byron Marshall score rushing TDs. Eagles will practice with Dolphins on Monday, Tuesday before facing them next Thursday.

2. Peters doesn’t play Left tackle Jason Peters doesn’t play against Bills, so Lane Johnson switches from right tackle to left. Matt Tobin to start at right tackle due to Halapoulivaati Vaitai’a knee injury. Peters missed practice this week for personal reasons. QB Nick Foles, who returns from sore elbow to practice, doesn’t play.

3. Eagles release Mathews Eagles release RB Ryan Mathews after he passes physical. Mathews rushed for 1,200 yards, 14 TDs in 26 games with Eagles, but sustained herniated disc in neck at end of last season. Eagles clear $4 million in cap space by releasing Mathews. Backup QB Nick Foles, who hadn’t practiced since first 2 days of training camp, returns to practice as limited participant Monday. RB Wendell Smallwood (hamstring), guard Barrett Brooks (ankle) also return to practice as limited participant. WR Alshon Jeffery participates in 11-on-11 drills for 1st time since shoulder injury. WR Bryce Treggs (leg soreness) returns to practice. Also continuing to miss practice: OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee), CB Ron Brooks (hamstring), receiver Paul Turner (shoulder), OL Josh Andrews, TE Anthony Denham (calf).

4. Phillies finally win in California Ty Kelly hits pinch-hit grand slam in Phillies’ 7-run 6th inning as they halt 6-game losing streak with 12-9 triumph over host Giants. Phillies win for 1st time this season in California, where they have played 12 times. 7-run 6th inning breaks 4-4 tie. Phillies add run in top of 9th inning, then sweat out bottom of 9th when Giants score 5 runs against Edubray Ramos in 2/3 inning, then get tying run to plate before Hector Neris gets final out. Adam Morgan, who relieves starter Jerad Eickhoff with 2 outs in 5th, ends threat and earns victory. Eickhoff allows 8 hits and 4 runs, including Denard Span’s inside-the-park-homer to start bottom of 1st inning. Rhys Hopkins hits 3-run homer. Freddy Galvis contributes 3 hits. Cameron Perkins, recently called up Pedro Florimon produce RBI during 7-run 6th inning. Jorge Alfaro starts at 1st base in place of slumping Tommy Joseph. Ben Lively pitches today (4 p.m.) as Phillies wrap up series with Giants.

5. Phillies put Herrera on DL Sore left hamstring lands Odubel Herrera on 10-day disabled list. Herrera, who had missed previous 3 games due to the injury, has 17-game hitting streak. Phillies recall pitcher Ben Lively from Class AAA Lehigh Valley. He is expected to start Sunday against Giants, with Mark Leiter Jr. returning to bullpen.

6. Penn State rewards Franklin Penn State extends contract of head coach James Franklin 6 years, guaranteeing him $34.7 million through 2022. After 2-2 start last year, Penn State won 9 straight games before losing to USC in Rose Bowl. Nittany Lions, who were 7-6 in Franklin’s first 2 years, finished season 9-3, ranked 6th in nation.

7. Union squander opportunity Union allow goals early and late, settle for 2-2 tie with host San Jose. Union (8-11-6) have only won once on road this season, but held 2-1 lead for most of 2nd half, but Chris Wondolowski scores on penalty kick in stoppage time to tie game. Earthquake take lead 3 minutes into game, but Union even score on Jack Elliott’s 1st career goal in 35th  minute, then Roland Alberg gives Union lead in 55th minute. Union, who gain no ground in playoff race in Eastern Conference standings, visit first-place Toronto FC, which is undefeated at home, on Wednesday (8 p.m.).

8. Sixers getting national attention Sixers will appear on national television 14 times this season. Ten of Sixers’ first 14 games on road, including season opener Oct. 18 at Washington. Home opener is Oct. 20 against Celtics. Sixers will also face Celtics in London at the O2 Arena on Jan. 11. National TV games include Christmas against Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Sixers to open preseason schedule Wed., Oct 4 against Grizzlies at Wells Fargo Center. Sixers will then face Atlantic Division-favorite Celtics on Fri., Oct. 6 at Wells Fargo Center before going to Boston for rematch on Mon., Oct. 9. Sixers go to Nassau Coliseum on Wed., Oct. 11 to face Nets, and then will wrap up preseason on Fri., Oct. 13 against Heat in Kansas City.

9. NFLPA appeals Cowboys’ Elliott’s suspension National Football League Players Association, citing due process, appeals 6-game suspension given to Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott for 6 games for allegations of domestic violence. Tiffany Thompson, described as Elliott’s girlfriend, alleges Elliott assaulted her 5 times during 1 week in July of 2016. Letter from NFL states that photographic and forensic evidence corroborate Thompson’s claims. If suspended, Elliott, who rushed for 1,631 yards, 15 TDs last season, would return before either of Cowboys’ games with Eagles.

10. Soul advance to ArenaBowl Dan Raudabaugh completes 23 of 35 passes for 324 yards and 9 TDs, 6 of them to Darius Reynolds, as the defending-champion Soul defeat visiting Baltimore, 69-54, to advance to ArenaBowl XXX. Soul (14-1) will face Tampa Bay, which defeated Cleveland in semifinals, in ArenaBowl XXX on Aug. 26 at Wells Fargo Center, where Soul have won 17 straight games. Reynolds has 171 receiving yards on 9 receptions.

(To listen to past PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio shows, please click here.)


San Francisco 10, Phillies 2

Phillies 12, San Francisco 9
Union 2, San Jose 2

Phillies at San Francisco, 4 p.m.


No games scheduled

Marlins at Phillies, 4 p.m. (DH)

Marlins at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Union at Toronto FC, 8 p.m.

Marlins at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Dolphins at Eagles, 7 p.m.

Cubs at Phillies, 7 p.m.

Cubs at Phillies, 7 p.m.
Atlanta United FC at Union, 7 p.m.
ArenaBowl XXX
Tampa Bay at Soul, 7 p.m.

Cubs at Phillies, 1:30 p.m.


Birds’ defense dominates, offense stagnates

Things are looking up for linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who has a sack, an interception and a tackle for a 5-yard loss, and the Eagles' first-team defense during a 20-16 preseason victory over the visiting Bills. The first-team offense doesn't fare ...
Birds’ defense dominates, offense stagnates

Biggest concern?

What is your biggest concern about the Eagles as they begin training camp? Share your thoughts in Voice of the Phanatics.

Time to step up

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Clinging to hope

Expectations are high for the Eagles and Sixers this season, but high hopes often result in huge letdowns.

Phils’ in-season trades

With the trade deadline on July 31, we bring you a Top 10 list of the biggest in-season trades by the Phillies.

Heel Turns: SummerSlam could be hot

August - 17 - 2017 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling provides a comprehensive preview of WWE’s SummerSlam this Sunday. Achilles Heel also sends prayers and best wishes to Ric Flair following his surgery, tells us why Alberto El Patron was stripped of the GFW Championship, and highlights Ring of Honor’s and CHIKARA’s upcoming 3-night stands in the United Kingdom.

Phillies Notebook: Nola developing into ace

August - 17 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Aaron Nola has been terrific during his past 10 starts, answering all of the questions he faced at the start of this season. Eric Fisher also says it’s time to do something different with Vince Velasquez, celebrates Rhys Hoskins’ and Jorge Alfaro’s first major-league homers, and argues that Odubel Herrera’s repeated mistakes shouldn’t be brushed aside.

Darby takes center stage

August - 15 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

All eyes will be on cornerback Ronald Darby as the Eagles host the Bills, his former team, in their preseason home opener Thursday (7 p.m.). We present 10 questions about Darby and the rest of the Eagles to consider while watching Thursday’s game.

Fish ‘n Chips

August - 13 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Jordan Matthews trade, two areas of concern for the Eagles (besides cornerback) and the Union’s trail blazing idea.

Eagles trade Matthews for cornerback

August - 11 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Eagles trade receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby, who is entering his third NFL season. Receiver and cornerback were two of the Eagles’ weakest positions last season.

Shaking off the rust

August - 11 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Carson Wentz leads the Eagles to a touchdown on their first possession, but, with Wentz out of the game, the Eagles didn’t reach the end zone again during a mistake-filled 24-9 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Feature on Darren Daulton's inspiring legacy