Vance Worley Against the Giants In Second of Four in San Fran

Vance Worley Against the Giants In Second of Four in San Fran

Hunter Pence and Cliff Lee kicked off things on the Phillies left coast swing in a big way last night. Pence handled the bulk of the offensive duties, blasting his first homer as a Phillie to the tune of 447 feet, while Clifton Phifer tossed his fifth shutout of the season

The pitching duties this evening will fall on Vance Worley (7-1, 2.33) who has been surprisingly fantastic as of late. He's also taken a liking to the Twitter, signing up under the name Vanimal_49. Worley has been answering plenty of fan questions directed towards him, and we've learned he's real into muscle cars, Chevy's specifically. Cars in his collection include a 1968 Camaro RS, a 1990 Camaro RS, a 1999 Camaro SS, and a 2007 300C SRT8. "All cars modded," of course.

He'll go up against Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81) for the Giants. Sanchez will be making his first start in over a month. He's been out with bicep tendinitis. He got hit around a bit in last year's NLCS and lost one of his two games he started against the Phils in that series.

Hunter Pence must be loving his time in Phillies uniform, mostly because he hasn't lost a game wearing it yet. The Phillies have gone 6-0 with Pence in the lineup. Sadly, that streak will likely have to come to an end at some point.

Another late 10:15 EST start from San Fran this evening. But don't fret, two afternoon games tomorrow and Sunday.

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."