Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

Ryne Sandberg On Roy Halladay: It's Hard to Say

One of the more unexpected storylines of this Phillies sad season is the fact that Roy Halladay returned from shoulder surgery in late August after many thought the procedure wound end his career in Philadelphia. But Doc made impressive recovery time and has started twice since returning. The results have been mixed.

With the question of whether Halladay would ever pitch again for the Phillies answered, the next question turns to whether he'll ever be a consistently effective pitcher again and whether or not he could play a role in the Phillies future.

CSN's Corey Seidman broke down Roy's two post-surgery starts, one impressive, one not so much:

Halladay (3-4, 7.94) overcame early struggles in his first start back from shoulder surgery on Aug. 25 vs. Arizona, but was taken deep twice last Friday on a hot afternoon at Wrigley Field. He allowed five runs in five innings that day.

Since returning, Halladay’s sinker has averaged 87.9 mph and his cutter 86.5. Certainly not encouraging signs, but he and the Phillies continue to state that they are more concerned with his command and movement and that the velocity will be the last thing to return.

We all know Halladay's struggles with heat at Wrigley Field, so perhaps that game could prove to be an outlier, but the velocity is hard to ignore and will certainly be a storyline worth following the remainder of the season.

Phils skipper Ryne Sandberg said before the game tonight that Halladay is still building that arm strength back up. From beat writer Matt Gelb's sulia:

"He's able to use all of his pitches," Sandberg said. "I would say, he's still building his arm strength and I think that's where the velocity would and should come back. But I think that he's one outing at a time trying to build on his last outing. The fact he is pitching; it's hard to say if he's a little bit ahead of schedule pitching the way he is considering everything."

So in a final month where we'll be watching guys like Cody Asche, Cesar Hernandez, and Freddy Galvis to see if they will lead to a bright future in Philadelphia, it'll also be worth tuning in every fifth day Roy Halladay starts to see if he has any future on the baseball mount at all.

And whether that mound will be in South Philadelphia.

You know baseball fans are pulling for him to return to some sort of Roy Halladay form.

7:05 from CBP tonight. Roy Halladay takes the hill vs. Jordan Zimmermann (15-8, 3.33).

Instant Replay: Flyers fall in Stadium Series to Penguins, 4-2

Instant Replay: Flyers fall in Stadium Series to Penguins, 4-2

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH – The Flyers still haven't won an outdoor hockey game.

They dropped to 0-2-1 lifetime after Saturday night’s highly-competitive 4-2 loss to the Penguins at Heinz Field in the NHL’s Stadium Series.

Given the Flyers came into play five points out of the wild card and desperate for points, this was a fairly significant loss and sixth in their last eight games.

Shayne Gostisbehere's power play goal drew the Flyers to 3-2 at 6:48 in the third period, but the Pens scored a late goal off a faceoff to put it away.

Michal Neuvirth did not have a very strong outdoor showing.

Questionable hit
The Penguins thought Brandon Manning hit Jake Guentzel with a high elbow to the chin in the second period (see video). You can be sure the NHL will review it on Sunday.

Numbers
As cool as the Flyers' jerseys looked, it was nearly impossible to identify numbers from the press box because they blend into the jersey. White numbers would have been better for ID purposes.

Notable goals
Sidney Crosby's opening goal at 11:18 of the first period was his 36th lifetime against the Flyers in 57 games.

Goalie report
Matt Murray played well. Not much Neuvirth could do on the Pens first two goals but clearly he fell asleep on Matt Cullen's critical wraparound goal early in the third period that made it 3-1.

Power play
Flyers had one good chance on their first power play with a shot from Mark Streit from the circle on Murray. Gostisbehere made it 3-2 with his first goal in 34 games from the point. Flyers were 1 for 4. 

Penalty kill
Penguins got a power play goal from Nick Bonino in the second period that made it 2-0, off a Guentzel assist, his second in the game.  Pens were 1-for-5.

Injuries
Michael Raffl was speared by Evgeni Malkin in the second period without a call. He limped to the bench but stayed in the game.

Fights
There was a scrum between Dale Weise and Chris Kunitz in the second period.

Scratches
Defensemen Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zotto – both healthy; forward Travis Konecny (knee and ankle).

Up next
Flyers are off on Sunday and resume practice Monday at Skate Zone. They will host Colorado on Tuesday.

Instant Replay: Knicks 110, Sixers 109

Instant Replay: Knicks 110, Sixers 109

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- A 17-point game came down to the final possessions. 

The Knicks squeaked out a 110-109 victory, holding on to this one after suffering a buzzer-beating loss to the Sixers on Jan. 11. 

The Knicks squandered a double-digit lead in the fourth as the Sixers slowly chipped away at their lead at the line. The Sixers got within one, 106-105, when T.J. McConnell drained a three after a series of Sixers' free throws. 

Jahlil Okafor scored a go-ahead basket during a hustling Sixers possession with nine seconds remaining to give the Sixers a 109-108 lead. 

In the end, it was Carmelo Anthony, who had been running up the scoreboard all night (37 points), that nailed the game-winning jumper over Robert Covington. Kyle O'Quinn picked off the Sixers' final inbound attempt. 

Inside the box score
• Okafor finished with a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. He had eight rebounds in first half, including a coast-to-coast fast break.

• Dario Saric continues his strong Rookie of the Year push. He finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. 

• Robert Covington struggled from the field overall (7 of 19, 2 of 11 from three) but filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

• Anthony did what Anthony does. He scored 37 points on 15 of 25 from the field, including the game-winner.

Anderson debuts
Justin Anderson made his Sixers debut in the first quarter. Anderson is a multi-positional player and the lineup reflected that. He first played with Rodriguez, Stauskas, Covington and Holmes. Anderson played 3:47 and went 0 for 1 from three with a rebound and a foul. 

While Anderson said he had learned about the Sixers by watching his first game from the bench, he will get more on-the-court experience on Sunday when he plans to spend time at the training complex on the team's off day. 

Bigs Convene
Joel Embiid was with the Sixers in New York. After the second quarter ended, he stayed on the court to talk with Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah. Both Knicks big men also were sidelined on Saturday.

Trust It
T.J. McConnell isn’t the only one to #trustthefriendship with Saric. Check out this no-look pass to Robert Covington. 

Up next
The Sixers have a day to bounce back from this loss. The 48-9 Warriors come to town on Monday.