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.

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.

Eagles Injury Update: Mathews and Matthews to return to practice

Eagles Injury Update: Mathews and Matthews to return to practice

If you're searching for some good news following the Eagles' dismal 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday afternoon, here it is. 

Jordan Matthews (ankle) and Ryan Mathews (knee) are going to return to practice this week, head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday. 

Ryan Mathews, who suffered an MCL sprain against Seattle, has missed the last two weeks. The Eagles averaged just 77 yards rushing in those two losses, going with Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner. 

Jordan Matthews, who has been the Eagles' best and most consistent receiver this season, suffered an ankle sprain against the Packers and was inactive on Sunday against the Bengals. It was the first game he ever missed in college or in the NFL. 

Wideout Dorial Green-Beckham, who injured his midsection and got X-rays during the game, has an oblique contusion, according to Pederson. Green-Beckham is sore and will be held from practice on Wednesday, but Pederson expects him to be "OK" for the Washington game on Sunday. 

Pederson said right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai is "coming along," but isn't yet ready to return. 

"He's going to do a little more this week, not from a practice standpoint but from a rehab standpoint, and he's doing good," Pederson said. "But we'll see where he is again later in the week."

In Vaitai's absence, left guard Allen Barbre has shifted from left guard to right tackle and Stefen Wisniewski has replaced him at left guard.