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Hits by Phillies in 3 of their last 4 games

The Flyers are counting on familiar faces to develop together so this team can be a Stanley Cup contender. Eric Fisher doesn’t see the Flyers as a Cup contender, but thinks they may be better than some expect.

Chairman Ed Snider says the Flyers’ culture “is to win.” But is that culture, which includes a heavy dose of loyalty, also responsible for the Flyers’ failure to win a Stanley Cup since 1975?

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the fallout from the Eagles’ season-opening 3-game winning streak, three young stars with similar-sounding first names and the new-look Chase as it arrives at Dover.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Tommy Boy! Phillies snap losing streak Tommy Joseph ties game with solo homer in 7th inning, singles home Michael with winning run in 11th as Phillies edge visiting Rockies, 2-1, to avoid sweep of 4-game series and halt 5-game losing streak. Six relievers allow just 2 hits in 6 innings. Starter Vince Velasquez strikes out 7 in 5 innings, but allows 8 hits, throws 94 pitches. Odubel Herrera goes 0 for 5 with 5 strikeouts. Maikel Franco returns to lineup after sitting out 2 games, goes 1 for 5. Aaron Nola starts Friday (7 p.m.) as Phillies open series with visiting Reds.

2. Cox among no-shows at OTAs Eagles begin OTAs (Organized team activities) without DT Fletcher Cox, OT Jason Peters, DE Marcus Smith, punter Donnie Jones. OTAs are voluntary, but almost everyone attends. Isaac Seumalo lines up at left guard with first team. Allen Barbre has calf injury. With Peters missing, Lane Johnson moves to left tackle, Halapoulivaati joins starting unit at right tackle. Patrick Robinson, Jalen Mills line up as first-team cornerbacks.

3. Game 7 tonight Penguins, Senators square off tonight (8 p.m.) in Game 7 of Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 6, one game after being pulled during 7-0 defeat, Craig Anderson makes 45 saves, Mike Hoffman scores game-winner in 3rd period as Senators edge Penguins, 2-1, to force Game 7. In Western Conference Finals, Colton Sissons registers hat trick, Pekka Rinne makes 38 saves as Predators break tie in 3rd period, post 6-3 victory to wrap up Western Conference Finals in 6 games. Predators, in Cup final for 1st time, will face Penguins-Senators winner in game 1 next Monday. Peter Laviolette becomes 4th coach in NHL history to reach final with 3 different teams.

4. Cavaliers try to finish off Celtics Cavaliers try to eliminate Celtics tonight (8:30 p.m.) in Game 5 of Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 4, Kyrie Irving pours in 42 points, including 19 during a 5-minute span, to help Cavaliers rally for 112-99 triumph over visiting Celtics, taking 3-1 series lead. LeBron James adds 34 points despite being limited by foul trouble, picking up 4 during 1st half. Celtics without Isaiah Thomas for rest of postseason due to hip injury. In Western Conference Finals, Stephen Curry pours in 36 points, Kevin Durant contributes 29 points, 12 rebounds as Warriors complete sweep of Spurs with 129-115 victory.

5. Embiid, Saric rookie of year finalists Sixers center Joel Embiid, forward Dario Saric named finalists for NBA Rookie of Year Award. Embiid led Sixers in scoring (20.2 points), rebounds (7.8) and blocked shots (2.5), but was limited to 31 games. Saric averaged 12.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, but his numbers increased after the All-Star break. The 3rd finalist is Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon.

6. NFL loosens celebration rules NFL allows group celebrations, football to be used as prop after TDs next season. Taunting opponents as part of celebration still will be penalized.

7. High-5 for Union? Union (4-4-4) will try to stretch winning streak to 5 games Saturday (8 p.m.) at Real Salt Lake. Last Saturday, Union fall behind against visiting Colorado, which has worst record in MLS, but rally with 2 second-half goals to extending winning streak to 4 with 2-1 triumph. C.J. Sapong ties game with penalty kick. With Rapids playing 1 man short due to ejection, Haris Medunjanin scores game-winner on free kick.

8. Cloud-y day at Preakness Cloud Computing, a 13-1 shot, comes from behind to catch Classic Empire, winning Preakness by a nose. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming battles with Classic Empire for most of race before fading to 8th.

9. Sweden tops Canada in final Henrik Lundqvist stops all 4 attempts in shootout as Sweden edges Canada, 2-1, in gold medal game of IIHF World Championships. Sweden scores shorthanded goal in final minute of 2nd period, but Canada counters with power play goal in 3rd period. 20-minute overtime period scoreless, so shootout required. Sweden scores twice in shootout. Team Canada includes Travis Konecny (8 assists during tournament, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn. Russia (Ivan Provorov) defeats Finland (Valtteri Filppula), 5-3, in bronze medal game.

10. Soul try to remain unbeaten Soul (6-0) will visit Washington on Saturday (1 p.m.). In last Saturday’s game, Dan Raudabaugh throws for 8 TDs, including 3 apiece to Darius Reynolds and Shaun Kauleinamoku, as Soul roll to 64-46 victory over visiting Cleveland.

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WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
Phillies 7, Pittsburgh 2

Saturday
Pittsburgh 6, Phillies 3
Union 2, Colorado 1
Soul 64, Cleveland 46

Sunday
Pittsburgh 1, Phillies 0

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Rockies 8, Philllies 1

Tuesday
Rockies 8, Philllies 2

Wednesday
Rockies 7, Phillies 2

Thursday
Phillies 2, Rockies 1 (11 inngs.)

Friday
Reds at Phillies, 7 p.m.

Saturday
Reds at Phillies, 4 p.m.
Soul at Washington, 1 p.m.
Union at Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m.

Sunday
Reds at Phillies, 1:30 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

Phillies Notebook: Slump is a team effort

Outfielder Odubel Herera (pictured) and the Phillies are battling severe slumps, with Herrera's average taking a sharp drop and the Phillies losing 19 of their last 23 games. The only consistency in their games is that they are inconsistent. ***** If NFL ...
Phillies Notebook: Slump is a team effort

Thoughts on the draft?

What do you think of the Eagles’ draft? Share your opinion in Voice of the Phanatics.

3rd pick might be charm

For the third time in the past four seasons, the Sixers will have the third pick in the NBA Draft. In 2014, they selected Joel Embiid (pictured). In 2015, they selected Jahlil Okafor with the third pick. Whom will the Sixers select at No. 3 this year?

Fish ‘n Chips

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the growing provincialism among local sports fans, the Eagles’ OTA, Travis Konecny’s fine showing at worlds, and the numerous playoff teams losing their leading scorer.s

Top 10 at No. 14

With the Eagles scheduled to select 14th during the first round of the NFL Draft, we present the top 10 picks at No. 14 during the past 50 years. Will Derek Barnett make this list one day?

Bittersweet farewells

May - 13 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The emotional tributes to catcher Carlos Ruiz this past week at Citizens Bank Park were wonderful, but they, along with the release of Ryan Howard by the Braves, were also reminders that the heroes of the 2008 World Series championship team are at the end or twilight of their careers.

NBA playoffs preview: Spurs have tough task

May - 13 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Spurs have the difficult challenge of facing the Warriors, who enter the Western Conference Finals having won 23 of their previous 24 games, including all eight playoff games. The Cavaliers are also 8-0 during the postseason as they enter the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics.

NHL playoff preview: Can Sens stop Pens?

May - 11 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

After defeating the Capitals in seven games, Sidney Crosby (pictured) and the defending-champion Penguins appear on track to return to the Stanley Cup Finals. Only the low-scoring Senators stand in the Penguins’ path. In the Western Conference, the Predators and Ducks will battle for supremacy. Read the story for analysis and predictions for both conference finals.

Fish ‘n Chips

May - 8 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the dramatic change that can occur in a draft lottery, why rooting for Sidney Crosby — yes, Sidney Crosby — is OK under certain circumstances, and the impact of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement.

Heel Turns: ‘World War’ comes to Philly

May - 7 - 2017 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling examines the War of the Worlds tour, which comes to 2300 Arena next Sunday. Achilles Heel also examines the fallout from WWE’s Payback, the box office battle between The Rock and Batista, and reviews the card for CZW’s “Sacrifices” on Saturday.

Evaluating Birds’ draft

May - 7 - 2017 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Gordon Glantz analyzes the Eagles’ draft, explaining why they made the picks they made and what he would have done instead.

1 year ago: NBA Draft lottery