Phils Turn to Halladay at Chavez Ravine to Prevent Losing Streak

Phils Turn to Halladay at Chavez Ravine to Prevent Losing Streak

Yes, the Phillies are coming off a loss yesterday in San Francisco, but check out how bad things are for other teams. The Phils hold a pretty substantial record discrepancy over the team they'll face this evening. The Phillies, with a record of 74-40, currently sit 34 games above .500 while the Dodgers, with a record of 52-61, are 9 games below even for the season. Pretty amazing considering some pundits thought the Dodgers might be a playoff contender coming into the season.

Charlie Manuel's squad will wrap up their 20-in-20 stretch at Dodger Stadium over the next three days and they kick it off tonight with Roy Halladay (14-4, 2.55) on the mound. The Fightins have fared quite well when Doc starts for them, holding a record of 19-4 in game's he has started for them this season. He'll take on right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (7-13, 2.96) who was the subject of plenty of trade rumblings pre-deadline but didn't want to be dealt. He'll be the second most talented Kuroda in action in the L.A. area this evening.

While the Dodgers were a formidable foe for the Fightin Phils just a few short seasons ago, today, they're a franchise with a proud history fallen on very hard times with ugly ownership issues and a whole lot of debt.

Matt and I played the "word association" game with the "Dodgers" earlier today. He came up with "Moonshot" while I came up with "Broxton." What do you think when you think Dodgers?

First pitch scheduled for 10:10. Get your post work nap in now so you can see the Doc later.

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As of this posting, there was no update on Placido Polanco's hip, but we'll update you if we hear anything.

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Finally, we leave you with this, from when Stephen Colbert took over the MLB's Twitter account on Friday afternoon. He probably had Dodgers fans on the mind, I'm sure.

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Fair warning: I'm going to stop tweeting after the seventh inning so I can beat traffic. #Colbertless than a minute ago via Social Marketing Hub Favorite Retweet ReplyMLB
MLB

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."