Cliff Lee Feels More Like A Baseball Player in the National League

Cliff Lee Feels More Like A Baseball Player in the National League

Cliff Lee's June has been absolutely filthy on the mound. He finished the month with a 5-0 record, allowing only one earned run in 42 innings of work (0.21 ERA), but he's also contributed a great deal during his plate appearances.

He helped his own cause in the Phillies 5-0 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night by hitting the first sac-fly of his career in the fifth inning, good for his fifth RBI on the season.

After the game, Cliff talked about how much he enjoys trying to help his team win with a bat in his hands.

"I think it's fun," Lee said. "You feel more like a baseball player in the National League versus the American League. In the American League, you're a pitcher. Over here you've gotta pitch and hit, run the bases, feel like a baseball player. Anything you can do to help the team win you should take pride in it, you should take it serious and try to do the best you can. That's what I try to do with hitting. Like today, I got up to the plate with a runner on third with less than two outs. You gotta take advantage of those opportunities. I don't know how most guys look at it, but I'm trying to hit a sac-fly right there, and I did, so I feel gratification by doing that. It helps the team win, so it's important."

I don't believe Lee was taking a jab at anyone in particular in the AL, but Josh Beckett seemingly demonstrated Cliff's point earlier in the evening when the Red Sox pitcher failed to move a runner over via bunt and eventually ground into a double play. After Beckett chopped a ball to Jimmy Rollins, he gingerly jogged towards first base with the bat in his hands the entire way.

Cliff Lee, on the other hand, prides himself in giving it his all no matter the circumstance. Whether it be trying to beat out a grounder as he attempted to do late in Tuesday's win, or simply sprinting on and off the field between innings.

"I play to win today," Lee said.

And that's why Philadelphia loves him.

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny are still alive.

The Flyers reduced their roster to 39 players on Thursday, assigning 10 players to the Phantoms for their separate training camp, which opens on Friday in Lehigh Valley.

There were no major surprises among today’s cuts.

Goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon, both of whom were outstanding during exhibition play, report to the Phantoms as the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates in net.

Stolarz had a 1.36 goals against average and .944 save percentage in 88 minutes of game action. Lyon had a 0.67 GAA and .972 save percentage in 90 minutes of playing time.

Together, they teamed up for the 2-0 victory on Wednesday against the Devils (see 10 observations).

Also assigned were defenseman Robert Hagg and Reece Wilcox, plus forwards Radel Fazleev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne, Corban Knight, Danick Martel and Mark Zengerle.

After four games in three nights, the entire camp roster had a complete off-day on Thursday.

Sanheim and Provorov have stood out on defense with the latter virtually certain to make the team.

Konecny was very impressive in exhibition play on Wednesday (see story), and will be given a long leash in camp because of the competition at forward.

Both he and Provorov are just 19 and can only go back to junior if they don’t make the final cut with the Flyers.

Schultz injury
Wednesday’s announcement that veteran defenseman Nick Schultz would miss 4-7 days with a lower body injury — a minor MCL sprain of the knee, according to sources — means extra opportunity for several younger defensemen.

Remember, Radko Gudas still is not 100 percent, but getting close to it with his right wrist (fracture). The two benefactors here could be Sanheim and Sam Morin. Provorov was going to be around until the very end, anyway.

The Flyers have four preseason games remaining. Schultz is expected to return for at least one of the final two games.

Inside Golf
The weekly 30-minute segment will feature the Flyers Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation when it airs on CSN on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.

Harry Donahue visited Trump National Golf Course in Pine Hill, NJ earlier this month to catch up with the Flyers. Others on hand are Mark Messier and ESYHF President Scott Tharp, plus Snider Hockey Chairman of the Board Bill Whitmore to learn about Snider Hockey.

The event raised over $1.6 million. You can catch the broadcast on CSN on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. It will also air on TCN on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers' abundance of big men lends itself to numerous combinations in the frontcourt.

On Thursday, Nerlens Noel had his first experience playing with Ben Simmons. The center gelled with the rookie forward.

"It's a great duo, I think," Noel said following the morning practice session of training camp at Stockton University.

Noel has been paired with many big men during his career with the Sixers. Last season, he faced the challenge of playing out of position at times with Jahlil Okafor. The logjam prompted him to speak out about the current makeup of the roster (see story).

After playing with Simmons, Noel saw how the two can share the court.

"I think we complement each other very well, especially on the defensive end," Noel said. "He's definitely a lockdown type defender that digs in."

Even though Simmons has yet to play an NBA game, Noel already envisions how he can help the Sixers.

"He just plays basketball the right way," Noel said. "When your big man does that, it makes it a lot easier because he is very versatile being a point-forward type. That opens up a lot of things for him to be able to open up for his teammates."