Cliff and Phils Look to Avoid Sweep Behind After Embarrassing Call Costs Them Game Two

Cliff and Phils Look to Avoid Sweep Behind After Embarrassing Call Costs Them Game Two

That one hurt. The Phils were on the comeback trail against the Brewers in the 9th inning last night, with a leadoff Freddy Galvis solo shot cutting the lead to one, and Jimmy Rollins singling and a Ben Revere bunt getting us a man in scoring position with just one out. But with J-Roll sitting for the game with a sore foot, Charlie had Kyle Kendrick take the basepaths for him, and continuing our streak of good luck with pitchers getting used as pinch-runners, it quickly proved a disaster, as Milwaukee reliever made a wild spin to second to pick off a leaning Kyle, with shortstop Jean Segura applying the tag.

Except he didn't. Second-base ump Mike Estabrook called the tag, but it was never actually made--the ball clearly popped out of Segura's glove as he was swiping Kyle, and not recovered until the pitcher was easily back on the bag. Still, the out call was made, and a subsequent Cesar Hernandez double to right, which would have easily scored KK from second, was instead wasted when Michael Martinez (a late-inning and arguably shortsighted base-running replacement for Ryan Howard) grounded out to short. Final score: Brewers 4, Phils 3.

The Downtown Dom Brown watch wasn't in huge effect last night, as the NL home-run leader went just 1-4 with the one hit being a single, but Dom did do something for the first time since April 30th--he took a walk. Of course, it wasn't really his choice--the walk came in that ninth inning with a base open and Michael Martinez on deck, an obvious situation for an IBB. Still, it was cool to see our best hitter being treated with the fear and respect that he deserves, and it was good to see that ol' OBP take a jump for Dom, regardless of situation. He's also hit safely in six straight and 11 of his last 12, if that's your sort of thing.

Anyway, Dom will get one more chance to power the Phils to a win against this damned Brew Crew, with the help of Cliff Lee taking the hill this afternoon. Cliff has obviously been our best starter this year, and is in a serious groove even by his standards of late, going 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last five starts, going at least seven innings deep in each outing (with a typically Cliftonian 29:6 K/BB ratio). However, Lee's struggled in his career against Milwaukee (0-1, 5.08 ERA in five starts), and the Brewers' bats have already tagged the Phils for 12 runs in this series, so this is no time for electric relaxation from the Phife Dog.

1:35 first pitch from CBP. Before we get there, quick shoutout to Cesar Hernandez, who's hit fairly respectably (5-15 with a double and a run scored) in three starts filling in for the injured Chase Utley. After years of Wilson Valdezes and Juan Castros filling in for our perpetually injured middle infielders, nice to get a sub with at least the slightest hint of upside, no?

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).