AOL Sports Bloggers Live

AOL Sports Bloggers Live

I was a guest last night on AOL Sports Bloggers Live, a weekly show put on by Jamie Mottram covering a wide variety of sports topics.  I was asked to come on and talk about the upcoming series the Phillies have with the Mets.  Also on the show were Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com, ESPN's Jason Sobel to talk some golf, and a few others.

I never really got into the upcoming series with the Mets, which seems like a potential season decider, but I did touch on a number of Phillies topics.  For those of you who know me, as Vince Vaughn in Old School would say, I'm not a talker.  My first foray into being on the radio went okay.  I didn't say anything really stupid, but I sound a bit nervous and didn't have any answers prepared.  I got my basic points across.

To recap:

Q: How good is Ryan Howard?  My answer: Ryan Howard is legit.  Reference to BS&S factWhat I really meant: Ryan Howard is a beast.  I would have liked to touch on Charlie Manuel saying Howard is capable of being in the same league as Manny Ramirez and some of the other great hitters in baseball but you can't script radio like you can a blog post.

Q: Do the Phillies have the pieces in place in their rotation to make the playoffs? My answer: No.  We don't even have a fifth starter at this point.  Gavin Floyd has sucked and we may have to bring him back up.  I don't know how to pronounce Eude Brito.

Q: Is Cole Hamels for real? My answer: I stumble slightly with this one, saying I haven't seen him pitch much, which I haven't.  People are hesitant to jump the gun on Cole.. mumble, mumble.  What I meant: Yes, I think Cole is for real.  I just don't want to jinx it.

Q: What's the deal with the Sal Fasano love?  My answer: It's really kind of uh, hm, really just kind of a running joke now.  He has a Fu Manchu and he hustles so Philly embraces him.  What I really meant: He has a Fu Manchu and he hustles so Philly embraces him.

They also mention Invincible featuring Vince Papale, Bobby Abreu's penchant for sweets, and note that I was quoted in the NY Daily News.

You can stream the whole hour long show here or download an mp3 of the show here.  They make a few references to The 700 Level throughout the show, so I recommend listening to the whole show, but my interview comes in at about 39 minutes.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Kendrick was plunked both times in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the start of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

BOX SCORE

BOSTON -- LeBron James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. The Cavs set an NBA record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity.

Cleveland's 4-1 series' win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points.

The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest its starters in advance of the playoffs. But they displayed their superiority over the final two games to wrap up the series.

After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks.

It was a very welcomed sight in Irving's case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 4 win. He showed no signs of lingering issues, though, beating several defenders off the dribble and handing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver all helped spread out Boston's defenders by connecting on several wide-open scoring opportunities.

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn't there Thursday night.

Tip-ins
Cavaliers: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland's 13 games this postseason. ... Improved to 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since 2015. ... The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for points in a quarter.

Celtics: Injured point guard Isaiah Thomas led his teammates in a pregame huddle before they took the court for warmups. Thomas sat out the rest of the series after aggravating a hip injury in Game 2. ... Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. ... Were whistled for 16 fouls in the first half.