Phils and Kendrick Try to Beat Up On Aaron Cook

Phils and Kendrick Try to Beat Up On Aaron Cook

The Phillies will look to win yet another series this evening as Kyle Kendrick (5-5, 3.52) will take on Colorado Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook (2-5, 5.05). Cook has not fared well against the Phillies throughout his career, having gone 1-6 with a 6.05 ERA in 11 career starts. He hasn't beaten them since way back on April 27th of 2006 in Philly.

Kendrick wasn't bad in his last start, a loss to the Giants when he went up against Tim Lincecum, but KK did allow an early solo shot to Pablo Sandoval and was later hurt by a Michael Martinez error in the seventh that really ended his day.

Tonight could be the last we see of Kendrick as a starter for a while, with Roy Oswalt feeling good and looking to return to the rotation perhaps as early as this weekend in San Francisco. It's pretty clear that Vance Worley's performance has secured his role as the fifth guy if Oswalt is back in the fold.

Fun Fact From the Game Notes: In their last 19 games at Coors Field, the Phillies have gone 13-6 and scored 6.32 runs per game over that span.

Tonight's Lineup: Jimmy Rollins, Shane "MVP" Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Hunter Pence, Raul Ibanez, Placido Polanco, Brian Schneider, and Kyle Kendrick.

Another 8:40 start from Denver this evening. Let's try not to go to extras, boys, okay?

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

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 coexist 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 foot 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."