Cliff Lee takes the hill tonight as the Phillies attempt to win their fourth straight series to kick of the 2011 season and finish off their first road swing with a healthy 4-2 record. Clifton has only faced the Nationals twice in his career, but won both of those outings. He's coming off of that rough outing in Atlanta that we'd all like to forget about. Hopefully the Nationals can help him bring that 7.84 ERA back down closer to where we'd like it to be.
Our colleague over at Beerleaguer points to Sports Illustrated's baseball preview that quoted a scout as noticing something off about Lee this spring, "There've been rumblings and grumblings that Lee hasn't been completely right since early in spring, a murmur that began when a rival scout saw him this spring and raised the possibility that he's been nursing a sore back. The scout's words were published in Sports Illustrated's baseball preview, with Lee front and center on the cover. The scout observed that Lee wasn't getting the downward tilt on his pitches the way we're accustomed to seeing."
We haven't head anything about this recently, but as Jason points out, it's something to keep an eye on.
The Nationals will counter with Jordan Zimmerman (1-1, 3.18) who has not fared well against the Phils in two career starts against them in which he was 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA.
Ryan Howard, who was plunked in the hand by the Evil John Lannan in last night's victory, appears to be okay and will bat in his usual fourth spot in the Phillies lineup.
Tonight's 7:05 start will be on TCN locally and on MLBN for all of you displaced Philly fans.
The Sixers are losing a top assistant coach just five months after he joined the team.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical, the Houston Rockets are finalizing a deal to hire Mike D'Antoni as their head coach. According to Wojnarowski, the deal is for four years, with a team option in the final year.
D'Antoni had been a Sixers associate coach since last December, when the team hired him after starting the season with a 1-26 record.
While he took a supporting role in Philadelphia, D'Antoni has 12 years of NBA head coaching experience with the Nuggets, Suns and, most recently, the Lakers. The 2013-14 Lakers went 27-55 under D'Antoni.
Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported P.J. Carlesimo could take D'Antoni's place.
Carlesimo, 66, and Sixers head coach Brett Brown were both assistant coaches under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs from 2002-07. Carlesimo also has previous head coaching experience with the Blazers, Warriors and Sonics/Thunder.
Former Prep Charter and current Washington Wizards star Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, according to law enforcement officials.
Morris, who was with a party that included his mother, checked a bag for an international trip when “a suspicious item” was found in his suitcase, according to law enforcement.
A secondary search of his bag revealed what law enforcement officials called “suspected marijuana.” Terminal A at Philadelphia International is overseen by Tinicum Township Police in Delaware County, not by the Philadelphia Police Department. Philadelphia airport security notified Tinicum Township Police. Morris was then taken to the Tinicum Township Police precinct for questioning. He was later released on his own reconnaissance.
A Tinicum Township police spokesman said the investigation is on-going.
Morris, a Philadelphia native, is in his first full season with the Wizards, who acquired him from the Phoenix Suns in February. The Suns drafted him out of Kansas with the 13th overall pick in 2011. Morris' twin brother Marcus was drafted one pick later by the Houston Rockets before being dealt to Phoenix, where played with his brother for a little more than two seasons. Marcus now plays for the Detroit Pistons.
Brian Dawkins, one of the most beloved Eagles off all time and a guy who clearly still hits the gym, was in Philadelphia on Thursday and was spotted at the NovaCare Complex to watch the team practice.
As you can see, Dawkins still has biceps as big as your waist. The team sharing a simple photo of Dawkins got fans all in a tizzy.
Was it a coincidence that Weapon X appeared just days before "X-Men: Apocalypse" is set to hit theaters? Only he knows.
For his part, Dawkins acknowledged that it's better to stay in shape than become a fat old man.