Hamels On the Mound for Sunday Night Baseball

Hamels On the Mound for Sunday Night Baseball

For the second Sunday in a row the Phillies play in front of a national television audience as they host the Braves in the final game of their three game series.

Cole Hamels (4-1, 2.66 ERA) faces Jair Jurrjens (3-0, 1.52 ERA) in the rubber match. Hamels last faced Atlanta back on April 10th at Turner Field where he went seven shutout innings, giving up just four hits, striking out eight, and walking one en route to picking up his first win.

All he's done since that start is go 4-0 with a 37/8 K/BB ratio. He's gone at least seven innings in all five of his starts since he lasted just 2.2 innings in his season debut against the Mets. Hamels is 10-5 with a 3.72 ERA in 20 career starts against the Braves.

Charlie Manuel's lineup against the righthanded Jurrjens reads Rollins (6), Victorino (8), Polanco (5), Howard (3), Francisco (9), Ibanez (7), Valdez (4), Sardinha (2), and Hamels (1).

While it's a nice change of pace to watch and listen to a national telecast the flipside is that we're due for at least 127 cheesesteak references, the misidentification of various CBP food purveyors, and lord knows what else may come out of Bobby Valentine's mouth.

Please take the time to leave comments on the most absurd things seen and heard during the production. With any luck they'll at least humor us and give us a Mother's Day shot of Phoebe, the Phanatic's mom (who has hopefully recovered from the fastball she took to the grill during the Phanatic's birthday).

First pitch is scheduled for 8:05. 

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."