Game Chat: The Season Must Go on for Hamels, Phillies in Twin Cities

Game Chat: The Season Must Go on for Hamels, Phillies in Twin Cities

We already posted about the Twins today and how they don’t do anything particularly well – hitting, fielding, pitching, the whole shebang. Of course, the Phillies haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire themselves in any one of these areas, either, which is why they too find themselves back below .500.

Michael Young can say the sky isn’t falling all he wants. Losing three straight to the Brewers is no way to get people excited about your operation.

There are still 98 games to go though. That’s not necessarily a call to stick by the Phillies in case that’s not your thing. You could choose to interpret the remark with an inflection of dread, so that it reads like Ugh, there are still 98 games to go. Regardless, the show will go on, and the Fightins will try to make things right again beginning tonight in Minnesota.

Cole Hamels (2-9, 4.56) takes the ball for the Phils, which I haven’t decided yet is a good or a bad thing. Hamels has been furiously tapping the reset button all year, and finally got the start he was looking for against the Marlins last Wednesday, lasting at least seven innings for the first time in a month in the win. We’ll see if he can build on the one-run, 11-strikeout effort, but consistency hasn’t been Cole’s thing.

The Twins are throwing P.J. Walters, a 28-year-old right-hander who has had largely unsuccessful stints in the Majors with three teams since ’09. In three starts for Minnesota this season however, he’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

I know what you’re thinking. The Phillies have never seen this Walters fellow before, so they won’t be able to touch him. Actually, Walters started one game in the Minnesota series last year, allowing four runs and failing to record an out before exiting the game with an injury. He never looked right in that outing, so not sure whether it means anything one way or the other.

First pitch is at 8:10. Come for the off-chance the Phillies resume their climb to respectability, stay for the possibility of a Domonic Brown fireworks display.


Temple surrenders late lead in 81-74 loss to No. 20 Cincinnati

USA Today Images

Temple surrenders late lead in 81-74 loss to No. 20 Cincinnati


CINCINNATI -- Kyle Washington scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, rallying No. 20 Cincinnati to its ninth straight win, 81-74 over Temple on Wednesday night.

The Bearcats (16-2, 6-0 American Athletic) trailed by six points before Washington made two one-handed shots during a decisive 17-5 run that put them ahead to stay. Cincinnati led by as many as 13 points.

The Bearcats extended their best winning streak in three seasons and completed a series sweep of the Owls (10-10, 1-6), who were sloppy with the ball.

Troy Caupain had 18 points for the Bearcats, including seven free throws in the closing minutes.

Shizz Alston, Jr., led Temple with 25 points for the second game in a row, matching his career high.

Obi Enechionyia made a 3-pointer, a dunk and a 15-foot jumper as Temple opened a six-point lead at the start of the second half, its biggest of the game. Washington then led the decisive run by scoring on two shots near the basket.

Big picture
Temple: The Owls have been prone to bad first halves, but that wasn't the case this time. They led 28-26 at the break despite having nine turnovers and no offensive rebounds.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats have won their last 19 home games, their longest such streak since taking 19 in a row from March 2, 2013 through Feb. 15, 2014. Their last home loss was 77-70 to Temple in their league opener last season.

Poll implications
A ragged win over a struggling Temple team won't much help the Bearcats. They don't play a currently ranked team until next week, when they host crosstown rival Xavier, which is ranked No. 22.

Up next
The Owls have a week off before hosting Memphis next Wednesday. They split their series last season, with each team winning at home.

The Bearcats play at Tulane on Saturday. They beat Tulane 92-56 at home on Jan. 1.