Phils Offense Explodes for 9 Runs in Bounce Back Win

Phils Offense Explodes for 9 Runs in Bounce Back Win

Coming off a loss to start the series, the Phillies rebounded nicely on the strength of another stellar outing from Cliff Lee and some late-inning heroics from the bats, turning a close game into a 9-2 slaughter, consequently ending the Arizona Diamondbacks' seven-game win streak.

With runners at the corners and no men out in the bottom of the seventh, Wilson Valdez cracked a two run double off the wall in deep center. Hunter Pence and John Mayberry would both score to put the Phillies ahead by a score of 4-2.

Two batters later, after a Brian Schneider sacrifice bunt to move Valdez to third, pinch hitter Ben Francisco would hit his own shot to the warning track, scoring Valdez from third on a sacrifice fly to stretch the lead an extra run.

From there, the Phillies would tack on an extra four runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a Cody Ransom throwing error, a Brian Schneider single, a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice and a Shane Victorino double.

In relief of Cliff Lee, Antonio Bastardo and Ryan Madson would combine for a scoreless eighth and ninth to close out the ballgame and secure the victory before what was reported on the broadcast as the largest crowd of the season at Citizens Bank Park.
As for the early scoring, Jimmy Rollins would open things up for the Phillies by going yard off Diamondback starter Joe Saunders on his first pitch of the ballgame. One inning later, John Mayberry would single to center to score Hunter Pence and tie the game at 2-2.

Filling in for Raul Ibanez in right, it was a solid night for Mayberry, who made a fantastic read on Valdez' seventh inning double to score all the way from first. John took off practically on contact and crossed plate not far behind the Hunter Pence, who began with a 180-foot advantage. He finished the evening with a run, three hits and an RBI, giving supporters additional motivation in calling for his increased presence in the lineup.

On the mound for the Phils, Cliff Lee would work through seven innings before getting pulled in favor of the pinch hitting Ben Francisco. Despite giving up a two-run home run to recently called-up Paul Goldschmidt and looking a bit shaky early on, Lee would settle in to retire twelve straight batters. Believe or not, Cliff's two run, three hit, seven strikeout performance actually "hurt" his numbers in the month of August. Per Jayson Stark's Twitter feed:

Cliff Lee this month: 24 innings, 14 hits, 25 whiffs, only 2 runs on Goldschmidt's bomb tonight.

Hard to believe he could do much better than his absurd numbers in the month of June, but he's clearly trying.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news for the Phillies Wednesday night as Ryan Howard appeared in a great deal of pain after his final at bat of the evening. Though he would stay in the game, all did not look right. After the game, Howard would reveal that he was suffering from a "hand cramp." David Murphy is now reporting via Twitter that:

"Howard said there is still some discomfort in his hand, doesn't know if it is a cramp or what. Didn't seem concerned."

Hopefully, the alleged cramp is just a cramp and the Big Piece stay healthy down the stretch.

We'll find out tomorrow when the Phils take the field for the rubber match of this three game set at 7:05 when Vance Worley squares off Arizona ace Ian Kennedy. Enjoy your night, guys.

NFL to reopen investigation into Giants' Brown for domestic violence


NFL to reopen investigation into Giants' Brown for domestic violence

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The NFL is going to re-open its investigation of New York Giants placekicker Josh Brown after police released journal entries and emails in which he admitted that he verbally and physically abused his former wife.

The NFL issued a statement on Thursday saying the league's investigators made repeated verbal and written attempts to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in the May 2015 case from the King County Sheriff's Office in Washington, but were denied.

The sheriff's office released the journals and emails late Wednesday to SportsNet New York.

The league said law enforcement's response limited its yearlong investigation of the domestic abuse incident that led to Brown's arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. No charges were filed against the 37-year-old player.

"We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion," the league said. "It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time."

Brown, who was suspended by the NFL Brown for the opening game of the season for a violation of its personal conduct policy, practice on Thursday but he was not in the locker room afterward as the team prepared to leave for its game against the Los Angeles Rams in London on Sunday.

Tom Quinn, the Giants' special teams coach, said that Brown remains the Giants kicker. He said that any change in Brown's status would have to be made by someone above him.

That could be the league or the Giants, who have not issued a statement on the latest revelations.

"In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy," the league said. "We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time."

Giants spokesman Corry Rush declined comment Thursday.

"I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man," Brown wrote in one journal entry. "I have abused my wife."

The journal was part of was part of 165 pages of documents that were turned over to authorities by Brown's former wife, Molly, after his arrest. She had accused him of more than 20 instances of domestic violence.

One of the documents dated more than two years before Brown's arrest was called a "Contract for Change" and appeared to be signed by both the kicker and his former wife.

"I have controlled her by making her feel less human than me, and manipulated her with money," said one of the eight items in the list. "I have disregarded my stepsons' feelings and they have witnessed me abusing their mother."

In a 2013 email, Brown said he caused his wife to fear him.

"From the bruise on your leg when we argued ... to the zipper that caught you last April. I am ashamed and disgraced to call myself a husband," Brown said.

Brown is one of the top placekickers in the NFL. He scored a career-high 134 points last season. He has made 11 of 12 field goal attempts this season and all eight extra points.

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

With Ben Simmons and Jerryd Bayless hurt, the Sixers are still lacking a distributor, and so it makes sense that they've been in contact with the point guard-rich Timberwolves.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Sixers and New Orleans Pelicans have shown interest in T'wolves backup point guard Tyus Jones. 

With fifth overall pick Kris Dunn and Ricky Rubio, Minnesota is set at PG. Jones, 20, is third on the totem pole a year after being drafted 24th overall. 

According to Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves are more inclined to trade Jones than Rubio. 

Jones has a connection to the Sixers in Jahlil Okafor, a former teammate at Duke. Both were one-and-dones for the 2014-15 National Championship team. Jones averaged 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists for the Blue Devils. 

He played sparingly as a rookie last season with Minnesota (37 games), averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 15.5 minutes, but stood out this summer, winning Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

T.J. McConnell has started the majority of the preseason at point guard for the Sixers. Sergio Rodriguez got the nod in the last game against the Pistons. Brett Brown is also looking at Nik Stauskas to fill the spot in a non-traditional role.