Spencer Hawes Did What in the Where Now?

Spencer Hawes Did What in the Where Now?

Nate Thurmond. Alvin Robertson. Hakeem Olajuwon. David Robinson. We
almost nearly had to add a fifth name to that list last night, as
Spencer Hawes came just two assists and three blocks short of
registering a quadruple-double last night at the Wells Fargo Center,
ending with what must be the best stat line of his career—18 points, 16
rebounds, eight assists, seven blocks, and zero game-blowing layup
misses, in a game that the Sixers won—won, as in the opposite of
lost—against the Indiana Pacers. The blocks and rebounds were both
career highs for Spence, and the assists was one shy—which all in all is
a pretty remarkable night to have in your 403rd career NBA game.

Aside
from Spence's dominant performance, Jrue Holiday had himself a ballgame
last night as well, scoring 20 in the first half and ending strong with
a couple huge buckets late in the fourth to seal the game, posting an
impressive 27/12/6 for the night. All five starters ended in double
figures (yes, even you Damien Wilkins) and the defense was strong across
the board, as the Sixers notched a combined 14 blocked shots, and the
Pacers' three perimeter starters combined to go 12-38. (Center Roy
Hibbert ended with 25 and ten against Spencer Hawes and company, but
needed 26 shots to do so.)

A weird game that ended in a Sixers
victory against the (possible) second-best team in the Eastern
Conference, and a team that had thumped the Sixers in two previous
meetings this year. The third straight strong performance from the
Liberty Ballers against high-level East competition at the WFC
officially makes this the best stretch of ball the Sixers have played
this season, at what must be the weirdest point in the season for the
team to suddenly decide to start playing well. Winning is fun and all,
but are we gonna get back to Tankfest '13 at any point? Hope you know
what you're doing, Damien Wilkins.

Andres Blanco fractures left index finger, likely heading to 15-day DL

Andres Blanco fractures left index finger, likely heading to 15-day DL

PITTSBURGH --- Utility infielder Andres Blanco suffered a fractured left index finger in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

Blanco was injured when Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco slid into his hand during a play at third base. Blanco was making his second straight start at third in place of Maikel Franco, who was out with a sore left wrist after being hit by a pitch Friday from Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Franco took over at third for Blanco, who hit a solo home run off Pirates rookie right-hander Jameson Taillon in the first inning. Blanco is hitting .271 with four homers in 75 games this season.

Meanwhile, catcher Cameron Rupp was not in the lineup after being hit in the left ear flap of his batting helmet on Saturday by a pitch from Pirates rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow. Carlos Ruiz started behind the plate.

Rupp passed Major League Baseball’s concussion protocol both Saturday and Sunday.

"If you get hit in the head, you probably want to take a little bit more precaution than if it was another part of your body,” Rupp said.

Mike Piazza inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Mike Piazza inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Mike Piazza has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Selected by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 amateur draft with the 1,390th pick, ahead of only five other players, Piazza is the lowest-drafted player to reach the Hall of Fame. He made it in on his fourth try.

Piazza played 16 years with five teams and hit 427 home runs, including a major-league record 396 as a catcher. A 12-time All-Star, Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the top five in MVP voting four times.

Perhaps even more impressive, Piazza had six seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 batting average. All other catchers in baseball history combined have posted nine such seasons.

Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Ken Griffey Jr. has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Griffey, the first No. 1 draft pick to be selected for enshrinement, played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball's so-called Steroids Era.

A 13-time All-Star selection and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, Griffey hit 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and drove in 1,836 runs.

Griffey also was the American League MVP in 1997, drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards.

In the 1995 ALDS, he became just the second player in major league history to hit five home runs in a postseason series.