Monday, April 07, 2008

What a weekend.....

Last weekend is as about as busy as it gets when you follow the four major sports teams. The results were mostly good, especially for the winter sports teams, who with victories last Friday, both clinched berths in the playoffs for their respective leagues.

The Sixers clinched their playoff berth on the road, by beating the Atlanta Hawks by score of 109 - 104. Andre Iguodala led the way with 30 points and 10 assists. And while the Sixers did drop the backend of the home-and-home series with Atlanta, it shouldn't have dampened the palpable enthusiasm people are starting to acquire for this Sixers team.

The Flyers did not allow a goal all weekend and swept both games from their divisional foes. In doing so, they have earned themselves the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference and a playoff date with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The Flyers' win against New Jersey last Friday night was nothing short of heroic, while their win yesterday against the Pens was nothing short of anti-climactic. Martin Biron collected both shutouts and seems to be peaking at the right time and Scottie Upshall, seemingly always in Coach Stevens' doghouse, picked up key goals in both games. A preview of the Flyers' playoff foe will come this week.

The Phillies have dropped two in a row to the Reds, but did win in convincing fashion last Friday on the strength of 2 Chase Utley homers. Brett Myers' adjustment back to the rotation was singularly unimpressive in yesterday's loss to the Reds, going only 5 innings once again. The Phils will have an opportunity to salvage a split with the Reds today, with CMH going up against Bronson Arroyo.

Other observations:

- Anyone catch Evgeni Malkin diving like Greg Louganis at the Olympics during yesterday's game? The Penguins are probably happy to be paired up with injury-depleted Ottawa in the playoffs, but if they try to employ their little diving techniques against a Canadian-based team, it will be trumpeted in the press all across North America.

- The last thing the Pens wanted was a playoff series against the Flyers. The Pens would probably win such a series right now, but they would come out of such a series beaten up a little. The Pens, like the Flyers, have shown a commitment to team defense recently, but they cannot hide that paper thin defense forever.

- Willie Green....1 for 11 last Saturday night against Atlanta. U-G-L-Y.

- Encouraging outing from Adam Eaton last Saturday....7 innings, 3 runs, all earned. He deserved a better fate than a ND.

- Hopefully, the league makes a big deal of it when Ken Griffey Jr. gets his 600th homer, which should be shortly the way he has swung the bat against the Phils. You tend to forget about Junior because of the inflated numbers so many other players have put up and the way he has been injured in the past few years. We should appreciate the type of player that Junior is while he is still playing.

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