Goose-Egged Phils Squander Cliff's 16 K's, Look to Rebound with Kendrick

Goose-Egged Phils Squander Cliff's 16 K's, Look to Rebound with Kendrick

Maybe Derek Lowe should get in trouble more often. Facing him in just his second start after an arrest for driving under the influence, the Philadelphia Phillies looked clearly intoxicated trying to combat Lowe and the rest of the Atlanta pitching staff Friday night. Registering just two hits in nine fruitless innings, the Phillies' bats lacked the same magic they had the previous three games against the Nationals.  

Lowe worked through six shutout innings, striking out four and surrendering just one walk on 97 pitches.  Though the Phillies were getting the bats physically on the ball, the Atlanta defense behind Lowe quickly squashed any hopes of a safe arrival on the base pads.  Indeed, it took until a Shane Victorino single in the seventh to break up a no-hitter, which would quickly remove the starter in favor of the Atlanta bullpen. From there, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel would throw an inning each of hitless ball to lock up the two-hit combined shutout, leaving the Phillies scoreless for the first time since a 4-0 loss in Arizona on April 25th.

Atop the mound for the home-standing good guys, Cliff Lee continued his 2011 trend of striking out almost everyone in sight.  Relieved after seven innings and 117 pitches, Lee sat down a freakishly-high 16 Braves batters via the backward K. It was the most strikeouts by any Phillies pitcher since Curt Schilling tossed 16 of his own against the New York Yankees in September 1997.

Unfortunately, Lee would run into some trouble in third, issuing a walk and getting knocked around for a single and two doubles that would ultimately cross three over home plate.

Lee and Romero would stifle the Atlanta offense for the next five innings until Danys Baez forfeited an extra two in the ninth.  After getting rocked for a three-run bomb against the Nats Wednesday night, it was clearly not the follow up for which Baez and the Phillies were hoping.

Looking to put an end to the Braves' six-game winning streak, the Phillies will turn to their vaunted stopper—the one, the only, Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick will be making his first start since an October 1, 2010 outing against, conveniently enough, the Atlanta Braves. KK made it through five innings in the 11-5 win.  This evening, he will be confronted by the debuting Julio Teheran, one of the hottest pitching prospects in all of baseball.

First pitch is at 7:05. Let's give this young man a proper introduction to the Majors.

Ben Simmons healing on schedule; Joel Embiid out tonight; Jahlil Okafor downgraded

Ben Simmons healing on schedule; Joel Embiid out tonight; Jahlil Okafor downgraded

Ben Simmons had a planned foot scan Monday in New York and is progressing as expected.

Simmons suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot nearly four months ago, Sept. 30, and there is still no timetable for his NBA debut.

Okafor downgraded
Jahlil Okafor was limited at shootaround Tuesday and has been downgraded to questionable for tonight's game against the Clippers. He had been listed as probable on Monday.

Okafor is dealing with right knee soreness he experienced on Saturday. The Sixers kept an eye on him Monday and held him out of 5-on-5 drills in practice. Okafor said the team was being cautious, and he wanted to rest his knee given the number of games coming up.

"It was bothering me a little bit in the warmup lines, I started to feel it. When I got going, it started feeling really good, then when I sat out for an extended period, it got kind of sore on me again," Okafor said Monday.

Embiid out
Joel Embiid, dealing with a left knee contusion suffered in last Friday's win over Portland, is officially out tonight. He is also expected to miss Wednesday's game at Milwaukee before returning Friday vs. the Rockets.

NFL Notes: Tom Brady wonders why Trump friendship 'such a big deal'

NFL Notes: Tom Brady wonders why Trump friendship 'such a big deal'

BOSTON — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has opened up a bit on his friendship with President Donald Trump.

The night before his Friday inauguration, Trump mentioned in a speech attended by Patriots owner Robert Kraft that Brady had called to congratulate him.

When asked whether he called the Republican, Brady told Boston radio station WEEI-FM on Monday that "I have called him in the past, yes" and added "sometimes he calls me, sometimes I call him."

Brady says Trump is someone he's known for 16 years and he doesn't see why their relationship is "such a big deal." He says "if you know someone, it doesn't mean that you agree with everything they say or do."

Brady and the Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 on Feb. 5.

Bengals: Pacman Jones apologizes after arrest video surfaces
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals player Adam "Pacman" Jones has apologized through his attorneys after Cincinnati police released video showing his raucous, often-vulgar reaction to his latest arrest.

"Adam Jones is deeply embarrassed and remorseful for his conduct and language after being arrested in early January," the statement said. "Mr. Jones has the utmost respect for law enforcement and the difficulties police encounter on a daily basis."

The statement from attorneys Timothy Schneider and Alex Triantafilou that was released Monday night says that Jones "sincerely apologizes" to the officers, Bengals organization and the fans. It adds that Jones is committed to counseling and anger management.

He was arrested after an altercation at a downtown hotel the night after Cincinnati's season ended with a 6-9-1 record. The 33-year-old cornerback was charged for the confrontation and for allegedly spitting on a nurse as he was processed at the county jail.

Cincinnati police released a video on Monday showing Jones' behavior in the back seat of a police car as he was taken to the jail. Jones asks what charges he's facing and when he's told two misdemeanors, he unleashes a stream of profanity toward the police officers.

At one point, Jones tells one: "I hope you die tomorrow."

The Bengals took the unusual step of issuing an apology; the team usually declines comment on pending legal cases.

"We are extremely disappointed with Adam's behavior," the team said. "The behavior in the video is not what we expect from our players. The club is aware that Adam has put forth his own apology. However, we also offer an apology to the public and to our loyal fans."

Jones has said he'll be exonerated of the charges.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said recently he wanted to know what punishment the NFL plans for Jones, whose case was continued until Feb. 10. The NFL could suspend Jones for the start of next season under its player conduct policy.