This Is Last Place: Lee Throws 10 Shutout Innings, Phils Lose 1-0

This Is Last Place: Lee Throws 10 Shutout Innings, Phils Lose 1-0

On one hand, Cliff Lee was magnificent on Wednesday night. Not only did he become the first pitcher to last 10 innings into a game since Aaron Harang in 2007, and the first Phillie to do so since Terry Mulholland in 1993; Lee was also the first pitcher to go 10 with a shutout since Mark Mulder in '05, the first Phillie since Steve Carlton in '81.

Lee allowed seven hits, walked none, and struck out seven on an efficient 102 pitches. Had he not been due up in the top of the 11th, he almost certainly could have gone another round or two at least.

On the other hand, Matt Cain was equally dominant for the San Francisco Giants. The newly-minted hundred millionaire held the Phillies to zero runs and two hits over a full nine. Really, the only difference between the two starters was Cain's bullpen kept the opposing team off the scoreboard, and Lee's did not -- or to put that another way, the Giants found a way to generate a run, whereas the Phils could not.

However you choose to look at it, the end result is a 1-0 loss in 11 innings, putting Philadelphia in dead last in the NL East for the first time in almost five years.

Antonio Bastardo was handed the loss, though he lacked help defensively. With one out and a runner on first, Angel Pagan slapped a sharp ground ball toward third that was too hot to handle for Ty Wigginton, who bobbled the ball and had no play. Two pitches later, Melky Cabrera lined a single over the glove of Freddy Galvis to right, scoring Brandon Belt as Hunter Pence's desperation throw arrived late.

Of course, Wigginton was still on the field due to the plate struggles of Placido Polanco, who has one extra base hit and one RBI to go along with his .220 on-base percentage. Wigginton was 1-for-4 on Wednesday.

You may have trouble pinning that problem on game management, but Charlie Manuel probably didn't help his own cause either.

After Carlos Ruiz led off the top of the 11th with a double, and Galvis sacrificed him to third, Manuel went to his big lefty for the pinch hit. Giants manager Bruce Bochy matched Jim Thome with veteran lefthander Javier Lopez, who K'd the owner of 604 home runs with a bunch off-speed slop.

Manuel also stuck with John Mayberry after pinch hitting for Juan Pierre on the next at bat when Bochy matched with Clay Hensley, a right-on-right battle. Mayberry has a .212 average with one extra base hit, two RBIs, and nine strikeouts. He ended the threat with a groundout.

And this is a last place team.

After dropping two of three in San Francisco, the Phillies have lost three of four series this season, and for the first time since April 20, 2007, this team finds itself in the NL East basement all by their lonesome. A young, hungry club wound up overtaking the New York Mets for the division crown last time, just one example why it's much too early to panic already.

But on the OTHER other hand, one theory is this franchise might be trending in the opposite direction. Big rebound series with the San Diego Padres begins for the Phillies on Thursday.

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Back in black.

The Flyers on Saturday morning revealed their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys for their Feb. 25 outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.

With their 50th anniversary sweaters resembling their current away jerseys with gold outlining throughout, the Flyers have gone back to black and orange for the outdoor game.

The jersey is almost all black, with an orange name plate and an orange elbow stripe. Orange is sprinkled throughout the jersey.

In addition to the outdoor game, the Flyers will also wear the jersey against the Penguins on March 15 at the Wells Fargo Center, a Wednesday Night Rivalry game.

Pittsburgh unveiled its Stadium Series jersey back on Nov. 25, an all gold uniform in celebration of its 50th season.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story).