It was a magical day for Cole Hamels. It wasn't magical in the sense that his 2008 postseason was magical. Nope. On this day he pitched a mediocre game, allowing an early run, finding a groove, and finally giving up a meatball to the seats in left to the light-hitting Yorvit Torrealba. Cole's day was done after five innings with the Phillies down four. Then it got strange as Cole left the park immediately to tend to his wife Heidi who went into labor with the couple's first child and Charlie Manuel got starter-happy.
Some fans in the LIVE CHAT were upset with Cole's performance, claiming he shouldn't have been starting in the first place given the possibility of his wife delivering a child. I don't agree with those people. Cole pitched decent enough and unfortunately made that one bad mistake against Torrealba. Instead of tearing the guy down, let him enjoy the amazing experience of having a kid and get on him if he doesn't rebound from a shaky start. That is if he gets that opportunity.
The other situation fans had issue with was Charlie bringing in Blanton and Happ when they could be starting game three. Just because they pitched today doesn't rule them out from a game three start. Although Happ's banged up leg could keep him out of action. Their outings today could be comparable to an off day work out.
After the game, Charlie seemed to point to Blanton or Pedro to throw on Saturday night.
It was a bizarre use of the arms available to him. With Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Myers, and Bastardo all seeing action, that made five pitchers pitching in one game who all started at least five games for the Phillies this season. Pretty strange.
Eyre, Bastardo, and Madson pitched rather impressively out of the pen and gave the bats a fighting chance. And fight they did. They got the tying run all the way to second base in the bottom of the ninth but failed to get him in. Given how the events of the day transpired to that point, it was quite an exciting finish despite the loss.
Just when you think a decision to bring Cairo into the postseason instead of Eric Bruntlett, you find Cliff Lee pinch running in the ninth. Playoff baseball is goofy like that.
The Phillies lost. It wasn't a great game for the Phils but it could have been a lot worse. The question now clearly becomes who will take the ball first for the Phillies on Saturday?
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 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.