Taking one of three in Washington D.C. this weekend was a hard pill to swallow. Things had surely been looking up for the Phillies after an 8 game win streak, and another blockbuster trade deadline acquisition. We were all excited that the boys were headed down I-95 to play the N.L. bottom feeding, Strasburg-less Nationals.
Friday – Oswalt gets shelled in his debut. Phillies Lose 8-1
Saturday – Joe Blanton keeps the Phillies afloat and the Phils take the lead in the 8th. Lidge then blows it in the 9th. Ibanez injures his wrist.
Sunday comes and we have Cole Hamels ready to go. Cole, as we all know, has a record that does not show how great he’s been this season. When the Phillies have needed him, he’s been there. Sunday wasn’t Cole’s best day but 4 allowed runs was enough to get the Phillies a win…. Not that it would be reflected on Cole’s stat sheet. Jose Contreras got the win. Cole pitched 7 innings, had 10 strikeouts and 0 walks.
The big downers of this game… Ibanez was a late scratch for the game. In Saturday’s game Raul tried to make a diving catch in the first inning but came up short and brutally rolled his wrist. Ibanez stayed in the game Saturday, but was seen Sunday morning icing his wrist after warm-ups and was scratched to rest it. Smart in my opinion… Monday is a much needed day off, and Raul has just seemed to be finding his stroke. Ibanez’s power numbers are way, way down, but he has begun to find some success as the three-hole hitter. We’re all saying it, Raul is getting older. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that he’s gonna start blowing the cover off the ball like he did in the early part of 2009. It’s just not going to happen. But this guy is a professional hitter. If he keeps the ball down and makes contact he’s a big threat to find his way onto the bases for the big boys….
Speaking of “Big Boys,” the “Big Piece” went down in Sunday’s game during the first inning. Hit by a pitch by none other then John Lannan. Lannan has a knack for hitting Phillies batters. If you don’t remember he’s the jackass that broke Utley’s hand in 2008. He’s hit Howard quite a few times, too. After the plunk Ryan took a long slow walk down to first base. The very next batter was Ben Francisco who knocked single into right field scoring Jayson Werth. Howard had overrun second and had to lunge awkwardly back to the bag to stay safe and rolled his ankle. Howard was assisted off the field and had X-rays done on his arm (from being hit by the pitch) and then on his ankle. Both X-rays came back negative. After the game Howard said they’ll have to see where he is when the swelling goes down but he didn’t seem to think he’d need to go on the D.L.
After the game Cole Hamels talked about the injuries.
“It’s tough when you have guys like Shane, Chase, and
now Howie … those are our guys. For him to go down, we have to
step it up.”
You said it Cole…
Things seemed a little better at the end of the day after Howard’s X-Rays came back negative. Howard
left the locker room on crutches with his ankle wrapped, but Charlie Manuel said he didn’t believe Howard would
miss significant time.
“He’s going to be OK,” Manuel said. “We’re
off Monday, and he might miss Tuesday or Wednesday. But he could be in
the lineup Tuesday.”
Then my favorite Charlie quote in a while… “He ain’t dead by a long shot”
Howard sounded slightly less confident, but
agreed a DL stint seemed unlikely. We’ll see.