Worley vs. Billingsley as Phils Look to Cap Best-Ever 10-Game Road Trip

Worley vs. Billingsley as Phils Look to Cap Best-Ever 10-Game Road Trip

Vance Worley (8-1, 2.35) and the Phillies look to cap off their grueling 20 games in 20 days this afternoon in sweeping fashion. A win in Los Angeles today would finish off that 20-day span with an 16-4 record, and an absolutely impressive 9-1 on the 10-game road trip. That would be their first-ever 9-1 record on a 10-game road trip in franchise history.

Worley, who is coming off a solid seven inning/2 run outing in the wild Friday night game in San Fran, has yet to face the Dodgers. He'll go up against right-hander Chad Billingsley (10-9, 4.17) who is 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA against the Phils in five career starts.

Charlie's Day Game Lineup: Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Pence, Ibanez, Schneider, Martinez, and Worley.

First pitch scheduled for 3:10. Finish this trip off right.

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“@iiiice: @vanimal_49 how many times have you had in-n-out since you got back to the west coast?” lol only twice gotta watch my figure hahaless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPad Favorite Retweet ReplyVance Worley
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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."