Phillies get the brooms out for San Fran!

Phillies get the brooms out for San Fran!

Sweeeeeeeeeeep!  The Phillies completed the sweep last night against the San Francisco Giants.  Jon Lieber pitched well enough to get the win.  Atlanta blew up in the eighth to lose to Washington making the East separated by only 2.5 games.  The Phillies also reached .500 for the season.

The offensive highlight of the night came with bases loaded and David Bell up in the bottom of the 3rd, which at the time seemed like the 8th, and singled in the 2 go ahead runs.  The crew of the700Level represented well, and I raised my season record to 6-2.  Mr. DBM raised his record to 17-1 on the season, according to his most recent estimates.  In similar news, the DBM is snoring extremely loudly and is about to receive a slap to the forehead.

Back to the Phillies..  The Phillies may only be a .500 team and there may have only been 25,000 people at last nights game, but when Billy Wagner came in for the save it was mad exciting.  Perhaps I am a baseball geek, which I don't exactly think is true, but I can get excited about a "meaningless" game in early June.  There was a great older fan in front of us, when I mentioned that Lance Niekro was related to Phil Niekro of the.. Padres?  Honestly, I didn't remember who Phil Niekro played for.. what was I?  5 years old?  The guy in front of us instantly spit out that Phil Niekro pitched for the Braves for years and had a brother Joe Niekro who pitched for Houston.  Where else can you get that kind of information besides at a baseball game?   I was the only one of the Level crew who knew the Niekro connection, and at least I knew Phil was a knuckleballer, so I felt good about my knowledge, of course, unless everything I just typed was false.

On my drive to the game, a "fan" on sports radio 610 WIP said anyone who was driving to Thursday's game was a "sap" and "moron" for wasting their money.  I went to two games in two nights and I couldn't have asked for two more exciting games.  What else could a Phillies fan  have asked for?  Maybe it would have been a tad sweeter if Latroy Hawkins came in to blow another game in the bottom of the ninth.  Go Phils!

Who has my ticket for tonight's game?

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).