Game Chat: Well Besides the Freddy Galvis News, Cole's on the Mound Tonight

Game Chat: Well Besides the Freddy Galvis News, Cole's on the Mound Tonight

The pregame coverage surrounding tonight's series-opener with the Rockies has been understandably focused on the news that Freddy Galvis has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a banned substance.

Ruben Amaro, Jr. addressed the media at Citizens Bank Park earlier this evening, expressing support for his now-suspended shortstop and stating his team's belief in both Galvis and MLB's drug testing policy. Of course, Galvis will be sitting out the next 50 game regardless of his general manager's feelings.

If there's any bright side, it's exactly as Kulp mentioned when the news broke, the rookie shortstop would have been unavailable for much of time he is now mandated to miss due to injury.

Breaking from that, Cole Hamels will try to gather the troops as the Phils take on the Rockies tonight at 7:05 (PHL 17 / 94.1 / 1210). [game notes below]

On the Mound
Hamels is the loser of his last four games and has cooled off dramatically over the last month, since starting the season like a guy looking to up the worth of his next contract (for, um, obvious reasons). Hamels is the owner a 4.67 ERA in his last five starts and has not gone past 6 2/3 innings in his last three attempts. Expect him to buck this trend tonight and get back on track against a Rockies team 15 games under .500.

Standing opposed, Josh Outman was once sent to Oakland in 2008 for one Joe Blanton. The former Phillies prospect has an 8.44 ERA in 11 appearances this season, eight of which came in relief. He has not gone past five innings in his three starts, and only went three and 3 1/3 in his first two outings.

(Not so) Fun Facts!
1. The Phillies are just 12-19 at Citizens Bank Park this year, and are just 2-10 at home since sweeping the Mets in mid-May. That said (actual fun fact on the way), the Rockies are even worse on the road at 10-19.

2. The Phillies have committed 15 errors over their last 11 games and have allowed 11 unearned runs over that stretch, second only to Detroit in the majors.

Charlie's 6/19 Lineup
1. Rollins, SS
2. Polanco, 3B
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Carlos Ruiz, C
5. Shane Victorino, CF
6. Ty Wigginton, 1B
7. John Mayberry, LF
8. Michael Martinez, 2B
9. Cole Hamels, P

Free Freddy.

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

It really felt like we could've gotten this one. The Denver Nuggets are hardly pushovers, but they came into this one a 7-13 team that'd lost their last three games, and even last night they seemed fairly beatable, even for a Philadelphia 76ers team still missing Robert Covington (in additional to our usual mini-roster of absentees). But Philly's energy sagged in the third quarter as Denver caught a second wind, and they spent the final frame hitting shots that the Sixers couldn't answer. Final score: Nuggets 106, 76ers 98. 

The most sobering part of the loss was that Joel Embiid finally played what would best be described as "a bad game." Not that bad, of course — even at his worst, Joel still managed 16 points and notched career-high five blocks. But he only shot 5-15 from the field, turned ball over three times, grabbed just four boards and played a large part in the sinkhole offense that the Sixers played in the late third and early fourth that ultimately cost them this one. JoJo still has trouble reading double teams and knowing when not to attack into traffic, and his frustration was extremely evident as he kept trying to do too much and paying the price for it. 

Nonetheless, even with an off Embiid night and a still-slumping Sauce — officially down to Left in the Car Overnight temperature after a night of 4 points on 1-7 shooting in 35 minutes — Philly probably still coulda gotten this one. Sergio Rodriguez appears to have swiped Nik's swag at least temporarily, with a season-high 17 points on 7-14 shooting to go with seven dimes and three steals, while Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova also poured in 17 and 8 each, and the Nuggets wings were largely kept quiet for two and a half quarters. But even while struggling, the Nuggets paraded their way to free-throw line — 34 FTAs for the night, including 12 for Danilo Gallinari alone — and once they caught fire late, the Sixers just couldn't keep up. 

A bummer for a team that's now lost seven in a row, and has to face the Grizzlies tonight in Memphis — their fourth game in five nights, and the first of a three-game road trip — without Embiid and also without Jahlil Okafor, out with illness. Even with the Grizz missing their own big names (no Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Zach Randolph or Vince Carter lately) and likely suffering from fatigue of their own after a double-OT road win last night in New Orleans, the 4-17 Sixers are gonna have a tough go matching Memphis' grit and grind tonight. Anytime you feel like Supermanning in and saving the day now would be cool, Nerlens Noel. Just sayin'.

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Elton Brand is back with the Sixers, albeit not on the court.

The Sixers agreed with the former NBA forward to name Brand Player Development Consultant. In a press release, the team said Brand will be working with Sixers players in 'every facet of their on- and off-court development' while also working in the front office.

“We are extremely excited to bring Elton Brand back into the organization where he will be a valuable resource to our young and developing team," Bryan Colangelo said in the release. "Elton’s leadership and character displayed throughout his playing career as a player align perfectly with our vision, direction and culture of this basketball team, coaching staff and management group."

Brand retired during training camp after 17 NBA seasons, including five with the Sixers over two stints. The 6-foot-8 forward came out of retirement last season to provide a veteran presence for the Sixers and eventually played in 17 games when the team was snakebitten by injuries. 

He will now continue to be an influence on the Sixers' young core thanks to his new role with the basketball operations department.