Sixers vs. Wizards, 2010 Draft Represent

Sixers vs. Wizards, 2010 Draft Represent

The careers of John Wall and Evan Turner, the respective #1 and #2 picks
in the 2010 draft have made for some interesting contrast. Out of the
gate, Wall was the far more accomplished player, averaging 16 and 8 and
making first-team All Rookie as Turner struggled badly to contribute in
his rookie season. The next year, Wall either regressed a little or
failed to show the evolution most projected for him, while playing on
one of the league's worst teams, and Turner improved steadily on a
playoff-bound squad. These days, most would still take Wall over ET, but
the gap between the players has narrowed considerably—in a recent ESPN
ranking of the best players under 25, Wall finished #26, while Turner finished just two spots lower at #28.

The
two players aren't even compared all that much anymore, but when they
face off—as they will tonight, for the first of four times this
season—it still makes for some minorly interesting drama. Wall, out for
the first two months of the season with knee issues, has helped gear the
Wizards back to respectability since his return, the team winning five
straight at home and emerging from the East's cellar as Wall posts the
best PER of his career, while after a seemingly interminable shooting
funk, Evan Turner has come back to score 20+ in three straight games for
the first time in his career. A home game against the Wizards is
usually cause for celebration, but this one might be tighter than you'd
think.

7:00 tip from the WFC. It's a long ride up the
anti-gravity treadmill for the Sixers to march back to .500, but
securing this winnable game after Monday night's Memphis heartbreak
would be a nice start.

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

Shocker: Phillies interested in getting one of baseball's best players

We're all looking forward to the free-agent class of 2018.

If Maikel Franco doesn't shape up, the Phillies could make a hard push for Manny Machado. Franco after a two-game benching is back in the lineup for this afternoon's game against the Rockies (see story).

Then, of course, there's Bryce Harper, who earlier this month agreed to a one-year, $21,625,000 deal for next season. 

And guess what? If Harper becomes a free agent after next season, the Phillies would be interested in signing him.

Really?

According to a FanRagSportsNetwork, citing a Phillies source, the Phils would be interested luring Harper to Philly.

Shocker. 

It'd be big news if a Phillies source said the team wasn't interested in signing Harper. 

Anyway, the story also quotes a National League scout.

“Could you imagine what he could do in that ballpark playing 81 games a year in that bandbox?” the scout said.

Chances are every Phillies fan has already imagined it. Harper this season alone is hitting .351/.400/.784 with five homers and 12 RBIs in nine games against the Phils. In three games at the Bank, he's hitting just .250 with a homer and two RBIs.

But in 38 career games at CBP, he's hitting .296/.361/.627 with 12 home runs and 26 RBIs.

In 89 career games against the Phillies, he's hitting .282 with 20 homers and 54 RBIs.

At the risk of stating the obvious, here's one thing to remember: If the Phils sign Harper, then he'd no longer benefit from facing them.

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Today's Lineup: Franco batting cleanup as Phillies try to snap skid

Well, this hasn't gone well. 

Coming into Thursday afternoon's game against the Rockies, the Phillies have lost five straight. They've lost nine of their last 10. They've lost 20 of their last 24. 

At 15-29, they're not just the worst team in the NL East. They're not just the worst team in the National League. 

Through 44 games, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball. 

Just to make it to a .500 record this season, they would need to go 66-52 (.559) the rest of the way. 

Their four-game series against the Rockies will mercifully come to a close on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In the first three games of the series -- all losses -- the Phils have been outscored 23-5. 

Maikel Franco returns to the four-hole as the Phillies try to snap out of their funk.

The Phillies on Thursday also activated right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez from the disabled list. Gomez takes Adam Morgan's spot on the roster. Morgan was reassigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley after throwing three scoreless innings during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Rockies.

Gomez hasn't pitched since May 4 because of an elbow injury. He began the season as the Phillies' closer but was demoted after blowing two saves and allowing seven runs in his first five innings. In 11 1/3 innings this season, Gomez has a 7.94 ERA.

Here's the full lineup: 

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Aaron Altherr, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Tommy Joseph, 1B
6. Michael Saunders, RF
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Vince Velasquez, P