Hamels Takes Us Into the Break

Hamels Takes Us Into the Break

Ah, the All Star Break... four days without Phillies baseball, which is pretty much the only reprieve from these brutal long summer days. It's especially awful from a news standpoint with two of the big four locked out. You would think somebody would try to take advantage of the lull and throw a major tennis tournament or big race in there. Something. But no. We get the ESPYs, which is basically four hours of ESPN patting themselves on the back. Nice job, Bristol.

As for today, Cole Hamels (10-4, 2.40) takes the ball to stave off the city of Philadelphia's boredom for at least one more afternoon. He's also charged with holding down the Atlanta Braves, who throw a familiar foe in Derek Lowe (5-6, 4.21) in their bid for a series win.

Lowe is 8-5 with a 2.99 ERA in his career versus the Phillies, and even though he is not having his best season, he can still bring it. On the other side, Cole is having his best season to date, but by virtue of pitching today, he will not be available for the All Star Game. Bummer.

Because after this, that's all that's left for a few days, folks. That, and Chris Berman reciting, "Back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back..."

Over and over and over again.

And over again.

Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

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Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.

"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."

Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.

The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.

Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off; Cesar Hernandez (groin) out

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off; Cesar Hernandez (groin) out

A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).

It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.

Cesar Hernandez gets the night off. He's been dealing with a groin pull for 10 days, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday.

Andres Blanco bats second and plays second.

Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.

Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.

1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P