Lee, Phillies Face a Blast From the Not-So-Distant Past

Lee, Phillies Face a Blast From the Not-So-Distant Past

The Phillies' four game set with the Cubs continues this afternoon on Fox, as strikeout phenom Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.62) takes the hill against Chicago's Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07). After last night's 7-5 victory, the series is tied at one a piece, so the Fightins will have to win today for the chance to take the series on Sunday.

This morning's electrical storm must have been caused by the Phillies, who experienced a sudden surge of power during yesterday's W. Domonic Brown went for a two-run blast in the second inning to give Roy Halladay some breathing room, and Placido Polanco blew the game open with a grand slam in the seventh, the two home runs accounting for six of the club's seven runs.

It's a good thing too, as Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero did everything they could to give to give the game away. Contreras was charged with four earned in a 0.1 innings of relief, and Romero allowed another run while failing to record an out. All together, they gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in the eighth, before Michael Stutes came in and restored order.

Despite their "best" efforts, Doc wound up earning his Major League leading ninth win anyway, while Antonio Bastardo picked up his second save.

Lee will look to continue his winning ways today, and also try to regain the MLB lead in strikeouts over teammate Halladay, who is up to 106. The two are separated by six strikeouts, and while it's a flashy statistic that isn't necessarily important, it's becoming kind of fun to follow. Cole Hamels is also in the top ten with 91.

Cliff last faced the Cubbies while he was a member of the Seattle Mariners last June, throwing a complete game win and striking out nine, and only allowing a solo home run to Tyler Colvin. He's 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four lifetime appearances versus Chicago.

You may recall his opponent was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays during their World Series run in 2008. Garza started Game 3, allowing four runs in six innings of work for a no decision in the eventual 5-4 loss. The Phils peppered the home crowd with solo shots from Carlos Ruiz in the second, then Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back-to-back in the sixth.

The former first round pick of the Minnesota Twins rebounded in his last meeting against Philly in '09--his only other appearance versus PHI--going eight strong with one earned run in an interleague win. The 27-year-old has been up and down in his first season as a Cub. In his last outing, he was removed after just four for his fifth loss of the season, but went 1-0 and only gave up one score in his previous two starts.

Who knows what kind of offensive production we'll see against Garza, but the only Phillies to hit in that June '09 meeting were Jayson Werth, Matt Stairs, and Greg Dobbs, none of whom are on the team tonight, and this is a far different lineup from the one that mashed their way by him in the World Series. Key to the game will be which Garza, and which offense, show up today.

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip -- their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.

Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.

The Panthers moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but have the edge because they have a game in hand on the Bruins.

Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues and Jake Allen finished with 31 saves. St. Louis lost its second straight since winning six in a row (see full recap).

Coyotes use three-goal 1st period to beat Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Radim Vrbata capped Arizona's three-goal first period and the Coyotes held on for 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.

The Coyotes have won four of their last six.

Langhamer gave up Ryan Getzlaf's second goal of the night with 26.8 seconds to play, but thwarted two quality shots in the final seconds.

Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on six shots in the first period for the Ducks. John Gibson came on to start the second and stopped all 14 shots he faced (see full recap).

Joel Embiid admits to aggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid admits to aggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid trusts the Process, more so than anyone — the process of patience.

After sitting out two whole seasons because of foot injuries, Embiid learned the importance of patience the hard way.

Appearing on NBA TV's Open Court, Joel Embiid opened up about how he reaggravated the fracture in his foot that cost him the 2015-16 season.

"I didn't know how to deal with patience," Embiid said on the roundtable discussion. "I just wanted to do stuff, that's why I think I needed a second surgery, because after my first one, I just wanted to play basketball again. I just wanted to be on the court and I pushed through what I wasn't supposed to.

"At one point I thought about quitting. I just wanted to come back home and just forget everything."

Embiid goes on to discuss the Sixers' turnaround this season and his mindset during his recovery. Watch the full clip below. 

Embiid also said he models his game after Hakeem Olajuwon.