Phils Live in a Vance Down by the River

Phils Live in a Vance Down by the River

So there's Cliff Lee, sitting in the dugout for the Phillies' first game since he pitched 10 scoreless innings and still lost, his team unable to put up a single run. Just half an inning into their next opportunity, they loaded the bases and plated a run. It wasn't much, but it would have been enough to get Cliff a W, and on Thursday night, it was enough to get Vance Worley one. 
Worley was the latest Phils pitcher to put in a dominant performance, striking out 11 while allowing just four hits and three walks over a scoreless seven innings. The Phillies would score just one more run (unearned) in the ninth inning, giving the late-night watchers seven straight dual-shutout frames a night after going ten straight in San Francisco. Hope you're a fan of pitching, because it was once again brutal to watch the Phillies at the dish. 
Game notes and photos below. 
NotesJuan Pierre had a good night at the top of the lineup. He drew a walk to lead off the game, advanced to third on a Polly single and an error, then scored on a J-Roll sac fly. In the second, he beat out a thrown from his friend Orland Hudson to grab an infield single (right), then later tripled in the fifth. He's up to a .333 avg. 
More good news from the hill: Chad Qualls pitched his fifth straight scoreless relief inning, giving up a walk but no hits to hold the gate for Jonathan Papelbon. Nothing left the infield in the eighth.
Paps got the save despite walking the leadoff hitter in the ninth, inducing a double play before striking out Jason Bartlett to end the enthralling evening. 
The play of the game came in the sixth inning, when Chooch and J-Roll combined on a double play to shut down a double-steal attempt. As Jeremy Hermida struck out, Chase Headley attempted to pull a throw to second base while Will Venable made for home. Chooch gunned it to second, and J-Roll volleyed it back, where Venable plowed Ruiz, but without success because Chooch = tank. 
Clearly, it was disappointing that the Phils couldn't do more damage against a kid making his second career start in Joe Wieland. Wieland was knocked around in his debut, allowing six earned with just one strikeout in a loss to the Dodgers. The Phils looked to have him ready to unravel again in the first, but let him off the hook, and he never got back on. 
Thankfully, they had Worley, who was nasty and unafraid of testing hitters over the plate nor using his breaking balls in a variety of counts. He struck out the side in the first, the latter two hitters looking. Continuing his trend from last season, seven of his 11 K's were backward on the night. Love seeing those blank yet angry looks on a batter's face as the game continues around him, the defense leaving the field while he stands motionless next to the plate. Or, freaking out, like Mark Kotsay did after Worley won a full-count, two-out, two runners on battle in the seventh.
Usually in a battery with Brian Schneider, Charlie Manuel wanted to change things up and caught Worley with Ruiz. 
TonightCole Hamels pitches in front of his home crowd against righty Edinson Volquez. 
Photos by Christopher Hanewinckel-US Presswire

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

USA Today Images

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

This is starting to become a trend. One Temple hopes to continue to prove wrong.

For the third straight year, Temple was chosen to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. The poll, which was released on Monday, is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

Also selected to finish sixth last season, the Owls posted a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the AAC to reach the NCAA Tournament. In 2014-15, TU tied for third in the AAC with a 13-5 record and was one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.

Cincinnati was tabbed to win the American title in the poll, just ahead of UConn.

Temple, who returns three starters from last season's team, opens the 2016-17 campaign against city rival La Salle at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 11.