Lincecum and Giants Take Late July Series From Phils

Lincecum and Giants Take Late July Series From Phils

The Philadelphia Phillies, the team that still owns the best record in baseball, lost back-to-back games for the first time in since the first days of June and the dropped series to the Giants was the team's first losing series in their last ten. Tim Lincecum stifled the Fightins' bats and made Philly fans sick in the process. San Fran won by the final of 4-1 on Thursday evening.

The Giants ace, who couldn't pitch the last two days with a food poisning-like illness, shut the Phils out over six innings of work in which he allowed only three hits, walked four, and struck out six. The Phils managed to scrap together a run off of Ramon Ramirez in the seventh, but couldn't do any serious damage with men on the pond.

Lincecum was a bit erratic at times, and did walk four guys, but the Phillies never really made him pay.

"Felt like Lincecum changed speeds good. Felt like we could have worked him a little better," Charlie Manuel said following the game. "We chased a lot of pitches out of the strike zone."

"We didn't handle him too good."

The newest addition to a formidable Giants squad, Carlos Beltran, was hitless with two strikeouts in his debut.

As for Kyle Kendrick and the Phils pitching, it wasn't bad, but an early home run to Pablo Sandoval and a couple of manufactured runs later proved to be more than enough with Lincecum and the Giants pen that seems to dominate the Phils. You certainly can't put this one on Kendrick.

Two straight games at Citizens Bank Park ended with Brian Wilson and his atrocious beard doing that thing he does when he finishes out a game. Phillies fans can't be happy about that at all.

These two teams will meet again next weekend out in San Francisco, but will the Phillies have a new bat to throw in the lineup against a Giants staff that seems to have their number?

Asked if the Giants were in the Phillies heads, Charlie Manuel didn't hesitate for a second and chuckled during his response.

"They're not in our heads. I don't think so. Really, I don't think so at all," Manuel said.

While there may be some fireworks going off at Citizens Bank Park following the Phils loss, the sky is not actually falling. Don't listen to Ricky Bottalico.

Roy Halladay pitches tomorrow.

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Related: Ben Franklin was at the game tonight

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.