Strike a Pose: Vance Worley vs. the Mets

Strike a Pose: Vance Worley vs. the Mets

For as trying a season  as 2012 has been for Phillies fans, we still have New York Mets fans to look down and smile at.

The Fightins kick off a three game set with the lowly Mets tonight that could help propel them even further up in the wild card standings. Don't get your hopes up too much, but crazier things have happened. Personally, I don't think it's totally ridiculous to at least talk about the possibility of something miraculous happening. Granted, I don't think it's going to actually happen.

The Mets have actually gotten the better of the Phillies thus far this season, with New York leading the series 8-4 at this juncture. That said, the Phils have lost the season series to the Mets just once in the last five seasons (2008: 7-11, clubs split 2010: 9-9), so Charlie's boys best get their act together over the last two.

Tonight's pitching matchup has right-hander Chris Young (3-7, 4.33) going up against fellow righty Vance Worley (6-9, 4.06). Worley was solid in his last outing, throwing 6.0 innings while allowing only 2 earned but the Phils offense was baffled by Bronson Arroyo in that 3-2 loss. He's also battling a career-long 3-game losing streak. So let's hope we get some LOLMets tonight to help him out.

Charlie Manuel said before the game that Placido Polanco is available this evening but he's opting to go with Kevin Frandsen at third because he's been playing well. I like it. (source)

Dom Brown is back in the lineup after resting his sore knee for a few days. He'll be batting sixth and playing left field.

7:05 per usual. Watch out for all those crazy Madonna fans at Xfinity Live tonight.

Here's your full lineup:

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy announced that the team has added two players to its 2016-17 roster. 

The Owls will announce the two new transfers, junior’s Isaiah Lewis and Steve Leonard, Thursday night at the Liacouras Center at the team’s Cherry and White Night. 

Lewis comes to Temple after playing for Casper College in Wyoming last season, where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists per game. Before his stint at Casper College, the 6-4 guard also played at Lee Junior College in Texas, and averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Leonard, a 6-6 guard from Collegeville, Pa., played two seasons at Ursinus College. He averaged 5.6 points over 43 games during his career at Ursinus. 

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”