Late Show: Pence Lights Up Giants, Lee Shuts Them Down

Late Show: Pence Lights Up Giants, Lee Shuts Them Down

There weren't a ton of offensive fireworks in San Francisco in the series opener on Thursday night, but what little there were started the game off right for the Phillies, and Cliff Lee took care of the rest. Hunter Pence homered for the first time in a Phillies uniform (and soon after showed off a new dugout handshake), and John Mayberry Jr did the same in the next at bat. Pence would later single in an unnecessary insurance run in the ninth, rewarding his growing fanbase for staying up late back on the east coast by giving the Phils a 3-0 lead they'd leave the field with.

Lee outdueled Madison Bumgarner on a night when both pitchers had some great stuff. He got into a jam in the eighth, but pitched his way out of it without letting up a run, then came out in the ninth to cap his fifth complete game shutout of the season. T-Mac pointed out that it was the first time a Phillie racked up five shutouts in a season since Steve Carlton in 1982.

As Enrico pointed out in the Handshake post, Pence has given us something to talk about in every one of his Phillies appearances so far. Personality points aside, he has also hit safely in every game, including three hits on Thursday night. Shane Victorino, batting third with Chase Utley getting a rare night off, had two singles of his own.

The game was thankfully fast-paced and didn't keep us up all night, and
more importantly, didn't send us to bed thinking about another loss to
the Giants. Is there a team you enjoy seeing the Phillies beat more than
those guys right now? Hopefully they can keep their win streak (now at
seven games) alive tomorrow night with the Vanimal facing Jonathan
Sanchez.

Notes:

  • Props all around to the defense. Some very solid baseball plays kept runners off the bags at key times for Lee.
  • Pence's homer was his 12th of the season, Mayberry's his 8th.
  • With his 0-3 night, Cliff's average has fallen to .216. When's he going to get his act together at the plate?!
  • I guess we'll let him slide since he pitched a shutout and K'd eight Giants.
  • Not a great night for Ryan Howard at the dish, with the Piece striking out twice and going 0-fer. At least he brought the leather to 1B though, coming up with some notable picks and a sliding grab.
  • Could be worse though, Cody Ross struck out four times and even chucked his bat on a third strike swinging. Seeing Lee stand him straight up on a called third strike to end the game may even have topped the bat toss...
  • With Ryan Madson on paternity leave (congrats on the birth of a baby boy, Tyler), Brad Lidge was up in the Phillies bullpen in the ninth, though he wasn't needed despite the Giants getting a man on board.
  • The Phils moved to 72-39, 8.5 games up on the idle Braves in the East. The third place Mets are 16.5 back. On August 5. The Arizona Diamondbacks were idle on Thursday, so they still sit at a half-game behind the Giants out west.

Photos by US Presswire.

Sixers reportedly covet additional high first-round pick in 2016

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Sixers reportedly covet additional high first-round pick in 2016

The Philadelphia 76ers haven't found themselves in a position of power much on the hardwood over the past few seasons, but when it comes to the 2016 NBA Draft, the Sixers are in the driver's seat.

As longtime NBA reporter David Aldridge put it in a column on Monday, the Sixers are one of four teams that will "run the show" on draft night. The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Phoenix Suns are all poised for a big draft night as well.

Not only do the Sixers have the first gigantic decision of the evening but they have a handful of assets, in the form of additional picks as well as moveable players, to make another big splash on draft night (Thanks, Sam Hinkie).

The first debate in Philly will clearly be Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. Once that decision is made though, things could still be very interesting for Bryan Colangelo.

Aldridge goes on to discuss the logjam in the Sixers frontcourt that Sixers' observers have been talking about forever, but he also adds that, "There is strong support within the organization for Nerlens Noel, who provides defense and rebounding that none of Philly's other bigs provide."

Not only does Aldridge state that there is strong support for Noel, he also says that the team would like to get back up into the early portion of the draft.

Yet the Sixers already have Okafor at the four, and possibly Saric next year. Taking Simmons wouldn't make sense unless they were determined to trade Okafor, whose up and down rookie season hasn't adversely affected his value around the league. And trading Okafor would be the easiest and best way for Philly to get another high first-round pick, which the Sixers covet.

Coveting another high first-round pick and actually obtaining it are clearly different things. Unless the front office finds a way to put a package together involving the 24th or 26th picks this year and some sort of future considerations, the player who can certainly get you back near the front of this year's draft is clearly Jahlil Okafor.

The Sixers fan base is mixed on the idea of trading Jahlil Okafor. Boston seems like an obvious fit with their No. 3 overall pick being the prized target.

June 23rd will be a very interesting night to see how Bryan Colangelo, his father, Josh Harris, and his co-owners feel about such a deal.

Savon Goodman transfers to La Salle for 2016-17 season

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USA Today Images

Savon Goodman transfers to La Salle for 2016-17 season

Forward Savon Goodman has enrolled in graduate classes at La Salle and will play the 2016-17 season with the Explorers.

“Savon is the perfect addition to our team next year,” La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini said in a statement released by the school. “He shoots a great percentage and rebounds and defends with a tough, athletic style of play. He was a key part of an Arizona State NIT team and has had big games against great competition.”

Goodman, a Philadelphia native, graduated from Arizona State and is not subject to transfer rules. 

He averaged 9.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 28 contests as a junior in 2015-16. He shot 55 percent from the field overall.

In leading Constitution High School to the PIAA State Championship as well as the Philadelphia Public League title during his senior year, Goodman earned Public League MVP honors.

Jackie Robinson's historic Dodgers contract on display in Philadelphia

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Jackie Robinson's historic Dodgers contract on display in Philadelphia

A piece of modern baseball history will be on display in Philadelphia for the next couple of weeks.

The original contract Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in April 1947 that allowed him to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball will be featured at the National Constitution Center from May 26 until June 5.

Mikalai Kontilia, CEO of Collectors Cafe, the company loaning the contract to the Constitution Center, brought both the Dodgers' document and the contract Robinson signed with the minor league Montreal Royals in October 1945 to The Comcast Network's Breakfast on Broad show on Tuesday morning.

"What's amazing is, these contracts, finally, after 60-some odd years, have been unearthed, discovered and the American people can finally see the Jackie Robinson contracts," Kontilia said.

The Dodgers' contract plays an important role in American history, and not just in terms of sport. Many people point to then-Dodgers owner Branch Rickey's signing Robinson as a starting point in the American civil rights movement.

Kontilia said a historic documentarian appraised the contracts at a value of $36 million.

For more on the contracts, check out the segment from Breakfast on Broad.

Photo credit of Robinson signing contract: DodgersNation.com.