Dueling Aces: Dickey vs. Hamels Tonight with Possible Ryan Howard Return Tomorrow?

Dueling Aces: Dickey vs. Hamels Tonight with Possible Ryan Howard Return Tomorrow?

A bit of surprising chatter coming out of the Phillies camp this afternoon as word on the street is that General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would not rule out Ryan Howard returning to the big club this weekend as they take on the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park before heading into the All-Star Break.

"It's a possibility," Amaro said today on Daily News Live. "I don't know that it's going to happen, but it's
certainly a possibility."

The Big Piece potentially back in the lineup. That should brighten a few days. Beat writer David Murphy believes a Friday night date with Tim Hudson could be just what the Piece ordered in a return. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there's tonight's dueling aces.

Two of the best pitchers in the National League this season will face off in the series rubber match tonight at CitiField.

Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08) will face knuckler R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15) in the first matchup of two pitchers with double digit wins this season.

Dickey has been baffling opposing hitters with his junk for the better part of two months. From CSN:

Dickey’s numbers are simply mind-boggling. He’s allowed no earned runs
in six of his last seven starts. He’s pitched two one-hitters and has
five double-digit strikeout games. He’s registered a quality start 21 of
his last 24 times out.

Yikes. Picture Shane and Hunter swinging at some of that junk.

Chase Utley gets his scheduled off day this evening with Mike Fontenot manning second base. Manuel mentioned that Utley could potentially play three in a row at CBP this weekend given that they have the break right after the Braves series.

7:10 start time. Gotta win some series here if you want us to take you seriously the rest of the summer, Phillies. Still 12 games back of the Nats in the East.

Sevyn Streeter claims Sixers stopped her from singing national anthem

Sevyn Streeter claims Sixers stopped her from singing national anthem

Performing artist Sevyn Streeter was scheduled to sing the national anthem Wednesday night before the Sixers' season opener but says she was replaced because of the jersey she was wearing.

Jemila Worthy, a member of the Sixers' dance team, sang the anthem instead.

Streeter says change was made because she was wearing a jersey with the words "We Matter" displayed on the front.

"I'm at the 76ers game to sing the national anthem," she said in a video on Twitter, "and the organization is telling me that I can't because I'm wearing a 'We Matter' jersey."

The Sixers responded with the following statement:

"The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community."

In the Sixers' preseason finale against the Heat in Miami, Denasia Lawrence performed the anthem while wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt and kneeling on one knee (see story). She said she did it to protest racial oppression.

Streeter is the latest to use the national anthem as a stage to protest racism and social injustice. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the well-documented movement by refusing to stand during the anthem, and various other professional athletes have made their own statements.

In a protest planned by safety Malcolm Jenkins, a handful of Eagles raised their fists during the anthem before the team's Week 2 game against the Bears on Monday Night Football.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.