Phils Win, Dom Brown Tells Me Twice More to STFU

Phils Win, Dom Brown Tells Me Twice More to STFU

Domonic Brown celebrates with Erik Kratz after Brown's second home run (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Holy crap, Domonic Mordecai Brown. (His actual middle name is Larun, but I prefer Mordecai.) This guy is having a month for the history books, and in the process, he's making the Phillies must-watch TV again, for the first time since they were actually, y'know, winning games. DomBro went yard twice tonight against the Boston Red Sox--both solo shots, natch--to raise his home-run total to ten for the month of May (13 for the season), powering the Phils to a 4-3 victory. He's currently tied for 2nd in the entire NL in dingers, just one behind the Braves' Justin Upton, and he is a game away from having the slightly dubious (but much more awesome) distinction of being the first player in MLB history to have ten homers and zero walks in the same month.

It's worth mentioning that just six-and-a-half days ago, I was doing some serious wondering about whether Dom was even having a good year or not, and positing him as the Phils' teasing equivalent of the Sixers' Evan Turner. Since then, the burners have been turned on full blast with our once-and-future prospect, and he's gone 8-22 with five blasts, turning his season from intriguing-but-flawed to OMG DOM BROWN COMES UP FIVE BATTERS FROM NOW LET'S KEEP IT ON THIS CHANNEL JUST IN CASE. I don't want to take 100% credit for my column prompting his offensive explosion, but 60% seems pretty reasonable.

Dom's two HR tallies were the headline from what was otherwise a pretty odd game of baseball. The Phils ran rampant on the base paths, rightly targeting pitch John Lackey's molasses-slow delivery and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's noodle arm behind the plate, with such base-stealing luminaries as John Mayberry Jr., Delmon Young (!!) and yes, the boy Domonic as well all earning swipes. However, all four steals amounted to naught, as the only runs the Phils cashed in this evening were on that ol' Philly phavorite, the solo home run. Dom had his two, and Ryan Howard and Erik Kratz each notched one, as the bails sailed into the hot summer night as if piloted by Christopher Cross.

That was enough, but it very nearly wasn't, as Jonathan Papelbon's perfect season threatened to come to a close on a Jacoby Ellsbury blooper to shallow left that Dom came a couple inches away from becoming a two-way hero by snagging, which scored the Sox' third run and brought Pap's nearly two-month-long scoreless streak to a close. But Dom recovered to the ball quickly enough to hold secondary runner Jonny Gomes at third on the play, and then Ryno fielded a hot grounder to first for the third out in the inning. Can't say this one wasn't entertaining, certainly.

One more to go in this double home-and-home, with Jonathan Pettibone taking the hill tomorrow night against Franklin Morales (in his first pitching action in the majors this year), with a chance to take the "series" and get the Phils back up to .500 for the first time since they were 6-6 back in mid-April. Another three DomBlasts should about do the trick, we figure.

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Some photos from the game:

[gallery columns="5" ids="1034939,1034938,1034934,1034933,1034932"]

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

It really felt like we could've gotten this one. The Denver Nuggets are hardly pushovers, but they came into this one a 7-13 team that'd lost their last three games, and even last night they seemed fairly beatable, even for a Philadelphia 76ers team still missing Robert Covington (in additional to our usual mini-roster of absentees). But Philly's energy sagged in the third quarter as Denver caught a second wind, and they spent the final frame hitting shots that the Sixers couldn't answer. Final score: Nuggets 106, 76ers 98. 

The most sobering part of the loss was that Joel Embiid finally played what would best be described as "a bad game." Not that bad, of course — even at his worst, Joel still managed 16 points and notched career-high five blocks. But he only shot 5-15 from the field, turned ball over three times, grabbed just four boards and played a large part in the sinkhole offense that the Sixers played in the late third and early fourth that ultimately cost them this one. JoJo still has trouble reading double teams and knowing when not to attack into traffic, and his frustration was extremely evident as he kept trying to do too much and paying the price for it. 

Nonetheless, even with an off Embiid night and a still-slumping Sauce — officially down to Left in the Car Overnight temperature after a night of 4 points on 1-7 shooting in 35 minutes — Philly probably still coulda gotten this one. Sergio Rodriguez appears to have swiped Nik's swag at least temporarily, with a season-high 17 points on 7-14 shooting to go with seven dimes and three steals, while Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova also poured in 17 and 8 each, and the Nuggets wings were largely kept quiet for two and a half quarters. But even while struggling, the Nuggets paraded their way to free-throw line — 34 FTAs for the night, including 12 for Danilo Gallinari alone — and once they caught fire late, the Sixers just couldn't keep up. 

A bummer for a team that's now lost seven in a row, and has to face the Grizzlies tonight in Memphis — their fourth game in five nights, and the first of a three-game road trip — without Embiid and also without Jahlil Okafor, out with illness. Even with the Grizz missing their own big names (no Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Zach Randolph or Vince Carter lately) and likely suffering from fatigue of their own after a double-OT road win last night in New Orleans, the 4-17 Sixers are gonna have a tough go matching Memphis' grit and grind tonight. Anytime you feel like Supermanning in and saving the day now would be cool, Nerlens Noel. Just sayin'.

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.