Phils' Offense Will Try Again, This Time in Cavernous Petco Park

Phils' Offense Will Try Again, This Time in Cavernous Petco Park

The NL West has some big ballparks. Having left one pitcher-friendly confine (AT&T Park) only to find  themselves in another, the Phillies will open up a four-game set with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park this evening.
Of course, the Phils are coming off a squandered Cliff Lee 10-inning gem that resulted in a 1-0 loss in eleven. It was well-advertised before the season that this team would have trouble scoring runs, but, now more than ever, the pitching staff was supposed to make up for the lack of power at the plate. Unfortunately, as Kulp pointed out earlier today, the offense isn't doing its part late in contests to win the tight ballgames they'll have to play if they are to rely on starting pitching.
Tonight, they'll start anew, hoping to extend the Phillies' recent good fortunes in San Diego.

Working in the Phils' favor is that that they've won their last 11 in a row at Petco Park, 15 of their last 16 dating back to 2008, and 22 of 26 in SD since the stadium opened in 2004. That 11-game win streak at Petco is the longest active streak for any visiting team in any stadium.
On the mound for the visiting Phillies, Vance Worley is 0-1 this year with a 3.75 ERA in two starts. After surrendering just one in his first start of the year versus the Pirates, he gave up four on eight hits and a tied-for-career-high four walks against the Mets on Apr. 14. He has not gone past the sixth inning in either start.
Standing opposed, 22-year-old Joe Weiland is making just his second career start in the majors. The first came last Saturday, when he was knocked around by the Dodgers for six runs on six hits and three homers in five innings pitched.
First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 on CSN and can be heard on both 94 WIP and 1210 AM.
Charlie's 4/19 lineup:

Pierre LF, Polanco 3B, Rollins SS, Pence RF, Victorino CF, Mayberry 1B, Ruiz C, Galvis 2B, Worley P

We've got six more of these West Coast games to stay up for in a row? Sheesh. See you postgame.

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid is the Joel Embiid of trash talking

Joel Embiid was back in the gym on Wednesday afternoon after enjoying his All-Star break down in New Orleans and appears like he's ready to get back out on the court this weekend.

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

The team doctor's aren't so sure. Joel is currently listed as doubtful for both of the Sixers games this weekend.

But that didn't stop JoJo from talking some smack with one of his favorite teammates, Dario Saric, while battling in a little one-on-one after practice.

Embiid was seen by reporters using some colorful language directed in Saric's direction, screaming "you can't ****-ing guard me!" while the two went at it.

The chatter didn't stop there. Embiid was later asked about the one-on-one and unleashed a little more on Dario.

"He don't like playing me," Embiid said. "He never wins and he doesn't handle me talking trash to him. I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him every day."

"It's fun playing against him. We both like to compete."

"That's my guy," he added.

And Sixers fans love them both. Let's just hope to see more of them teaming up in actual games soon.

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

Sixers look forward to results of Ben Simmons' CT scan Thursday

CAMDEN, N.J. — Thursday is significant for the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. It is also the day of Ben Simmons' CT scan to evaluate how his right foot is healing.

"I feel like tomorrow at some point we're all going to be able to lay out a more genuine plan for him," Brett Brown said Wednesday. "I feel like we're going to be good to go with some greater news and a more advanced detail of his plans after this scan."

Once all parties involved assess the results, the team will provide an update, which may not be Thursday. Simmons has been sidelined all season after suffering a Jones fracture during the final scrimmage of training camp. 

On Wednesday, he went through his individual workout plan, which included five-on-none scripting with teammates.

"He's still getting a feel for all of us," Nerlens Noel said. "He's learning to throw it up to me, bounce pass to whoever. It's learning certain tendencies that'll make you start to feel more a part of the team."

The Sixers have not placed a timetable on Simmons' return. The first overall pick has not been cleared for full contact five-on-five practice, the next step in his recovery. Prior to the All-Star break, Brown said he expects Simmons will play at some point this season. He stands by that projection with 26 games remaining. 

"I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

"I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

Simmons' teammates are ready to welcome him into the mix when he is given the green light. Their limited glimpses into his talent have them eager for his debut.

"Unlimited potential," Noel said. "I think with Ben, the thing that makes him so special is his IQ for the game, a sixth sense on the court. Him being able to find little things that not very many 6-10 guys can find. I think that's going to propel his game and make him a special player in this league." 

Added Joel Embiid: "I'm excited ... I thought he was our best player in training camp."