Phillies Open Homestand Versus Mets; Hamels Suspended

Phillies Open Homestand Versus Mets; Hamels Suspended

It's a shame the Phillies departed Washington right as business was picking up, but we'll be seeing the Nationals again soon enough -- in two weeks at Citizens Bank Park to be exact. Until then, perhaps the Fightins can channel the intensity they fostered in the series finale as they pick up where they left off against another division rival.

The New York Mets (15-13) are in town, and sitting three games back of first place in the NL East, they are actually entertaining thoughts of hanging in the pennant race. Of course, it doesn't hurt their cause when the last-place Phils (14-15) -- long the Mets' foil -- are just trying to keep their heads above water.

Either way, we know Roy Halladay doesn't need the extra motivation.

Halladay (3-2) suffered a collapse of epic proportions in his last start against the Braves on May 2. His eight earned runs allowed over 5.1 innings bumped his ERA for the season from 1.95 to 3.40, and in blowing a six-run lead, Doc's mates lost for just the ninth time in his 15-year career when he was handed a lead of four or more.

Simply put, Roy Halladay is not going to stand for those types of outings from Roy Halladay.

After hanging nine runs on the Nats on Sunday night, the Phillies' offense will try to keep the momentum going against lefthander Jon Niese. Niese is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 2012, one of his wins coming at Philadelphia's expense. The 25 year old pitched 6.2 frames of shutout ball in a 5-0 victory on a warm Saturday afternoon at CBP back in April.

Niese had a terrible time in his last go, allowing five earned and two home runs over three to pick up a loss against the Astros. He is 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA liftime in nine appearances against the Phils, and some of the righthanded bats have had success against Niese, including John Mayberry (2 HR), Placido Polanco (.462 OBP, 6 RBI), Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino (5 hits each).

New York took two of three in their weekend series last month, and have been playing the NL East tough. The Phils need to treat this like the rivalry it is.

HAMELS SUSPENDED FIVE GAMES

It didn't take long for the fallout to come down for bean ball-gate. Cole Hamels received a five-game suspension for throwing at Nats phenom Bryce Harmer, and subsequently admitting he did so on purpose.

The ban, which begins tonight, essentially amounts to one start, but several are already theorizing Cole's next scheduled outing could be pushed back one day to Sunday, with Halladay taking the ball on Saturday instead. The Phillies are off on Thursday, so Doc will be rested.

Agree or disagree with the decision to come down on Hamels, it does not appear it will come back to bite the Phillies.

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

MIAMI -- Mike Trout sprained his left thumb stealing second base Sunday, and the Los Angeles Angels took a thumping without him, losing 9-2 to the Miami Marlins.

Trout yelled in pain as he rose after sliding headfirst in the fifth inning. He was examined by a trainer, stayed in the game, but was replaced in the sixth. X-rays were negative, and there was no immediate timetable regarding his return.

The reigning American League MVP was 0 for 2 when he departed with the Angels trailing 4-2. He finished 2 for 9 in the series to drop his average to .337 (see full recap).

Aaron Judge hit first-career grand slam in Yankees' win
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam and the New York Yankees took full advantage of Oakland's shoddy defense Sunday in a 9-5 victory over the Athletics.

Michael Pineda (6-2) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to win his third straight start. Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter each had an early sacrifice fly as the AL East leaders scored five unearned runs and took two of three in a well-pitched series.

Judge connected with two outs in the third for his 16th home run, tying Mike Trout of the Angels for the big league lead. The drive landed in the right-field seats, not far in front of The Judge's Chambers cheering section installed by the Yankees for the start of this 4-2 homestand.

Khris Davis hit his 15th home run for the A's, who committed two more costly errors to raise their season total to 49. They began the day with 10 more than any other team in the majors.

The fielding failures put starter Andrew Triggs (5-4) in tough situations. He went six innings and gave up one earned run (see full recap).

Miguel Gonzalez loses perfect game in seventh, but pitches White Sox to win
CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez took a perfect game into the seventh inning, Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Sunday.

Melky Cabrera and Matt Davidson also connected, helping the White Sox take three of four in the series. David Robertson got two outs for his seventh save.

Gonzalez (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings while snapping a five-start losing streak. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.

Gonzalez retired his first 18 batters before Andrew Romine led off the seventh with a hard one-hop liner to shortstop Tim Anderson, who couldn't field the ball cleanly and was originally charged with an error. Alex Avila followed with a single into to right field, and Romine's ball was later changed to a hit (see full recap).

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone, but not forgotten … as long as Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid has his way.

On the one-year anniversary of Harambe's death, Embiid remembered the slain gorilla on Instagram with the caption: "Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe."

The Instagram post was accompanied by a picture of Harambe along with a longer message and acquired over 22,700 likes within the first 37 minutes of its posting.

Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on

There are some factual errors in Embiid's post, however. The picture stated that Harambe "would've been 18 today," which was posted Sunday.

Harambe's birthday was May 27, 1999. He would have been 18 years and one day old Sunday.

This was not Embiid's first participation in the Harambe Internet meme.

Regardless, the tragic killing of Harambe, a popular male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, sparked outrage and then Harambe became an Internet meme.