Pow-Pow-Power Phils Win in the Desert

Pow-Pow-Power Phils Win in the Desert

Obscured in the Phillies loss to start their series in Arizona was a five-run ninth inning. After going scoreless for the first eight innings, the bats came out to hang some garbage runs when most east coasters had switched off the set.   
On Tuesday night, they picked up where that ninth left off, breaking a scoreless tie in the fourth with an injection of power we've rarely seen in 2012. Hunter Pence was a surprise addition to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game with a shoulder issue and undergoing an MRI earlier in the day, but he looked fine in the fourth, when he knocked one out to right with Jimmy Rollins was on base.
After a Ty Wigginton double, Laynce Nix crushed one over the right field wall, and the Phils had a 4-0 lead. But the gun show wasn't over just yet. 
In the seventh, Nix singled to start the inning and was moved over to second on a single by Brian Schneider, who was back in the battery with Vance Worley. After Polly sac'd them both up a base, Juan Pierre appeared to fly out to left, but a great sliding catch by Jason Kubel was ruled by second base ump Angel Hernandez to have fallen in. 
With the bases loaded, Pete Orr (star of yesterday's recap) smacked a triple to right, plating all three baserunners to give the Phils a 7-1 lead. 
Vance Worley's night was done, which was a great thing for the Diamondbacks. He'd been freezing them through six frames, striking out six—all looking. Worley allowed just one run on a homer by Cody Effing Ransom in the fifth. 
Jose Contreras took over in the seventh, and it wasn't pretty. The D'backs pulled three doubles in a row, then added a sac to bring the score to 7-4. Antonio Bastardo came in to induce the final out.
A familiar face was on the mound for Arizona in the eighth, when Mike Zagurski relieved Bryan Shaw. Shane Victorino must not have been feeling much sentimentality, capping Zagurski with a homer to lead off the inning. That's Vic's second straight game with a long ball and his fourth of the season to uhhh lead the team... 
Chad Qualls was touched for the very first time in the eighth, when he allowed a solo homer to Kubel before striking out three in a row, all swinging. 
Jon Papelbon earned the save (do people still say that?) with a perfect ninth, closing out an 8-5 Phillies win. 
I don't think anyone's calling the Phillies' offensive woes a thing of the past, but the game was something of a relief. No, Josh Collmenter is not Matt Cain, but there are more than enough Collmenters in the league, and this is what the Phils need to do when they're on the hill. 
Vancehall ReggaeGotta love another great start from Worley, who won his second straight, again keeping his walks and hits to the same number of innings he pitched. Hard to ask for much more than that. There were concerns coming into the season that hitters had figured him out toward the end of last season, sitting on his out-pitch. But we're still seeing the cold stare of opposing hitters who just got rung up looking, and Worley's ERA is a tidy 2.16. Nice to see the walks limited to just one, too. MOM! I WANT THE TRUUUUUCK!

Gregg Popovich on Sixers: 'One of my joys in life to watch them win'

Gregg Popovich on Sixers: 'One of my joys in life to watch them win'

When Brett Brown agreed to become the Sixers' head coach, he knew he was embarking upon a unique challenge with a franchise that planned to be as methodical as possible in its rebuild. 

One of the results was a career record for Brown of 47-199 entering this season, a record so lopsidedly poor that Brown may never break the .500 mark.

But the Sixers are finally showing real progress, with a star in Joel Embiid and young players who are turning out to be useful pieces. The Sixers have won seven of their last nine, and there's no one happier to see that than Brown's former boss and mentor, Gregg Popovich.

"It's one of my joys in life to watch them win basketball games because if there's any team that deserves it, it's those guys," Popovich told ESPN.

Brown and the Sixers aren't out of the woods yet. At 14-26, they're still closer to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but the entire vibe around the team has changed. 

"They've had it really tough for all the obvious reasons," said Popovich, who has been the Spurs' head coach since 1996 and worked with Brown from 2002-13.

"There's nobody in our business that is more positive, and more day-to-day upbeat and ready to teach and love than Brett Brown. He's a unique, unique guy."

Clay Buchholz was introduced to his wife by Donald Trump, is big fan of 45

Clay Buchholz was introduced to his wife by Donald Trump, is big fan of 45

Philadelphia Phillies fans likely don't know a ton about one of the team's most recent pitching acquisitions, former Red Sox right-hander Clay Buccholz, but it turns out he has a unique connection to the 45th President of the United States of America.

It was Donald Trump who first introduced him to his now wife, Lindsay Clubine, at an after party of a UFC fight following a game out in California back in the late aughts.

The Boston Globe wrote about the encounter early last year.

“It was ‘Affliction: Banned’ fighting, and [Trump] owned the whole circuit," Buchholz told the Globe. "My wife knew him prior, from ‘Deal or No Deal’ when he came on the show as a celebrity banker."

“She was helping him host this event in Anaheim. So when we all walked in, he was there, and he saw us and he introduced Lindsey to me.”

Trump, of course, also has ties to a more formative New England athlete in Tom Brady who allegedly called Donald on Thursday to congratulate him on his coming inauguration. 

As for Buchholz opinion on Trump? He was a big supporter during the campaign and is a fan of the former " The Apprentice" host.

“He says what a lot of people think and don’t say,” Buchholz told the Globe. “I like that part of him."

Phillies fans tend to say what they think, so he'll probably be a fan of them as well, right?

Here are some shots of the couple from their social media accounts: