Phillies' Subs Battle Hard, Drop First Game of Double Header

Phillies' Subs Battle Hard, Drop First Game of Double Header

Fielding what was more or less a Triple-A baseball team with some major league pinch-hitting and relief, the Philadelphia Phillies dropped the first game of their day-night double header against the Washington Nationals by a final score of 4-3 in ten innings.

A scoreless game through six, the offenses opened up in the seventh, delivering three runs apiece. In the top of inning, Michael Schwimer quickly fell into trouble and would be ultimately responsible for 3 runs on 3 hits thanks to a Roger Bernadina home run to right. Thankfully for the Phils, Charlie Manuel tapped Raul Ibanez to deliver a three-run pinch-hit bomb of his own to once more tie the game by the end on the inning.

From there, the three man combination of Joe Savery, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson would lock down the eighth and ninth, thereby forcing the game to extras after the Phillies' offense failed to convert any of its own opportunities.
Despite their effort, Michael Stutes would surrender the game-winning hit to Ryan Zimmerman in the top of the tenth. Though Stutes was beginning to turn things around after two scoreless outings against the Marlins and Cardinals, both he and Michael Schwimer continued today what has been a difficult stretch for both pitchers over the past few weeks.

A bright spot in the loss, Kyle Kendrick pitched six scoreless innings in his second double-header spot start in five days. He's given up just one run in his last eleven innings.

All things considered, it's tough to get broken up about this one considering the personnel on the filed and the interest in getting the starters rested. The team made full use of its expanded roster in game one and will more than likely do the same in game two.

For anyone wondering, Charlie confirmed after the game that Hunter Pence is "fine" after appearing jam his knee on the first base bag. Prior to being pulled in the sixth, Pence was expected to start tonight's game and to receive some time off later this week. Hopefully, Pence really is just fine and not trying unnecessarily tough out an injury. Time will tell.

We'll be back in a bit with the pitching match up for second leg of today's double header and a copy of Charlie's game two lineup. 'Til then.

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Elton Brand is back with the Sixers, albeit not on the court.

The Sixers agreed with the former NBA forward to name Brand Player Development Consultant. In a press release, the team said Brand will be working with Sixers players in 'every facet of their on- and off-court development' while also working in the front office.

“We are extremely excited to bring Elton Brand back into the organization where he will be a valuable resource to our young and developing team," Bryan Colangelo said in the release. "Elton’s leadership and character displayed throughout his playing career as a player align perfectly with our vision, direction and culture of this basketball team, coaching staff and management group."

Brand retired during training camp after 17 NBA seasons, including five with the Sixers over two stints. The 6-foot-8 forward came out of retirement last season to provide a veteran presence for the Sixers and eventually played in 17 games when the team was snakebitten by injuries. 

He will now continue to be an influence on the Sixers' young core thanks to his new role with the basketball operations department.

No. 1 Villanova vs. La Salle: Wildcats look to stay hot vs. Explorers at Palestra

No. 1 Villanova vs. La Salle: Wildcats look to stay hot vs. Explorers at Palestra

No. 1 Villanova (8-0) at La Salle (4-2) 
7 p.m. at The Palestra

Villanova, now the top-ranked team in the country, travels to the Palestra on Tuesday night for another Big 5 game, this one against La Salle (the home team), which has won three straight games.

Let's get you ready for the matchup:

Last time out
La Salle beat Bucknell, 83-73, on Saturday.

Villanova won, 88-47, over Saint Joseph’s.

Scouting report
Villanova, which is undefeated, has become the No. 1 team in the country after beating St. Joe’s handily on Saturday. Josh Hart, who had a triple-double in the game, has been a major reason for the Wildcats' success so far this season. The senior is averaging 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. 

La Salle has won three games in a row after losing at the buzzer to Texas Southern on its homecoming game. Against Bucknell, Jordan Price had 20 points, while B.J. Johnson had 22. Johnson, a transfer from Syracuse, leads the team in scoring with 18.7 points per game.

What it means
Villanova is the best in the country right now, and it moved up to No. 1 after Kentucky lost to UCLA. Another win will give the Wildcats good momentum heading into their Saturday matchup with No. 23 Notre Dame. A victory would also extend Villanova's all-time record Big 5 winning streak to 16 games.

La Salle head coach John Gianinni could potentially be on the hot seat if the Explorers suffer another poor season. A win against the defending national champions would alleviate any chatter about his status.

Series history
This is the first and only time the Big 5 rivals will meet this season. Jay Wright is 13-2 all-time against the Explorers, and his group blew them out last season, 76-47.

What’s next?
La Salle will head to Miami for the Hoophall Miami Invitational to take on Georgetown this Saturday at the American Airlines Arena.

Villanova travels to Newark, New Jersey, to meet No. 23 Notre Dame at the Prudential Center.