Phils Beat Reds 5-3 on Comically Weak Eighth-Inning Offensive Explosion

Phils Beat Reds 5-3 on Comically Weak Eighth-Inning Offensive Explosion

These are the type of wins that seem like they usually only ever happen against you, so you take them for the home team when you can. The Phils probably shoulda won this one easy, staking Cliff Lee to a 3-0 lead in the first five innings (partly Cliff's own doing, more on that in a minute), but a two-run shot from Jay Bruce in the 6th and then a solo blast from Joey Votto in the 8th off Antonio Bastardo in relief, and it started to look like a vintage 2012 Cliff Lee start, with late-inning trouble and shoddy relief work wasting an official Job Well Done start from the Phife Dog.

What the Reds weren't counting on, however, was a walk, a dribbler to third, a hit by pitch, a botched fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly ball to super-shallow center . The Phillies somehow were able to bleed two runs out of these cobbled-together offensive half-measures, which was more than Cincy could make up with a trio of pop-ups in the 9th. Final Score: Phils 5, Reds 3.  Oh, and in case that eighth-inning doesn't sound weird enough as described, consider that both the infield hit and the sacrifice fly were legged out by one Ryan Howard. Outer Limits shit, y'all.

Of course, the Phils would've had an even bigger lead to work with had Cliff Lee and Michael Young not missed two homers in the fifth by a combined...18 inches, maybe? The Cliff one was particularly ridiculous--that thing looked for all the world to be gone, so much so that the Reds announcers already tallied it for the Phils while it was in the air, and Lee started a home-run trot that he was absolutely incensed to have to break. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever seen Cliff show as much naked emotion over anything as he did fury over that missed round-tripper. Whatever, he scored on the subsequent young triple anyway, so hopefully he didn't have to run over any bikers on the way home from the stadium or anything.

Good, if weird, win against one of the NL's best, and you gotta like our chances tomorrow as our six-time Cy Young winner Kyle Kendrick (too early to start talking HOF?) takes the hill against Bronson Arroyo. Also, shout out to Jonathan Papelbon, who has still not given up a run since his first appearance of the season, now 16 straight scoreless appearances. Kinda cool to see his Baseball Refence Game Log ERA start out super-high, then just keep getting lower and lower and lower from there. Like the trending, Jon.

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Draymond Green says what we all really think about Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has caught the eye of a Golden State Warrior.

At Golden State's shootaround Sunday night at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, Warriors power forward Draymond Green said what we all think about Joel Embiid.

"He has a chance to be really f------ good," Green said.

Green and the Warriors will miss Embiid Monday when they tip off against the Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center. Embiid will miss two more games to minimize the risk of aggravating his left knee injury. The Sixers are targeting Friday against the Knicks for his return (see story).

Embiid hasn't played since the Jan. 27 game against Houston and has missed 16 of their last 17 games. Still, the 22-year-old has shown, when healthy, he's a special player that Sixers can build around.

In 31 games -- with minute restrictions and missing 27 games, too -- Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists. He's shooting 46.6 from the field, and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Despite running a tremendous Twitter campaign for the NBA All-Star Game, he missed out being an All-Star in his first year. He won the NBA's Rookie of the Month for October, November, December and January. Yeah, we all agree with Green.

But how much of Embiid has Green seen?

"I haven't had a chance to watch him," Green said. "I think he has a chance to be damn good. He's figuring it out. He's versatile. He can do a lot of things."

For more from the Warriors on the Sixers' potential, watch the video above.

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

Best of NHL: Sergei Bobrovsky ties career high with 32nd win as Blue Jackets top Rangers

NEW YORK -- Cam Atkinson and Alexander Wennberg each scored twice to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots to tie his career high with his 32nd win. Josh Anderson also scored and Oliver Bjorkstrand had two assists to help the Blue Jackets win for the fourth time in five games.

Columbus won for the second time in two days after its bye week and moved past the Rangers into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Blue Jackets won three of five in the season series -- including both games at Madison Square Garden -- after losing seven straight meetings coming in.

Rick Nash scored a tying goal for the Rangers early in the first period. Jesper Fast scored in the final second, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 26 saves (see full recap).

Surging Blackhawks beat Blues on late Anisimov goal
CHICAGO -- Artem Anisimov scored with 5:20 left in the third period to lift the Chicago Blackhawks over the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win and ninth in their last 10.

Anisimov beat Jake Allen on the glove side from the right edge of the crease for his 22nd goal after taking a pinpoint cross-ice pass from linemate Artemi Panarin. Tanner Kero added an empty-netter with 2.6 seconds left.

Patrick Kane assisted on Anisimov's winner and scored a power-play goal. Jonathan Toews also had a goal and an assist for surging Chicago, which pulled one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division and Western Conference.

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith had an assist for his 500th NHL point.

Magnus Paajarvi and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues, who played their first game following their bye week and lost their third straight (see full recap).

Gaudreau's 2 goals helps Flames down Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Johnny Gaudreau had two goals and an assist to help the Calgary Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday.

Micheal Ferland also scored for the Flames. They have earned at least one point in six straight games, going 5-0-1 in that stretch to move into playoff position in the Western Conference.

Victor Rask scored on the power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost six of seven to fall into last place in the Metropolitan Division.

Brian Elliott made 34 saves for the Flames, with his best coming with roughly 15 minutes to play when he stopped Jeff Skinner from point-blank range.

Eddie Lack finished with 21 saves. He made his second straight start for Carolina (see full recap).

Turris, Anderson lead Senators past Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kyle Turris scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots to lift the Ottawa Senators over the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Sunday night.

Zack Smith had an early short-handed goal for the Senators, who have won four of six.

Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida, and James Reimer made 31 saves. The Panthers have lost three straight after sweeping a five-game road trip, and dropped their last four home games overall.

Turris put Ottawa ahead when his wrist shot went over Reimer's glove at 9:58 of the second for his 21st goal of the season.

The Senators took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Smith. Reimer blocked a shot from Erik Karlsson, but Smith grabbed the rebound and poked in the puck at 6:28 of the first. Smith has 12 career short-handed goals (see full recap).