Phils Chat: Roy Halladay Returns to the Scene of the Heat Exhaustion

Phils Chat: Roy Halladay Returns to the Scene of the Heat Exhaustion

For a former Cy Young winner, Roy Halladay certainly doesn't cruise through games with the ease of some other high caliber pitchers. One of Doc's best skills is his ability to get out of the jams that he sometimes finds himself in. Often times, he has to labor quite a bit to get through it and we all remember that awful day last summer in Chicago when the heat simply got to him.

Roy Halladay (3-3, 3.20) returns to that same mound at Wrigley Field and will look to get his first win in over a month (!) and help the Phillies advance their season-long winning streak to five games. Doc does has very un-Roy like numbers over his career at Wrigley.

As far as random vibes go, I feel like Roy has to bounce back tonight for a win.

On the positive side of things, the Phillies coming-to-life offense faced right-hander Chris Volstad who is down right not good.

From CSN's "What You Need to Know:"

Halladay is opposed by the pitcher the Phillies wish they could see 162
times a year, Chris Volstad. Though a great deal of damage has been done
by Ryan Howard, current Phillies are hitting a lusty .354/.417/.637 off
Volstad with 17 homers and 28 extra-base hits in 226 at-bats. Even if
you take away Howard’s production, the Phils are still batting .335
against Volstad.

So hopefully Freddy Galvis can rip a few more doubles, Hunter Pence can put a couple in the bleachers, and Carlos Ruiz can continue to make his case for that All-Star selection.

8:05 first pitch from historic Wrigley.

The Phillies lineup:

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."