Goose-Egged Phils Squander Cliff's 16 K's, Look to Rebound with Kendrick

Goose-Egged Phils Squander Cliff's 16 K's, Look to Rebound with Kendrick

Maybe Derek Lowe should get in trouble more often. Facing him in just his second start after an arrest for driving under the influence, the Philadelphia Phillies looked clearly intoxicated trying to combat Lowe and the rest of the Atlanta pitching staff Friday night. Registering just two hits in nine fruitless innings, the Phillies' bats lacked the same magic they had the previous three games against the Nationals.  

Lowe worked through six shutout innings, striking out four and surrendering just one walk on 97 pitches.  Though the Phillies were getting the bats physically on the ball, the Atlanta defense behind Lowe quickly squashed any hopes of a safe arrival on the base pads.  Indeed, it took until a Shane Victorino single in the seventh to break up a no-hitter, which would quickly remove the starter in favor of the Atlanta bullpen. From there, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel would throw an inning each of hitless ball to lock up the two-hit combined shutout, leaving the Phillies scoreless for the first time since a 4-0 loss in Arizona on April 25th.

Atop the mound for the home-standing good guys, Cliff Lee continued his 2011 trend of striking out almost everyone in sight.  Relieved after seven innings and 117 pitches, Lee sat down a freakishly-high 16 Braves batters via the backward K. It was the most strikeouts by any Phillies pitcher since Curt Schilling tossed 16 of his own against the New York Yankees in September 1997.

Unfortunately, Lee would run into some trouble in third, issuing a walk and getting knocked around for a single and two doubles that would ultimately cross three over home plate.

Lee and Romero would stifle the Atlanta offense for the next five innings until Danys Baez forfeited an extra two in the ninth.  After getting rocked for a three-run bomb against the Nats Wednesday night, it was clearly not the follow up for which Baez and the Phillies were hoping.

Looking to put an end to the Braves' six-game winning streak, the Phillies will turn to their vaunted stopper—the one, the only, Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick will be making his first start since an October 1, 2010 outing against, conveniently enough, the Atlanta Braves. KK made it through five innings in the 11-5 win.  This evening, he will be confronted by the debuting Julio Teheran, one of the hottest pitching prospects in all of baseball.

First pitch is at 7:05. Let's give this young man a proper introduction to the Majors.

Source: Phillies agree to 1-year deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit

Source: Phillies agree to 1-year deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit

The Phillies have agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract with right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit, a source tells CSN's Jim Salisbury.

Benoit, 39, was the 11th-oldest pitcher in baseball last season, but he's remained effective as he's aged. Since 2010, Benoit has a 2.40 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, he's struck out 10.0 batters per nine innings while walking 2.8, and allowed a .189 batting average.

Benoit has also maintained his velocity through the years. His fastball averaged 94.2 mph last season, which is actually faster than it was in 2010.

Benoit has been in the majors for 15 years, spending eight with Texas, three with Detroit, two with San Diego, one with Tampa Bay and a half-season apiece with Seattle and Toronto.

Benoit has experience closing but has spent the majority of his career as a setup man. Benoit, along with Hector Neris, figures to have a place in the eighth or ninth inning for the Phillies in 2017, perhaps pushing last year's closer, Jeanmar Gomez, back to the seventh inning.

The Phillies have not yet officially announced the signing of Benoit and will need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to make room for him.

Not So Fast Joel Embiid: Nik Stauskas's dad claims his son is the original 'The Process'

Not So Fast Joel Embiid: Nik Stauskas's dad claims his son is the original 'The Process'

Philadelphia 76ers sharp shooter Nik Stauskas is back on his "Sauce and Co." podcast with a couple of very special guests: his Momma Ruta and Pappa Paul.

After being overly Canadian in their take on Friday night's brutal loss -- "less than stellar" --  to the Orlando Magic, Mr. Stauskas brings the heat with a fantastic "fun fact."

"Speaking of Joel, I have a fun fact for your audience here," Paul Stauskas says. "I have to give him a new moniker."

He doesn't exactly have a new one yet but...

"'The Process' has already been taken. In 2013 there was a documentary made about Nik called 'Nik Stauskas: The Process.' So if Embiid wants to continue using that, I'm affraid he's going to have to pay a royalty."

                         [Related: Joel Embiid feels 'The Process' is about him]

And if you hit up YouTube, there is is, a 21-minute documentary about a younger Nik Stauskas.

"If this does blow up, there may be some royalty fees he owes me," Nik adds. "I'll have to bring that up to Joel."

"He's got the cheddar," Paul says. "So he can pay up."

You can listen to the Stauskas family podcast in full below.