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As a veteran who does not figure prominently into the Philadelphia Phillies plans, Rich Thompson is in danger of having his playing time altered for prospects, regardless of his performance.
Thompson had limited chances to get on the field early this season, then became a big contributor to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs when he got more playing time. That production could not protect the Montrose graduate when the Phillies’ hottest offensive prospect was ready for a promotion to Class AAA.
Domonic Brown came up and Thompson went down from Class AAA Lehigh Valley to the Class AA Reading Phillies June 25. Three games at Class AA to start the 2008 season had been the only games Thompson spent below Class AAA since 2006.
Thompson struggled in the immediate aftermath of the demotion. He was 2-for-22 (.091) in his first seven games.
The 31-year-old outfielder has torn up the Eastern League since.
Thompson hit the all-star break on a 10-game hitting streak, with at least two hits in all but two of those games. He is batting .465 in that stretch with a double, a triple, eight runs, four RBIs and six stolen bases without being caught.
For the season, Thompson is .338 in his 17 games with Reading and .286 in his 63 games with Lehigh Valley.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Elk Lake junior pitcher Brooke Darling was selected as a second-team Class AA all-state selection by the Pennsylvania Softball Coaches Association.
Darling threw two perfect games among her five no-hitters and led the Lady Warriors to a Lackawanna League Division 3 championship before falling to eventual state champion Nanticoke in the District 2 Class AA final.
In professional baseball, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees entered the all-star break in the International League North Division lead with a 53-38 record, putting them two games ahead of the Syracuse Chiefs.
The Binghamton Mets are 48-42 and in third place in the Eastern League Eastern Division, six games behind the first-place New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Relief pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo, shortstop Eduardo Nunez and catcher Jesus Montero will represent the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Wednesday night when the International League takes on the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Classic at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
Albaladejo leads all of minor-league baseball with 29 saves.
The Eastern League will play its all-star game the same night in Harrisburg.
The Binghamton Mets will be represented by right handed pitcher Josh Stinson, catcher Mike Nickeas and outfielder Kirk Niewenhuis. Infielder Luis Hernandez and catcher Nick Evans were picked for the game, but will not be able to play after being promoted.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Reutimann Wins At Chicagoland
JOLIET, Ill. - David Reutimann got his second career victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Saturday night after holding off Carl Edwards to win the Lifelock.com 400. His other win came in the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, after rain cut the race short, with Reutimann leading.
“The worst was that we got really free that last run,” said Reutimann. “The 99 started gaining on us. We kept pedalling. Thankfully he didn't have enough time to get to us.
David Reutimann celebrates his Chicagoland Cup victory.
Furnished by NASCAR.
“The team just gave me a good car all weekend. They hunkered down and gave us some really, really good horsepower here and good fuel mileage and everything we need to win races. My hat is off to them, they did a tremendous job. We win and lose as a team.”
Carl Edwards gained on Reutimann in the closing laps, but was a second behind when the race ended.
“I felt like we had a great car,” said Edwards. “That held true for tonight. The car was really good. It's second, you know what I mean. It's okay, but it's not winning.
“Man, he just kept getting bigger in the windshield and I didn't have enough laps. I was trying so hard to catch him. I want to say a special congratulations to David. He is a class act, a really great guy.”
Jeff Gordon had a strong car throughout the race, but was unable to keep up with either Reutimann or Edwards at the end.
“At times I thought we were really, really strong,” said Gordon. “We struggled earlier in the day with the car being real loose. We seemed to fix that and became a top three or four car. We were able to chase Jamie down that one time when he was leading, get by him. I was pretty optimistic. I noticed in my mirror the 00 was following me and gaining on us. I knew he was the car to beat. He proved it those last hundred laps for sure.
“We just didn't have anything for those guys. We tried to make some adjustments on that last pit stop. We got really, really loose. I was just kind of hanging on for third there at the end.”
Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, and Paul Menard rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Points leader Kevin Harvick fought trouble all race long, at one point bringing his No. 29 Chevrolet to the garage to change the fuel pump and fuel pump cable. He lost 16 laps in the process and finished 34th, 16 laps down.
Jimmie Johnson may have had the fastest car, having led the first 92 laps, but he hurt his own cause twice before the race was 150 laps old. On the way to a green-flag stop on Lap 93, Johnson missed the entrance to pit road, and lost the lead to McMurray.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was never a factor during the race. He started 25th and finished 23rd.
Top-15 Chase contenders with seven races before the Chase begins: 1. Harvick-2745, 2. J. Gordon-2642, 3. Johnson-2557, 4. Hamlin-2542, 5. Kurt Busch-2524, 6. Kyle Busch-2488, 7. Burton-2465, 8. Kenseth-2446, 9. Stewart-2389, 10. Edwards-2345, 11. Biffle-2292, 12. Bowyer-2286, 13. Earnhardt-2271, 14. Martin-2249, 15. Reutimann-2190
KYLE BUSCH WINS CHICAGOLAND NATIONWIDE RACE
Kyle Busch beat teammate Joey Logano in a green-white-checkered-flag finish to win Friday night’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Busch, who can now claim second on the Nationwide Series all-time win all to himself, for his 37th career win pushed him past Kevin Harvick, who Busch had been tied with after winning June 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. “We had the track position when it mattered and the car got really, really tight on us. But, these guys never gave up. They knew I had it in me.”
Brian Scott, David Reutimann, Jason Leffler, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Reed Sorenson, Jamie McMurray, and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-10.
Danica Patrick finished a career-best 24th in her fifth series start.
Top-10 points leaders after 18 of 35: 1. Keselowski-2911, 2. Edwards-2684, 3. Kyle Busch-2496, 4. Allgaier-2457, 5. Harvick-2314, 6. Menard-2207, 7. Logano-2108, 8. S. Wallace-2049, 9. Gaughan-2015, 10. Leffler-1994
DILLON WINS IOWA TRUCK RACE
Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress won Sunday’s Camping World Truck race at Newton, Iowa. It was NASCAR’s first visit to the track, and the first career win for Dillon, who was driving the black No. 3 Chevrolet.
PATRICK BRINGS IT HOME IN ONE PIECE
Danica Patrick finished 24th, two laps down in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland, but she did finish the race, and brought her car home without getting involved in any wrecks.
The 28-year-old IndyCar Series star, competing in her fifth career Nationwide race for JR Motorsports, remained out of trouble the entire night - including when she realized she had a flat tire and managed to come down pit road without incident.
“I learned so much about simple things, about how to get in and out of the throttle and just how important it is to not enter high but enter with a nice arc, little things like that, that make a world of difference,” Patrick said.
“These cars are so on the edge, the grip level, there’s not much there. So you put it in the slightly wrong position and it goes [around] on you. … The last part of that race was good for me. I brought it home. I would have loved to have a top-20 [finish] but that’s OK.”
Earlier in the week, Patrick said she was disappointed with her performance in the previous four races, but had come to the realization that her NASCAR career is going to be a slow learning process.
Her best finish was 30th in her four previous Nationwide Series starts. She has been involved in accidents in three of the four races and did not finish two of them.
“It was just a really nice, calm night,” said Patrick. “Nothing big happened. It was steady. We were running our whole laps. There was nothing big in the race that put us in a bad position.
“It was nice to do instead of having all these other things come at you and crashing and spinning and stuff like that. The last part of that race felt really good for me. I learned a lot from the other drivers out there watching their lines.”
Weekend Racing; The Nationwide and Camping World teams are at Gateway Raceway, just outside St. Louis, MO. The Cup teams have an off weekend as they prepare for the Brickyard 400, at Indianapolis on July 25.
Fri., July 16, Camping World Trucks, race 11 of 25; Starting time: 8:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.
Sat., July 17, Nationwide Dodge Dealers 250, race 19 of 35: Starting time: 7:30 p.m. ET: TV: ESPN2.
Racing Trivia Question: What color is Todd Bodine’s hair?
Last Week’s Question: Who is the defending Camping World Truck Series champion? Answer. Ron Hornaday.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jon Sibio was largely responsible for keeping the boys’ game competitive at the eighth annual UNICO Scranton Soccer Cup.
From his spot as a center midfielder, Sibio made sure the Northern Tier kept the game almost equal in terms of field position and ball possession before eventually falling, 3-0, to the Southern Tier in an entertaining contest at the University of Scranton's Fitzpatrick Field.
Sibio, a three-time Lackawanna League Division 3 coaches’ all-star while at Forest City, led the entire Lackawanna League in scoring as a senior last fall. In last month’s UNICO game, he easily led the Northern Tier in shots, earning selection as June’s Susquehanna County Transcript Athlete of the Month.
“It was a good game,” Sibio said. “It was pretty evenly matched.
“They just got a couple of looks at the goal and put them in.”
The game fit well into Sibio’s summer. He is finding as many soccer games as he can at two schools and the Riverfront Sports Dome in Scranton while preparing to play on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II level in the fall at Lock Haven University.
“You want to keep the ball on your feet as much as possible,” Sibio said.
After playing center midfield in all four years as a starter for the Foresters, Sibio is preparing for a possible position change at Lock Haven.
“I might get moved to outside mid or up to left outside forward,” Sibio said.
The all-star game for graduating seniors represented the end of a brilliant high school career for Sibio. He was part of four straight division championship teams, three of them with unbeaten records.
Although Forest City lost just one league game in his career, Sibio has a favorite memory from last season’s District 2 Class A playoffs.
“We won our first playoff game in 20 years for our school,” he said.
Sibio also started on the volleyball team as a senior and was a substitute on the basketball team in his sophomore year.
Jon is the son of Bill and Lori Sibio of Uniondale.
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