Philly playoff fever for Union, Phillies

Although things have to go reasonably well for a team to make the playoffs, championships aren’t won if teams fail to make the playoffs, no matter how well things go in the regular season. The Phillies, who have been knocking on the playoffs door for so long, have finally made it back after a decade.

Now they’re playing with a few games to win countdown to get them into the World Series. All that stands in their way are the Padres.

Likewise, the Union only needs to win a few games to reach the final of the MLS Cup. However, your margin for error is zero since these are all elimination games. In other ways, their fans have also suffered through lean years and heartbreak, like last season’s COVID-19-hit Eastern Conference final loss.

Now the Union are moving into that game again, with the organization’s first-ever MLS Cup final just a win away.

— Andrea Canales, Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport, [email protected].

There were many things that worked in David Adelman’s favor. He works with the owners of the 76ers as chairman of 76 Devcorp, a new development company responsible for building 76 Place at Market East. He has also been best friends for 25 years with Michael Rubin, whose sports company Fanatics grew too big for him to remain a limited partner of the Sixers.

Now Adelman has taken the mantle after buying part of Rubin’s 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. And predictably, he said it was a natural fit. “I think as a partner with Philadelphia, I can bring some perspectives on the city and things like that,” Adelman said. “You know, it feels very natural there to work, to be partners with them in the arena.”

What doesn’t feel natural is that the Sixers are suddenly winless this season.

Keith Pompey takes a closer look at how this came about.

Next: The Sixers will take the field again Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.

As of mid-December 2020, the Phillies had been in a stagnant rebuild for 5½ years. They had put a cartful of highly paid freelancers in front of the twin horses of design and development, and the whole endeavor faltered. When owner John Middleton was looking for a new architect, he actually needed a craftsman. Enter Dave Dombrowski.

A 4-0 lead Wednesday in San Diego means the Phillies need at least one — maybe two — wins from a pitcher not named Wheeler or Nola.

The former Phillie, who hit one of the most dramatic home runs in National League Championship Series history, will throw the ceremonial first pitch on Friday.

Next: The series moves to Citizens Bank Park for Game 3 on Friday at 7:37pm (FS1). Ranger Suárez (3.65 regular-season ERA, 2.70 in one playoff start) starts against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove (2.93 regular-season, 1.38 in two playoff starts).

The Eagles can hit opponents in a variety of ways, but it’s a great sign for them that they have the staff to run the ball down a defense’s throat when they want to. They showed that in the game sealing drive against Dallas. And as Jordan Mailata notes, the Eagles’ running game can’t be stopped even if a defense knows it’s coming. The Eagles are smart at running the ball a lot because of their ability to counter modern defenses designed to stop pass attacks, writes columnist Mike Sielski.

The Flyers unveiled their new ‘reverse retro’ jerseys on Thursday, and they’re CLEAN.

While the Flyers’ new sweaters may be pretty, the team’s game wasn’t always like that, and that’s perfectly fine with John Tortorella. Giana Han on why “ugly” is as good as beautiful for the Flyers’ new coach.

Next: The Flyers are in Music City Saturday to wrap up their three-game road trip against the Nashville Predators (8 p.m. NBCSP+).

The break cost Union a certain rhythm. Also, it cannot be ruled out how much captain Alejandro Bedoya was missing due to an ongoing injury. One can also imagine the fratricide of killing the playoff chances of players and staff who have been teammates for so long potentially affecting both rosters. Whatever the exact reason, the Union’s playoff game against the FC Cincinnati MLS Cup in the first half was, in a word, tough.

Things improved. Andre Blake and Union’s impressive defense worked their magic to keep Union ahead and eventually top scorer Leon Flach stepped forward. Leon Flach? Yes, no one had placed him in their bet to score, but Jonathan Tannenwald notes, that’s the wonder of playoff football.

Mike Jensen also writes that this is part of the alchemy of this Union roster, which includes a next-man-up philosophy. It starts at the top of the union structure, finding hidden gems, trusting them to shine, and doing it so consistently it’s almost a miracle.

Redemption Tour: After the crushing loss to Central Florida, Temple is hoping to get back on the road to success.

Rush: Villanova will rely on his ground play to get back on track against Albany.

We asked who would win the NLCS and in how many games? Among your answers:

Phillies win the NLCS in 6 — robert g

We’ve put together today’s newsletter with stories from Keith Pompey, Gina Mizell, Mike Sielski, Scott Lauber, Jeff Neiburg, Gustav Elvin, Giana Han, Jonathan Tannenwald, Mike Jensen, Cayden Steele, Erin McCarthy and Meghann Morhardt.


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