Cliff Lee Brings the Heat in DC

Cliff Lee Brings the Heat in DC

According to the digital thermometer on it was 92 degrees less than an hour before first pitch for tonight's game at Nationals Park, but it *felt like* 99 degrees with all that damn humidity. That sounds like hittin' weather for the Phillies with right-hander Jason Marquis (5-2, 4.26) on the mound for the Nats this evening. Washington's offense will have a tougher go of it, with Cliff Lee (4-4, 3.50) going for the good guys, but as yesterday showed us, home runs can come off anybody. Even the Doc.

Chase's Aura

Per the game notes, the Phillies are hitting .284 with 35 extra-base hits (24 2B, 3B, 10 HR) and have scored 49 runs in 8 games since Chase Utley returned on May 23rd.

Utley also has great career numbers against Marquis (13 hits in 28 at-bats)

Big Mike's Back, Kendrick to Start?

LHP Mike Zagurski was recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley today as Vance Worley was optioned to the IronPigs. Word on the Tweets is that Kendrick will make the start over the weekend against the Pirates instead of skipping the 5th starter's spot in the rotation.

First pitch from DC scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."