Worley Schneider = Phils Win Again, Of Course

Worley Schneider = Phils Win Again, Of Course

A look at the Phils' 6-3 win over the Braves, the company Vance Worley is now keeping among Phillies pitchers, the Schneider Effect, and a reward for ticket-holders to last night's game.

"The race to 90 wins is won by the Phillies!" yelped Tom McCarthy
at the end of tonight's rain-delayed 6-3 win against the Braves. It's a
race a lot of us probably didn't even realize the Phils were competing
in all that strenuously, but one we'll gladly put in the books anyway,
as the Fightins do in fact become the first team in the majors to mark
themselves as ten away from triple digits, and are now nine-and-a-half
games up on the lowly 82-win Braves, who now need an absolute act of God
to be even slightly competitive in the NL East race down the stretch
(knock on everything).

And the man of the hour, once again, is
Vance "Called Third Strike" Worley. The Fridge won his 11th game of the
season with his six-inning, two-run performance, giving the team its
mind-boggling 14th straight win in outings when V-Man takes the hill. As
has often been the case over this incredible and unlikely streak—which
is now the longest for any rookie since the Reds' Wayne Simpson in 1970
and for any Phillie since Carlton in '72—Worley was unspectacular but
good enough, giving up seven hits and three walks, but also racking up
six strikeouts, including a couple big third outs. Stutes, Lidge and
Madson combined for just one earned run in three innings of relief, and
the Braves were kept at arm's length until Ryan's third strike on final
out Dan Uggla.

The team's 3-6 hitters were huge tonight, with
Chase opening the scoring for the Phils with his first home run since
August 21st and his tenth on the season on a long shot to right-center.
Ryan and Hunter both scored two runs, with the former picking up a big
insurance tally with a groundout in the seventh, and Raul went 3-4
with 3 RBIs over the course of the evening.

Schneider Effect
But the most important player
of the night may have been someone whose contributions won't show up in
the box score—because, technically speaking, they might not actually
exist. Brian Schneider, now officially Philly's greatest good luck charm
since Kate Smith, went 0-3 to drop his average to a desert-parched .171
for the year, but once again started in a team win—the 18th straight
game the team has won with Schneider starting behind the plate. The last
time the Phils lost with the Schneid as their starting backstop? May
friggin' 7th. Holy crap, this guy.

Up Next
Likely without either their pitching or catching rabbit's feet in the
lineup, the Phils face the Braves tomorrow night on ESPN with the chance
for the sweep. Winning the first two games of the series by a combined
score of 15-3 has been a nice little ego boost for our Fightins, and to
finish it with a third whomping of Los Bravos would be sweetness
personified. Roy Oswalt gets the start against Brandon Beachy in a
chance to put the Braves 10.5 games back, a lead so formidable they'd
barely even register as a smudge in our rearview mirror. Goood times.

Bonus Baseball: Ticket Reward
By the way, a note for our washed-out readers who didn't feel like
braving the elements in the Phils' two-plus-hour delay tonight—all fans
with tix for tonight's game may exchange them for a one of six selected
home games in the upcoming 2012 season. Pretty decent move for a team
that certainly doesn't need the good PR or juked attendance numbers.

US Presswire Photos

Best of NHL: Shea Weber's PPG gives Canadiens' 5th straight win

Best of NHL: Shea Weber's PPG gives Canadiens' 5th straight win

NEW YORK -- Shea Weber's power-play goal with 2:57 remaining lifted the Montreal Canadiens to their fifth straight victory, 3-2 over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Paul Byron and Phillip Danault also scored to help Montreal improve to 6-0-1 and remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss. Al Montoya, who played for the Islanders from 2010-12, stopped 26 shots in his first start since Oct. 18 as the Canadiens beat New York for the seventh straight time.

John Tavares and Dennis Seidenberg scored for New York and Thomas Greiss had 26 saves in his second straight start and third of the season.

With the Islanders' Nick Leddy off for slashing, Weber fired a shot from the point for the tiebreaking goal. It was just the second power-play goal in 23 opportunities given up by New York's league-leading penalty-killing unit (see full recap).

Pirri, Rangers rally to topple Bruins
NEW YORK -- Brandon Pirri scored twice to help the New York Ranger beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday night.

Rick Nash, Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey also scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots. The Rangers won their third straight game, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to improve to 5-2-0.

David Pastrnak and Austin Czarina scored for Boston. The Bruins have lost three straight to drop to 3-4-0.

Zane McIntyre made 26 saves in his first NHL start. He was called up prior to Boston's 5-0 home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night to back up Malcolm Subban due to injuries to Tuukka Risk and Anton Khudobin (see full recap).

Pouliot scores twice, Oilers beat Capitals
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Benoit Pouliot scored twice, Cam Talbot made 34 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Wednesday night to stretch their winning streak to four games.

Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic also scored for the Oilers (6-1-0). They have won four of five games at Rogers Place, their new downtown arena.

Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (3-2-1). Braden Holtby made 25 saves (see full recap).

World Series: Arrieta, Schwarber lead Cubs past Indians to even series 1-1

USA Today Images

World Series: Arrieta, Schwarber lead Cubs past Indians to even series 1-1


CLEVELAND -- Jake Arrieta made a teasing try at history, Kyle Schwarber drove in two runs and the Chicago Cubs brushed off a shutout to even the World Series with their first Fall Classic win in 71 years, 5-1 over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Arrieta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, briefly invoking Don Larsen's name, before the Indians touched him for two hits and a run. However, the right-hander helped give Chicago just what it needed -- a split at Progressive Field -- before the Cubbies return to their Wrigley Field den for the next three games starting Friday night.

The Cubs hadn't won in the Series since beating Detroit 8-7 in 1945 to force Game 7.

The free-swinging Schwarber, who made it back for Chicago's long-awaited Series return after missing most of the season with an injured left knee, hit an RBI single in the third off Cleveland's Trevor Bauer and had another in the Cubs' three-run fifth -- highlighted by Ben Zobrist's run-scoring triple.

Even the presence of star LeBron James and the NBA champion Cavaliers, sporting their new rings, couldn't stop the Indians from losing for the first time in six home games this postseason.

And Cleveland manager Terry Francona's magical touch in October finally fizzled as he dropped to 9-1 in Series games.

With rain in the forecast, Major League Baseball moved the first pitch up an hour in hopes of avoiding delays or a postponement.

It turned out to be a good call as the game went on without a hitch and ended after more than four hours as light rain was beginning to fall.

Arrieta and the Cubs provided the only storm.

The bearded 30-year-old coasted through five innings without allowing a hit, the first pitcher to get that deep in a Series game with a no-hitter since David Cone of the New York Yankees in 1998.

For a brief period, Arrieta looked as if he might challenge Larsen's gem -- a perfect game -- in 1956 before Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, a die-hard Cubs fan as a kid, doubled with one out in the sixth .

Before that, Cleveland hitters had a couple good swings, and drew three walks, but couldn't mount a real threat. Arrieta has two career no-hitters, in fact, including the only one in the majors this year.

Cubs lefty Mike Montgomery replaced Arrieta and worked two scoreless innings before Aroldis Chapman came in and unleashed his 103 mph heat while getting the last four outs.

The teams will have an off day before the series resumes with Game 3 at Wrigley, which will host its first Series game since Oct. 6, 1945, when tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave with his pet goat, Murphy, and a curse was born.

Josh Tomlin will start for the Indians, who will lose the designated hitter in the NL ballpark, against Kyle Hendricks.

Schwarber might also wind up on the bench after two days as the DH.

With a gametime temperature of 43, the weather was more fitting for the Browns and Bears to bang heads than the boys of summer.

The Cubs were the ones who came up thumping after being blanked 6-0 in Game 1 by Corey Kluber and Cleveland's shut-down bullpen.

Zobrist's one-out triple triggered the fifth as the Cubs opened a 5-0 lead, not that Arrieta needed it.

After Anthony Rizzo walked following a 10-pitch at-bat, Zobrist laced a ball off Zach McAllister that was going to be a double until right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall slipped and fell. Rizzo was waved around and Zobrist hustled into third.

Schwarber followed with his second RBI and reliever Bryan Shawn later walked No. 9 hitter Addison Russell with the bases loaded.

Unlike his start in Toronto on Oct. 17, when his stitched cut opened up and Bauer was forced to make a bloody departure in the first inning, his finger held up fine.

The Cubs, though, put a few nicks in him in 3 2/3 innings.

The drone accident has brought attention to the quirky Bauer, and one Chicago fan tried to rattle the right-hander by sending a smaller version of the remote-controlled, flying object that cut him.

Bauer posted a photo of it on Twitter, saying "I see the (at)Cubs fans love me! How nice of them to send me a gift!"

The Cubs, who were off balance from the start against Kluber, scored their first run in a Series game since `45 in the first on Rizzo's RBI double .

Bauer needed 51 pitches to get through two innings, and he was one strike from getting out of the third unscathed when Chicago turned a walk and to singles into a 2-0 lead.

Up next
Cubs: Hendricks is coming off his brilliant performance in Game 5 of the NLCS when he pitched two-hit ball for seven innings as the Cubs clinched their first pennant in 71 years. The right-hander went 16-8 during the regular season with a league-leading 2.13 ERA.

Indians: It will be an emotional night for Tomlin, who will pitch on 12 day's rest with his ailing father, Jerry, in attendance. The elder Tomlin became stricken with a spinal condition in August, when Tomlin was struggling on the mound. The right-hander more than recovered and rescued Cleveland's rotation in the postseason, winning both starts.