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.

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.