Things continue to disintegrate for the 3-10 Phillies, but the latest situation has the potential to bring the whole house down. According to the Daily News, Ryan Howard, who pulled up lame beating out a play at first base, suffered an injury around his left knee.
Originally thought to be harmless thigh strain, Howard played all 13 innings out of necessity because the bench had been used up and actually made a fine diving stab at first. However, a post-game examination revealed the injury was sustained around his knee. According to the report, he underwent X-rays last night at RFK Stadium and is scheduled to undergo an MRI this morning.
Marcus Hayes, who wrote the story for the Daily News, suggests the Phils could move Chase Utley to first base and play utility infielder Abraham Nunez at second. Other combinations could include Wes Helms at first with Nunez at third, or recalling Chris Coste from Triple-A Ottawa to join the mix. A roster move is likely to replace Howard at least temporarily.
Obviously, this is more bad news for a collapsing ballclub. Judging from the incident, my expert blogger opinion says hyperextended knee, with some type of ligiment injury, praying on bended knee it isn't an ACL tear.
Offense comes up lame in 5-4 loss
Last night’s agonizing loss came courtesy of the top four table setters – Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard – who went a combined 2 for 21 with three walks.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Phillies have left 131 runners on base in 13 games this season, the highest total for any big-league team over its first 13 games since the Tigers stranded 132 runners in their first 13 games back in 1970 (Thanks to Tray for the tip).
Brett Myers pitched an effective inning, his first in relief. Antonio Alfonseca and Ryan Madson did commendable jobs holding Nats scoreless through four innings, two apiece. Matt Smith battled again with his command and is now a prime candidate for a ticket to Ottawa. Reclamation project Francisco Rosario also battled with command and eventually took the loss in the 13th.
Veteran writer weighs in on Phillies’ state of despair
Brett Myers demotion to the bullpen is a desperate act no matter how you spin it. That’s how columnist Rich Hofmann approached the subject in his account of yesterday's chaotic news day. I really liked this piece; Hofmann did an outstanding job brining all the issues to the forefront and his positions were on target. [Link]
Phillies able to keep Condrey, Durbin
Right-hander Clay Condrey, who was designated for assignment to make room for Freddy Garcia, has cleared waivers yesterday and has been outrighted to triple-A Ottawa and has agreed to rejoin the Phillies. In addition, right-hander J.D. Durbin, who was picked up on waivers and was immediately designated for assignment, also cleared waivers and has been optioned to Ottawa.
It just goes to show that if they’re not good enough for the Phillies bullpen ...
Kidding aside, Durbin is young, talented and a low-risk, high reward bullpen part to stash away as inventory. The hard-throwing hurler was rated as the Twins 10th best prospect this season, but has had numerous injury setbacks.