Taking the First Jump: Cliff Goes for the Block in Phillies Debut

Taking the First Jump: Cliff Goes for the Block in Phillies Debut

Nobody but nobody sweeps the Phillies in July. This has been our month, with a 19-7 record overall, punctuated by sweeps of our own over the Mets, the Pirates and the Marlins. We've gone from a team barely above .500 to one of the league's elite. To finish it on the bad end of the broom, wielded by the team we'd be facing in the playoffs if the season ended today, is simply not acceptable.

How fortuitous, then, that we should be sending our new co-ace--our #1A starter, if you will--to the mound tonight. With the Phillies in a comfortable lead over the Marlins in the NL East, it seems unlikely that Cliff will have to pitch any legitimately pressure-packed games in the oncoming weeks--and hell, we'd certainly prefer it that way. But tonight will be a good fake-test of Mr. Cliff Lee's big game ability--if he can give the Phils the rock-solid start they'll need to emerge victorious in a ballpark and against a pitching staff that's been none too friendly to them this series.

Personally, I'm excited. Perhaps one day 40-50 years from now, we will all tell our grandkids about the time we watched Cliff Lee pitch his first game in a Phillies uniform--his first start in a decade-long tenure with the team, one which involved four Cy Young awards, two World Series MVPs, the first no-hitter ever to be thrown at Citizens Bank Park, a record-setting ten-home-run season at the plate, and a bizarre wild pitch that somehow managed to break three fingers and a thumb on David Wright's left hand, prematurely ending his season. Here's hoping it all starts today.

10:15 tonight at ATT Park. I'm ready for the plunge.

Defense scores twice as Villanova beats Lafayette

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Defense scores twice as Villanova beats Lafayette

EASTON, Pa. -- Tanoh Kpassagnon returned a fumble 25 yards on the first offensive play of the game and Jeff Steeb returned an interception 45 yards to close the scoring and Villanova defeated Lafayette 31-14 on Saturday night.

Aaron Forbes, who ran for 111 yards on 11 carries, scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter to put the Wildcats (3-1) up 24-14 after the Leopards (1-3) had rallied after falling behind 17-0.

Javon White's 1-yard plunge made it 17-0 for Villanova but Lafayette's Drew Reed hit Yasir Thomas for a 14-yard score just before halftime. Reed connected with Tim Vangelas on a 19-yard score early in the third quarter.

Lafayette finished with four turnovers with Rob Rolle picking off two passes, including one he returned 100 yards for a touchdown that was nullified by a penalty.

Villanova had 378 yards of offense, 238 on the ground while Lafayette had 342, 272 through the air.

Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

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Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

TORONTO -- Justin Morrow scored in the 70th minute and Toronto FC salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw with the Union on Saturday night.

Morrow made a run from his left back position, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio laid the ball off to Morrow for a tight-angle shot. Toronto (13-8-9) had its second straight home tie,

Alejandro Bedoya scored for Philadelphia (11-11-9) in the 25th minute. Bedoya took a pass from Fabian Herbers with his back to the Toronto goal, quickly spun past the Toronto back line and chipped a shot that looped over goalkeeper Clint Irwin.