Hamels Deals as Bench Steps Up to Beat Brewers 7-2

Hamels Deals as Bench Steps Up to Beat Brewers 7-2

The Brewers have been a scary team when playing at home in Wisconsin this season. Coming into tonight's game they were a very impressive 50-19 at Miller Park. But none of those games were played against the Phillies and their reserves!

Sure Hunter Pence knocked in three RBIs, but you've still got to give it to the Phillies bench players who filled in admirably this evening and helped earn Cole Hamels his 14th win in a fantastic complete game, four-hit effort.

Thursday's game was a bit of a pitching duel through five innings, but that was before the Phillies blew the game open in a 6-run sixth inning.

Every starting position player notched at least one hit in support of Cole Hamels. Wilson Valdez, Hunter Pence, JMJ, and Ben Francisco (Lives!) all contributed a pair of hits and Charlie says the reserves have to feel good about their effort.

“When your reserves get in there they want to show they’ve earned the right to be on the team and contribute,” Charlie Manuel told Jim Salisbury. “That can bring your team completely together. I guarantee you they feel good about themselves.”

Aside from the Phillies getting a real nice win while their core was sidelined there wasn't a whole lot to say about this one. Hamels didn't have his strikeout stuff, and allowed two solo blasts, but showed he can go deep into games. A wonderful sign if you were looking to see it out of him.

One random observation from the game: did the Brewers defense look like the kind of defense you'd expect from a World Series contender? It was a simple reminder at just how sound the Phillies are in the field.

Also, how awesome was Larry Andersen going down the Bernie Brewer Slide?

Finally, best fake conversation between Shane Victorino and Jerry Hairston Jr. wins our admiration. Go.

>>Phils continue to feast on potential playoff foes [CSN]

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).