Phillies Silence Mets Fans (at least for a night)

Phillies Silence Mets Fans (at least for a night)

Tonight was a beautiful evening for baseball and the Phillies bounced back from their poor showing last night to beat the Mets 8-4.  CBP didn't seem as crowded as the previous night,  people must really love having those 6 inch figurines on their mantle, but it appeared to be another sellout.  For the second straight night there were Piazza jerseys all over the place, but tonight, they kept their mouths shut for most of the evening.

Jim Thome came out of a funk to hit a solo shot deep to right field which put the Phillies up 2-1 after five.  Big time props to Robinson Tejeda for another great outing.  You couldn't have really asked much more from this guy so far.  He went six solid innings allowing only 3 hits and 1 earned run.

The Mets tied the game in the top of the seventh when Madson got into some trouble, but the Phillies got out of a jam and took the lead back in the bottom of the seventh.  Everyone's favorite Phillie came up with the go ahead single, scoring Thome, and the runs kept coming.  (short video clip I took of Thome scoring after the jump.)

Lieberthal actually knocked in a runner in scoring position and after a few walks Kenny Lofton came up with the bases loaded.

I like this picture because you can see Lofton running out of the batters box and the 3 Phillies on the bases on the move.  All 3 would eventually score and Lofton would have a double.  He has been playing very well lately and I'd like to give him some props.

Ugueth looked shaky giving up another longball and Wagner completed the game.  It never seems he can have a low pitch inning though.


This picture features the Dirty "The Camera Loves Me" Bird Man giving the thumbs up after Lofton cleared the bases.  In a post game interview the DBM was quoted as saying, "You better tell everyone on your site that my record is now 10-1 at Phillies games this season."  These facts could nither be proven nor disproven.

My season total is now at 7-3 (I believe) after last night's loss and tonight's win.  In a phone interview with the loyal Mets fanatic, Bryan from Garden City Park when asked about his thoughts on the Mets loss tonight responded, "Mets need to play better."

Here is the promised video of Utley knocking in the go ahead run.  Right click and "Save As."  Notice the person who jumps in front of the camera.  Download MOV00822.MPG

Nerlens Noel to get one-on-one experience while Sixers on road

Nerlens Noel to get one-on-one experience while Sixers on road

Being immersed in the team is important for Nerlens Noel, and so is continuing his rehab. 

While the Sixers are on the road for three days to play the Grizzlies and Pelicans, Noel will remain in Philadelphia to work out at the training complex in Camden, New Jersey. The team is not scheduled to practice in between games, so staying back allows Noel another day to get on the court.

“[I want him to] just start playing more and have a ball in his hands, get hit, physical, feel people, play one-on-one,” head coach Brett Brown said.

Noel has yet to play this season because of elective arthroscopic left knee surgery in October. He rejoined the Sixers after completing the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Alabama. There still is no timetable for his return. 

Brown has said there is a “classroom” element to Noel’s return. He has to learn a roster with new players and schemes. 

The on-the-court side of it is a reacclimation to the intensity of the league. Regardless of how many games Noel already has played in the NBA, there is an adjustment period getting back into the grind of the competition. Brown believes the time in the gym this week will help Noel prepare for the level of intensity he will face in his return. 

“It’s such fool’s gold to think somebody’s going to jump back into NBA basketball after you haven’t played for so long. I don’t care how athletic he is,” Brown said. “It’s a man’s world, this league, and there’s a physicality and there’s a real-time reaction you have to have to play in the game. You can’t make that up in practice, you can’t make that up playing one-on-one, but you can better position him instead of just going out to get shots. I want him to feel a body, get hit, hit back, play one-on-one, those types of things.”

Noel had been assigned to the Sixers’ Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, to get in practice time when the Sixers had a game. The Sixers may forego another assignment and keep Noel at their facility as the Sevens also have two games in the next three days. 

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

Joel Embiid finally struggles in Sixers' loss to Nuggets

BOX SCORE

Joel Embiid has been making the NBA look easy. Rookie of the Month honors, five double-doubles in 13 games, seven performances of 20 points or more … all having missed the last two years rehabbing from foot injuries.

Embiid, though, still is a player learning the league. Night’s like Monday’s lackluster showing are going to happen, even if it seemed unexpected against the struggling Denver Nuggets. 

“We’ve been used to seeing Jo have superhuman nights,” Brett Brown said after the Sixers’ 106-98 loss (see Instant Replay). “I thought Joel was down tonight.” 

Embiid tallied a total 16 points (5 for 15 from the field, 1 for 3 from three, 5 for 6 from the line) with four rebounds, one assist, a career-high five blocks, three turnovers and three fouls in 25:32. 

He had a quiet first half with six points (2 for 5 from the field) and one rebound in 9:21. The biggest struggle came in the third quarter. Embiid scored a single point off a free throw and shot 0 for 6 from the floor. By the end of three, he was shooting 18.2 percent. 

The big man said he needed to be better at passing out of the double team. He committed two turnovers in the third. 

“I wasn’t getting to my spot and I wasn’t getting what I’m used to getting,” Embiid said of the first three quarters. “I’m going to go back and watch the tape and see what I did wrong.” 

Embiid bounced back for another Embiid-like offensive effort in the fourth. He dropped nine points off an efficient 3 for 4 shooting in 7:31. Still, it wasn’t enough. 

“I made a couple shots,” Embiid said. “It didn’t help us win, so I don’t think it matters.”

Brown noticed Embiid rushing his game. He also thought Embiid’s balance was off, something the big man has been dealing with all season as he continues to find his legs. 

Embiid will not play in Tuesday's game against the Grizzlies. It is part of his workload management in which he does not play both games of a back-to-back. Expect him to hone in on game film until his next matchup, and get back on the roller coaster that can be a first year in the NBA. 

“It's just part of a young man's growth,” Brown said. “It just happens. I don't think we need to read too deeply into it. I think, in many ways, to expect from time to time not as good of a performance as we have been used to is fair enough.”