Scenes From Retro Night: Dom Shines, Everyone Else Just Looks Classic

Scenes From Retro Night: Dom Shines, Everyone Else Just Looks Classic

I'm kind of a nerd for retro nights. Old school unis usually look pretty cool, and along with the gimmick comes a wide-ranging discussion about the team at the time it wore its previous gear. Last night, the Phillies donned a uniform last worn in 1991, the maroon pinstriped offering with the ball-in-P logo. Personally, although I like the current Phillies look, I've always been partial to the previous one. 
Maybe it's because it was the look when I was young and seeing the Phils for the first time (along with the light blues…), but even today, I think I prefer the maroon to the bright red everything. A strong percentage of my ton o' Phillies gear is maroon/gray or some classic alternative to the current primary red. Of course, it was easy to become partial to the current look over the past decade as the club ascended to being among the league's elite. 
Before we get to last night's actual game, if you had the choice, would the Phillies' everyday unis look like last night's, or the current standard? 
The game itself, a 3-2 Phillies loss, was mostly unremarkable. Bronson Arroyo on the mound usually means great things for the Fightins. He entered the night 1-7 in 10 career starts against the Phillies, having allowed 12 homers. Wearing his 1991 Reds pullover, Arroyo was feeling sporty on Wednesday, not allowing a baserunner through four innings. 
Dom Brown changed all that with a big swing of the bat in the fifth, homering for the first time since his 2012 call-up. Courtesy of Cork Gaines, watch this fan get the unfortunate end of Brown's blast.
Just an inning before, Brown had an adventure in right field. Jay Bruce skied a popup that Brown clearly lost in either the lights or a gray sky, and it fell into play as Bruce sprinted all the way to third. After Scott Rolen was hit by a pitch, Reds first baseman Todd Frazier sent another fly ball Brown's way. This one didn't have enough under it to blind Dom, and he made the routine play. Bruce, perhaps not a regular reader of Jim Salisbury's Hose Report, made the silly mistake of running on Brown, who had his revenge. Brown sent a bullet perfectly on-target to Brian Schneider, beating Bruce by at least a step and ending the Cinci threat. [Watch]
Arroyo stayed in his groove though, allowing just three hits on the night and no walks. He didn't have to work too hard, throwing just 86 pitches before turning the game over to Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. A fine defensive play by Cinci's middle infield helped preserve Arroyo's lead, after Brown doubled in the eighth and Placido Polanco reached on a Rolen error. Schneider sent a sharp hit up the middle, but Zach Cozart and Brandon Phillips turned a gem of a double play. 
Kevin Frandsen made a pinch appearance in the ninth, handcuffing Rolen at third to reach base, and Arroyo's night was done. Chapman uncorked a wild pitch that reminded me (again) why I'm not an MLB catcher, and Frandsen moved up to second before Ty Wigginton hit a pinch single to score him. 
The comeback magic ended there though, as Chase Utley flied out and Ryan Howard laced a nice ball to the opposite field, but it was caught by a well-positioned Ryan Ludwick.
Vance Worley battled through six innings, avoiding much damage despite scattering eight hits and a pair of walks. Not a very lucky night for him, but he wasn't bad. Josh Lindblom gave up another bomb, his second in his last three appearances. It proved to be the winning run on a night where Phillies in the starting lineup not named Dom Brown couldn't do much at the plate. 
Yep, true to '90s form, the Phils lost.
For more pictures from the game, check out our 1991 Throwbacks gallery.

Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation for indecent assault

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Ex-Penn State TE Brent Wilkerson gets probation for indecent assault

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — A former Penn State football player will serve five years' probation and register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to indecent assault.

Twenty-two-year-old Brent Wilkerson was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in connection with a February outing to several bars with a young woman and others.

Police say Wilkerson was drunk but the woman was sober when he insisted on making sure she got home safe.

The woman tells police Wilkerson pushed her upstairs to her bedroom where he fell asleep. The woman says she went to bed later and woke up to find Wilkerson kissing and fondling her and fondling himself. He later apologized in a text message.

Wilkerson was kicked off the team in March. Court records say he lives in Clinton, Maryland.

Union-Toronto FC 5 things: Embracing the playoff underdog role

Union-Toronto FC 5 things: Embracing the playoff underdog role

Union vs. Toronto FC
7:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Riding a seven-game winless run entering their first playoff match since 2011, the No. 6 Union (11-14-9) will attempt to hit the reset button and unseat the third-ranked and heavily favored Toronto FC (14-9-11) on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) at BMO Field.

Here are five things to know:

1. Playing underdog
The struggling Union are happily accepting the role as underdogs against MLS Cup-hungry Toronto FC.

"It's a difficult task but it’s not impossible,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. "Not many people are giving us a chance. We've been a good team when we're considered the underdog and my guys have responded well in that situation. This is no different."

To fully embrace that underdog role, and in an attempt to wash away the stink of how they ended the regular season, the Union are treating Wednesday as a hard reset. For them, the playoffs will be a fresh chance to prove themselves.

“It’s a new season now,” said Union center back Ken Tribbett, who helped his club draw Toronto FC at BMO Field on Sept. 24. “In the playoffs, anything can happen. We go up to Toronto and it’ll be a good test. We have to stay sharp for 90 minutes and hopefully we can come back here with a win.”

And there is a reason to be slightly optimistic about the Union’s chance. Despite a 1-0-1 record against the Canadian side this season, the Union, who lost 3-1 in the first match, played much better on Sept. 24 at BMO Field. They clogged the midfield and ground the Sebastian Giovinco-less club into a 1-1 draw.

“It’s encouraging that we have gone there recently and played well,” Curtin said. “I think we have a group that has a belief, and one that is pissed a bit about how things have ended. They are motivated.”

2. Leaning on experience
While the 2016 Union will ultimately be known for their reliance on youth — a group that included Keegan Rosenberry, who has played every minute this season, Fabian Herbers, Josh Yaro and Ken Tribbett — it’s the veterans that will lead them on Wednesday.

“This is a pressure game for everybody,” Curtin said. “We have a good balance of guys who have played in big spots, like (Chris) Pontius, Tranquillo (Barnetta), (Alejandro) Bedoya. (C.J.) Sapong has played in big games, you can go through the list.”

Yet despite Curtin’s need for his veterans to lead, his reliance on youth means the younger players need to be reliable. The manager admitted that pressure can change how people play, and he is making sure the Union youth movement remains steady on Wednesday.

“We have young guys, there’s no question about it,” Curtin said. “These guys will play in their first playoff game and a lot of the guys on our roster have never been in a playoff game. You hope they rise to the occasion and I’m confident they will.”

3. Pressure on Toronto
Making their second-ever postseason appearance, high-priced Toronto FC has its sights set on bigger things than the Union in the play-in playoff round. That’s why Curtin believes the pressure is squarely on his opposition.

“I’d say the pressure is on them, they are the home team,” the manager said. “My guys should be loose, they have nothing to lose. It’s fair to say, they are the home team and they want to make a deep playoff run. We want to make some noise.”

Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney knows his team will be excited, so he’s trying to instill a high intensity but controlled start for his club.

“We expect a little of the unexpected at the start,” he said. “The game settles down eventually, but at the start, there’s a lot of emotion into it and you want to play with the right kind of caution but the right kind of intensity to put the opposing team on their back foot.

“The guys are ready to go, ready to go after Philadelphia.”

4. Keep an eye on
Jozy Altidore: It would be easy to go with Giovinco here, but Altidore has a recent history of crushing the Union. He has two goals in his last three games against the Union and buried 10 in 23 games this season.

“Jozy is a guy who can stretch the field and is dangerous,” Curtin said. “He’s not a guy you can shut down, it’s not possible. He’ll have his moments, you just have to make those looks as predictable for (goalkeeper Andre Blake) as you can. You hope he’s a little off on the night.”

Tranquillo Barnetta: Without added inspiration, the Union offensive catalyst has been one of the club’s best players all season. On Wednesday, Curtin expects a little extra from Barnetta, who is not returning to the Union in 2017.

“I’ve talked a ton about how special he is, he’s been a great attribute for the Union and a guy we want to prolong the season for,” Curtin said. “He’s played in the big spots, the big games and there’s something extra there for him.” 

5. This and that
• On the injury front, Union center back Yaro sprained his MCL while returning from a concussion. “It’s a two-week injury,” Curtin said, “so it will be unfortunate he won’t be part of the Toronto game.”

Warren Creavalle is also fighting injury. The defensive midfielder left Sunday’s match with a rib injury but could be available for Wednesday. “It’s painful for him,” Curtin said. “He’s a tough kid and he wants to be a part of this game.”

• The Union and Toronto FC are deadlocked all time, with a 6-6-5 record against each other. 

• The Union are 2-4-3 at BMO Field.

• Both clubs enter Wednesday limping. Since August 27 (the Union’s last win), Toronto FC is 2-1-4, while the Union are 0-5-2.