Cliff Lee Kicks Off Big Series in San Fran

Cliff Lee Kicks Off Big Series in San Fran

Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) wasn't on the Phillies last year to pitch against the Giants in the NLCS, but he did take on the eventual 2011 Champions of Baseball twice in the World Series. Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, Lee lost both of those starts including a rough 6 ER effort in only 4.2 innings of work in game one.

But Lee hasn't always struggled against the Giants, however, including his first ever start as a Phillie back in 2009 when he took a no-hitter into the 6th inning at AT&T Park. He went on to a complete game shutout victory on that day, pretty much making the best first impression a fanbase could ever ask for.

Clifton and the Phillies will take on left-hander Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80) who was one of the guys who played a key role in helping the Giants move on to the Fall Classic last season. He started game four of the NLCS which the Giants went on to win, which gave them a 3-1 series lead. He also later pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the decisive game six.

As for the Phillies new right-handed outfielder brought in specifically to help counter team's left-handed hurlers? Pence has yet to face Bumgarner.

While the Giants came into Philly last week and took a series from the Phils, they have not been playing great ball since then, including a season-high 5-game losing streak which they finally slapped with a win yesterday over the Diamondbacks.

That said, this four game set still features two teams many expect to be the favorites to represent the NL in the World Series come October.

Oh, and Charlie Manuel and Tim Lincecum have been talking a bit, spicing things up between two teams that have a nice little rivalry going.

Tonight's Lineup: Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry, Carlos Ruiz, Wilson Valdez, and Cliff Lee.

Don't worry, Phils fans. Utley is simply getting an off day, according to Jim Salisbury. Remember when we thought Utley was going to get regular off days?

Mad Dog Missing: Ryan Madson is on paternity leave so Scott Mathieson has taken his roster spot.

A very late 10:15 EST start for those of us on the East Coast. But the views of the ballpark in San Fran are so pretty, you'll want to tune in.

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.