Joe Blanton and His 'Cranky' Elbow Earn A Win, Mad Dog Delivers Per Usual

Joe Blanton and His 'Cranky' Elbow Earn A Win, Mad Dog Delivers Per Usual

Nobody likes an impingement. That includes Phillies fifth starter Joe Blanton who pitched in his first game on Monday night in Florida after missing 2.5 weeks while attempting to rest up that pesky elbow issue. Blanton looked shaky at times on Monday night, but kept it together enough through five innings to allow the Phillies bats to put up some runs before handing the game over to the potential Joe Blanton heir Vance Worley, who allowed a lone run in three innings of relief work. Ryan Madson shut things down in the ninth, saving the game for Blanton's first 'W' of the season and kick starting the Phils series in the Sunshine State.

J-Rolling

Jimmy Rolling started things off with the 36th leadoff homer of his career and later added another hit and run scored. The 1-6 spots in the lineup were good for 11 hits on the night while that annoying Black Hole (Version 2011) didn't exactly contribute much. Pete Orr and B-Schneid went hitless.

Charlie Manuel's gut decision to give Ross Gload a spot start paid off with the Gload-man dropping a pair of RBIs on the Marlins.

Mad Dog

It's worth pointing out the job Ryan Madson has done while both
"crowned" closers, Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras, have been sidelined.
Madson has allowed only 9 hits and 1 earned run in 14 innings of work
all season, good for four saves, a 0.64 ERA, and most importantly, zero
blown saves or losses. Tremendous work from a guy who technically sits
third on your closer depth chart despite perhaps possessing the best
current skill set for the job. That pesky agent of his is probably
salivating.

Cranky

As for Joe Blanton's impingement, Rich Dubee says that's acting like a three-year old who hasn't had his nap yet today:

“I don’t think he’s 100 percent,” Dubee said after the game. “It’s still
a little cranky. At the same time there was some rust, too.”

Blanton wasn't sharp, but for some reason he never threw a rehab assignment, so this was his first start getting back into things. Thankfully, he went up against Javier Vasquez, who was worse.

While it may not have been the prettiest of wins, at the end of the day it was a win, and as Charlie loves to point out, the reason they play the games is to build on the win column.

Tuesday's game with the Marlins is must-see TV for any fans of the art of pitching. Roy Halladay vs. Josh Johnson in a perfect game rematch.

Eagles' Brandon Brooks gives father touching gift

Eagles' Brandon Brooks gives father touching gift

How’s this for an awesome deed?

Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks took to Twitter to show a heartfelt message, that included a photo of a new car he purchased for his father.

In the tweet, Brooks revealed the mindset his father has instilled in him growing up, not wanting to be average and more.

Nice gesture, Brandon.

Elements will play factor for both Flyers, Penguins in outdoor game

Elements will play factor for both Flyers, Penguins in outdoor game

PITTSBURGH -- The ice on Friday afternoon at Heinz Field was watery and slushy.
 
That’s because the city set a historic record at 78 degrees for Feb. 24.
 
So what were the ice conditions?
 
“They were pretty good,” said Sidney Crosby. “It was pretty bright there. Started off the practice and the sun was beating down pretty good.
 
“I’ve played in a few of these and the ice was pretty good considering how warm it was. It’s supposed to cool down and I’m sure it will get better.”
 
The Penguins will host the Flyers on Saturday night in a Stadium Series outdoor game.
 
Pittsburgh took the ice Friday at 4 p.m. The Flyers got on the ice a little more than an hour later and things started to cool down.
 
“We had a pretty good practice given the circumstances,” Jakub Voracek said. “This is a little better setup than Philly. The fans are closer.”
 
It was much hotter when Pittsburgh took the ice, but the temperature was still warm after the sun went down.
 
Shayne Gostisbehere said, “It was hot for sure. … It was fun, but it was pretty hot.”
 
Defenseman Radko Gudas said the ice surface was, “playable, but a little rough.”
 
On Saturday, rain is expected, with temperatures falling to 42 degrees by 5 p.m.
 
During the game, which begins at 8 p.m., the temperature is projected to continue to drop and there will be wind gusts up to 31 mph. By the end of the night, the forecast says temps will be in the 20s. 

Players are more concerned about the wind than the ice at this point. Crosby, who has played in three previous NHL outdoor games, said wind is a huge factor. It happened to the Penguins at the 2014 Stadium Series game in Chicago.
 
“It can definitely be a factor,” Crosby said. “I want to say in Chicago that was something we kind of had to look at. We felt it a little more there compared to the other two [outdoor games]. If it going to get windy like that, it’s something to be aware of.”
 
It remains to be seen how the NHL will handle which team goes into the wind first.
 
“Yeah, the wind,” Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet of what element will be a big factor. “I hope you don’t have to backcheck. Who gets the advantage? They change in the third period. But who picks what end? There is a wind factor.”
 
Tocchet rated the ice Friday as “a little slushy.”
 
“It was good early and then it got tough because it was hot outside,” Tocchet said. “But we got a half-decent practice out of it.
 
“The one thing, the puck didn’t bounce, which was good. Players can adapt a lot better when the puck doesn’t bounce. When things bounce, it’s a tough night.”