Welcome back, Patch readers!
This week we'll take a look back at some of the prominent stories from the past week, including a red-hot Phillies squad, a long overdue brawl, and Desean Jackson's arrival to training camp.
Let's get it started!
The Bean Brawl
There's plenty of bad blood between the Phillies and the Giants, dating back to last season when Jonathan Sanchez hit Chase Utley in the back with a fastball. Utley casually tossed the ball back to Sanchez, which resulted in a tense back and forth between the two players.
The Giants later ended the Phillies hopes of back-to-back-to-back World Series appearances with a 4-2 series victory over the reigning National League champs in the 2010 NLCS.
This season, the Giants came into Citizens Bank Park, and out-dueled the Phillies starters to take another series victory, causing many in southeastern Pennsylvania to wonder if the Giants had somehow gotten into the heads of the Phillies hitters.
Skip to last week, and the Phillies arrived in San Francisco for a four game series with newly acquired All-Star right fielder, Hunter Pence. In the first game, the Phillies won a pitcher's duel, with Cliff Lee throwing a complete game shutout in a 3-0 victory.
In game two, the bad blood boiled over after Giants relieve Ramon Ramirez pegged Shane Victorino in the back, causing the Flyin' Hawaiian to take a few steps towards the mound.
Both benches cleared and a melee ensued, and the rest is history.
Still, the brawl may be the one thing that was needed to get the San Francisco monkey of their back. The team united in defense of their teammate, making it known that they weren't going to sit back and do nothing.
After order was restored, the Phillies continued their way to a 9-2 victory, and ultimately ended up taking three of four from the Giants on the road.
It was nice to see the unity, and the new-found determination in the wake of a brawl, and if the Phillies end up taking out the Giants in the playoffs, you can trace that confidence back to Ramon Ramirez.
Question: What length suspension do you think Shane Victorino will receive?
Top of the World
Overshadowed by the brawl with the Giants was the fact that the Phillies had a nine-game winning streak, putting further distance between themselves and the second-place Braves.
The Phillies offense has been clicking as of late, and the addition of Hunter Pence has proven to be solid acquisition. Since July 1, the Phillies have scored five runs or more in over half of their 32 games, which is a noticeable improvement for a team that ranked in the bottom third of the league offensively only a month or so ago.
Pitching has been dominant, and only looks to improve as Oswalt returns to the lineup. When your fifth starter boasts an 8-1 record with a 2.35 ERA, nothing more needs to be said.
Question: As of this moment, is Vance Worley the National League Rookie of the Year?
Pay the Man
Desean Jackson arrived to Lehigh on Monday morning, along with his oft-loathed agent, Drew Rosenhouse. D-Jax put on his pads and hit the practice field in the afternoon, while making it known that he expects a new contract.
You'll find no argument here.
Jackson has become one of - if not - the most explosive players in the league. Any time he touches the ball, the potential is there for him to take it to the house. He's been to two Pro-Bowls in three seasons, and despite his smaller size, he's shown a remarkable willingness to catch the ball in traffic.
When you consider Jackson is probably the best offensive player on a team that also has Vick, Maclin, McCoy, and Brown, being paid the league-minimum is really a travesty. The fans know it, the Eagles know it, and Jackson knows it.
Unlike Owens, who similarly wanted a new contract, Jackson has repeatedly stated that he wants to be an Eagle, and he showed up to camp instead of doing situps in his driveway. Hopefully his professionalism and optimism will pay off before the season begins.
Question: What type of numbers do you think Jackson is looking for in a new contract?
Quote of the Week
"Thanks Philly for blessing me for 12 years and for your support on and off the field! May God bless you all,"
- David Akers, who after realizing he would not be coming back to the Eagles, purchased a large billboard on I-95 thanks the fans.
Stay classy, David.
Video of the Week
The Phillies wrap up their west coast trip with a three game series against the Dodgers, before coming home for another trio of games against the last place Nationals.
The Eagles will continue training camp at Lehigh, and they'll also play their first pre-season game of the year on Thursday against the Ravens at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Union will also play host to FC Dallas on Saturday at PPL park.
Here’s your schedule for the upcoming week in Philadelphia sports:
- Phillies at Dodgers 10:10 p.m. on CSN
- Phillies at Dodgers 3:10 p.m. on CSN
- Eagles vs. Ravens (Preseason) 7:30 p.m. on 6ABC
- Phillies vs. Nationals 7:05 p.m. on CSN
- Phillies vs. Nationals 7:05 p.m. on CSN
- Eagles Training Camp 8:05 a.m. / 2 p.m. (Autograph – RB, WR, and K)
- Union vs. FC Dallas 8 p.m. on 6ABC
- Phillies vs. Nationals 1:35 p.m. on PHL 17
- Eagles Training Camp 8:05 a.m. / 2 p.m. (Autograph – QB's, Defensive Backs)
If you have questions you would like to see answered in next week's Phour for Phour column, email them to email@example.com.