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

Matt Rhule thanks Temple, Philadelphia in full page ad in Inquirer

Matt Rhule thanks Temple, Philadelphia in full page ad in Inquirer

On Tuesday, the Matt Rhule era at Temple ended.

Rhule bolted North Broad Street for Baylor University, from the lowly American Athletic Conference to the Big 12, a natural progression in college football.

And, in a classy move, Rhule took out a full page ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer thanking Philadelphia and Temple.

The full text of the ad.

On behalf of Julie and our children, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Temple University. The passion and pursuit of excellence at Temple allowed for our student-athletes to achieve success on the football field and to develop as young men off of the field. Temple and Philly will always be a part of us and we will be cheering on the Owls from afar.

As for Temple — to quote a common phrase Rhule used while at Temple — what's next?

We don't know yet, but we'll find out in the coming weeks.

Led by interim head coach Ed Foley, No. 24 Temple will face Wake Forrest in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.

Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight -- including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season -- before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders (see full recap).

Schwartz lifts Blues over Canadiens in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz got his second goal of the game in overtime, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Paul Stastny also scored for St. Louis, which has won four of five. The Blues rallied from a 2-0 deficit and have a point in their last 13 home games.

Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron scored for Montreal, which completed a five-game trip 2-3.

Goalie Jake Allen made 28 saves to improve to 13-3-3.

Schwartz lifted a backhander past goalie Al Montoya with 1:22 left in overtime.

Stastny and Schwartz scored in a 2:51 span in the third period to tie it at 2 (see full recap).

Blackhawks blank Coyotes to snap modest skid
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.

Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help Chicago maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn't heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game -- surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests (see full recap).