Utley Day 2: Worley vs. Cueto on Oswalt Bobblehead Night

Utley Day 2: Worley vs. Cueto on Oswalt Bobblehead Night

Monday night's win was the Phillies 47th game played this season, but it was the first for a certain second baseman who was asked after the game if it felt like an opening day. "For me, it was, without a doubt," Utley said.

So now that Utley's got the faux-opening day jitters out of the way, he should be back in action tonight as Vance Worley (2-0, 1.13) is set to take on Johnny Cueto (1-2, 1.45). Manuel said after last night's victory that he plans to stick with the lineup that blew up for 10 runs, which means the plan calls for Utley at second for the second consecutive evening.

With my 17-game partial season ticket plan falling on Roy Oswalt bobblehead night this evening, I'm hoping the Phils put up an effort much more similar to last night than the showing I saw last Thursday when I sat in the stands through one of the honest-to-goodness worst games I've ever been to. Not only was it pouring rain for most of the night, but Joe Blanton was scratched for Kyle Kendrick, who was shelled, and the Phils managed to notch only one lousy run on six hits. At no point in that one did we ever get a glimpse of hope of a comeback.

But that was the Chase Utley-less Phillies. He's back, and Vance Worley will take the hill, a guy Charlie Manuel really likes.

"I like everything about him," Charlie said yesterday. "Why shouldn’t I like him? He’s been good every time out."

As for the Reds' starter, Cueto hasn't pitched a ton this season, and has fared well in his few outings. But you may remember him from such classics as July 6, 2009, in which he was shelled at Citizens Bank Park to the tune of 9 earned runs in .2 innings of working, giving up 2 HRs along the way. I was also at that 22 run Phillies classic, so perhaps a bit of that karma will follow us to the park tonight.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05. We'll update this post with any lineup changes. You never know, the looming weather could sway Charlie's mind when filling out the card.

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."