Phils Live in a Vance Down by the River

Phils Live in a Vance Down by the River

So there's Cliff Lee, sitting in the dugout for the Phillies' first game since he pitched 10 scoreless innings and still lost, his team unable to put up a single run. Just half an inning into their next opportunity, they loaded the bases and plated a run. It wasn't much, but it would have been enough to get Cliff a W, and on Thursday night, it was enough to get Vance Worley one. 
Worley was the latest Phils pitcher to put in a dominant performance, striking out 11 while allowing just four hits and three walks over a scoreless seven innings. The Phillies would score just one more run (unearned) in the ninth inning, giving the late-night watchers seven straight dual-shutout frames a night after going ten straight in San Francisco. Hope you're a fan of pitching, because it was once again brutal to watch the Phillies at the dish. 
Game notes and photos below. 
NotesJuan Pierre had a good night at the top of the lineup. He drew a walk to lead off the game, advanced to third on a Polly single and an error, then scored on a J-Roll sac fly. In the second, he beat out a thrown from his friend Orland Hudson to grab an infield single (right), then later tripled in the fifth. He's up to a .333 avg. 
More good news from the hill: Chad Qualls pitched his fifth straight scoreless relief inning, giving up a walk but no hits to hold the gate for Jonathan Papelbon. Nothing left the infield in the eighth.
Paps got the save despite walking the leadoff hitter in the ninth, inducing a double play before striking out Jason Bartlett to end the enthralling evening. 
The play of the game came in the sixth inning, when Chooch and J-Roll combined on a double play to shut down a double-steal attempt. As Jeremy Hermida struck out, Chase Headley attempted to pull a throw to second base while Will Venable made for home. Chooch gunned it to second, and J-Roll volleyed it back, where Venable plowed Ruiz, but without success because Chooch = tank. 
Clearly, it was disappointing that the Phils couldn't do more damage against a kid making his second career start in Joe Wieland. Wieland was knocked around in his debut, allowing six earned with just one strikeout in a loss to the Dodgers. The Phils looked to have him ready to unravel again in the first, but let him off the hook, and he never got back on. 
Thankfully, they had Worley, who was nasty and unafraid of testing hitters over the plate nor using his breaking balls in a variety of counts. He struck out the side in the first, the latter two hitters looking. Continuing his trend from last season, seven of his 11 K's were backward on the night. Love seeing those blank yet angry looks on a batter's face as the game continues around him, the defense leaving the field while he stands motionless next to the plate. Or, freaking out, like Mark Kotsay did after Worley won a full-count, two-out, two runners on battle in the seventh.
Usually in a battery with Brian Schneider, Charlie Manuel wanted to change things up and caught Worley with Ruiz. 
TonightCole Hamels pitches in front of his home crowd against righty Edinson Volquez. 
Photos by Christopher Hanewinckel-US Presswire

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."