Cliff Lee Looks to Bounce Back, Earn Phils Fourth Straight Series Victory

Cliff Lee Looks to Bounce Back, Earn Phils Fourth Straight Series Victory

Cliff Lee takes the hill tonight as the Phillies attempt to win their fourth straight series to kick of the 2011 season and finish off their first road swing with a healthy 4-2 record. Clifton has only faced the Nationals twice in his career, but won both of those outings. He's coming off of that rough outing in Atlanta that we'd all like to forget about. Hopefully the Nationals can help him bring that 7.84 ERA back down closer to where we'd like it to be.

Our colleague over at Beerleaguer points to Sports Illustrated's baseball preview that quoted a scout as noticing something off about Lee this spring, "There've been rumblings and grumblings that Lee hasn't been completely  right since early in spring, a murmur that began when a rival scout saw  him this spring and raised the possibility that he's been nursing a sore  back. The scout's words were published in Sports Illustrated's baseball preview, with Lee front and center on the cover. The scout  observed that Lee wasn't getting the downward tilt on his pitches the  way we're accustomed to seeing."

We haven't head anything about this recently, but as Jason points out, it's something to keep an eye on.

The Nationals will counter with Jordan Zimmerman (1-1, 3.18) who has not fared well against the Phils in two career starts against them in which he was 0-1 with an 11.25 ERA.

Ryan Howard, who was plunked in the hand by the Evil John Lannan in last night's victory, appears to be okay and will bat in his usual fourth spot in the Phillies lineup.

Tonight's 7:05 start will be on TCN locally and on MLBN for all of you displaced Philly fans.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).