Victorino has Grade I thumb sprain, DL possible


Victorino has Grade I thumb sprain, DL possible

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Posted: 6 p.m. Updated: 11:13 p.m.

By John R. Finger

MIAMI Even though outfielder John Mayberry rejoined the Phillies in time for Tuesday nights game against the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium, manager Charlie Manuel will again be down a man on his bench.

This time its Shane Victorino who will be absent from the team because he is in Philadelphia where he was expected to see hand specialist Dr. Randall Culp about his swollen thumb. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Victorino had a Grade I sprain of his thumb. Proefrock added that the team would decide whether another trip to the disabled list was necessary within 48 hours.

Victorino already has been on the disabled list once this season with a calf injury.

I know his hand is swollen up, manager Charlie Manuel said. He has a jammed thumb. He can't grip the ball. And it's hard to grip the bat, of course. They wanted to run some tests and see if something was wrong with it.

Michael Martinez started in center and hit second against the Marlins.

Victorino jammed his right thumb when he fell during Sundays game in Toronto. The thumb was badly swollen on Monday and Victorino wore a sleeve over the injury and was kept out of Mondays lineup. He was administered a few tests after the injury occurred, which returned negative. However, when the swelling did not subside, the team sent Victorino back to Philly.

There was some talk about Victorino returning to Miami for Wednesdays game, but the extent of the injury is still unknown.

Will he miss some time? Probably. How much? I don't know, Manuel said. I don't think its going to be a whole lot. I say that sometimes and the guy goes from two weeks to six months. Well see.

Meanwhile, Victorino got a strong endorsement in his campaign in the fan Internet balloting to choose the final member of the All-Star teams on Tuesday. Recently retired NBA legend Shaquille ONeal announced via Twitter that he was supporting the Phillies centerfielder.

Shaq tweeted:

vote 4 my man shane victorino 2 be in da allstar game pleas thank you atmlb.comVictorino.
Of course the campaign could be for naught if Victorino is unable to play in next Tuesdays All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Polanco hurting
The same goes for Placido Polanco, too. Elected to be the starting third baseman for the National League, Polanco asked out of the lineup for Tuesday nights game because his ailing back was giving him more trouble, according to Manuel.

He said it was hurting a little bit, Manuel said. It comes and goes. He has a lot of aches and pains. Hes not hitting well right now. He also think its affecting his swing. I thought it was a good time to get him rested.

Polanco is batting just .216 since May 1 and does not have a hit in his last 15 at-bats. However, Polanco batted .398 with a club-record 41 hits in April to spur the early vote. For now at least, Polanco still has Manuels blessing to play in the All-Star Game.

Lee pitcher of the month
Joining Polanco and possibly Victorino in Phoenix will be Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, who was named the National League pitcher of the month for June.

Lee went 5-0 last month with major-league leading 0.21 ERA and 0.69 WHIP. He also threw three straight shutouts and 34 consecutive scoreless innings. He will be making his third All-Star Game appearance and his first as a National Leaguer.

During June, Lee became the first NL starter to toss three straight shutouts since Brandon Webb did so for Arizona in 2007. He also become the first Phillies pitcher to throw three straight shutouts since Robin Roberts in 1950. Additionally, Lee threw 34 straight scoreless innings in June, for the second-longest streak in franchise history, topped only by Grover Cleveland Alexanders 41 straight innings in 1911.

Lidge and Madson throw
Disabled reliever Ryan Madson threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon in Miami and checked out of it OK, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee. Madson will throw again on Thursday and could get into some minor-league rehab outings over the All-Star break.

The Phillies expect Madson back when the season resumes on July 15.

Proefrock also said the reports on closer Brad Lidge were good from his first minor-league outing on Monday night. Pitching for Single A Lakewood, Lidge started the game and pitched one inning, allowing two hits and no runs without a walk or strikeout. According to reports, Lidge threw his fastball approximately 88 mph.

The team has not said when Lidge will pitch next.

Related: Worley, Phillies grab shutout win over Marlins All-Stars could use extra rest

Best of MLB: Dodgers deny Cubs' Jake Arrieta 21st straight win


Best of MLB: Dodgers deny Cubs' Jake Arrieta 21st straight win

CHICAGO -- Scott Kazmir and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, matching zeros with Cubs ace Jake Arrieta before the Los Angeles Dodgers got to Chicago's bullpen for a 5-0 victory Tuesday night.

Arrieta went seven scoreless innings, but was denied his 21st consecutive victory. The Cubs had won in Arrieta's last 23 starts.

Cubs left-hander Clayton Richard (0-1) gave up three straight singles to lefties in the eighth, the last Adrian Gonzalez's liner to left that scored Chase Utley and ended the Dodgers' 16-inning scoreless streak.

Corey Seager hit a three-run homer off Trevor Cahill in the ninth.

Joe Blanton (3-2) struck out three in two perfect innings as the Dodgers snapped the Cubs' six-game winning streak.

Kazmir allowed a single and a walk with seven strikeouts in six innings. Adam Liberatore struck out one in a perfect ninth (see full recap).

Betts hits trio of homers in Red Sox win
BALTIMORE -- Mookie Betts hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs, and the Boston Red Sox cruised past the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Tuesday night to open a three-game lead in the AL East.

Betts led off the game with a shot to center and added a three-run drive to left in the second inning. After lining out to second base in the fourth, Betts hit a bases-empty homer to right in the seventh.

Batting in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the major league record of four homers in a game, Betts grounded out to second against rookie Ashur Tolliver.

Still, he's the first Boston player to hit three homers in a game since Will Middlebrooks against Toronto on April 7, 2013. Betts' 12 home runs rank second on the team behind David Ortiz, who has 14.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts stretched his career-best hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the seventh inning (see full recap).

Rockies tie franchise record with 7 HRs
DENVER -- Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each hit two of Colorado's team record-tying seven homers, powering the Rockies to a 17-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to hit leadoff homers in back-to-back games and added his first career grand slam in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez homered for a fourth straight game, while DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra also went deep.

It was the first time Colorado hit seven homers at Coors Field. The team also had seven on April 5, 1997, in Montreal.

Rockies right-hander Jon Gray (3-2) allowed three runs in six solid innings.

Jon Moscot (0-3) was hit hard in his return from the disabled list. He surrendered seven runs and four homers in two innings. Moscot also was grazed in the right ear in the third while bunting. Moscot stayed down for a moment before taking his base (see full recap).

Difference in talent, power glaring as Phillies continue to lose to top teams


Difference in talent, power glaring as Phillies continue to lose to top teams


The gap in talent level that exists between the Phillies and some of the top teams in the majors has really been evident over the last eight games.
The Phillies have lost seven of those eight games to the Tigers, Cubs and Nationals. Tuesday night brought the latest defeat, a 5-1 loss to the National League East-leading Nats at Citizens Bank Park (see Instant Replay). The Nats have won the first two games of the series and go for the sweep on Wednesday night.
While losing seven of their last eight, the Phillies have seen their feel-good story turn to dust. Their record has gone from 25-19 to 26-26 and their deficit in the NL East from two games to 5½.
“We had a good month and a half,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “When things are going good, they snowball. When things are going bad, they snowball. We’ve got to keep that snowball from rolling. We’ve got to get out of it.”
There are a number of reasons the Phillies have hit hard times. Poor offense is a big one. They have been held to two or fewer runs five times in their last seven losses and 20 times for the season. They are now averaging 3.15 runs per game, the lowest mark in the majors. Offense like that is the reason why Aaron Nola can pitch six innings of two-run ball and lose on two mistake pitches as he did Tuesday night. These pitchers have no margin for error.
One of the offensive’s big shortcomings is the lack of power. The Phils have been out-homered 15-7 in the last eight games. Washington hit four longballs on Tuesday night; the Phillies hit none. In fact, the Phillies had just four hits – period.
“We’re just getting out-homered every night,” Mackanin said. “We’re not hitting home runs. I feel like it’s a broken record. We’re not hitting.”
For the season, the Phillies have 39 homers. Only Atlanta has hit fewer.
And it doesn’t appear as if things are going to get all that much better any time soon. Management would consider trading for a bat close to the July trading deadline – if the team is in the race. With reality striking hard lately, it’s tough to see this team being in the race for anything but a top-10 pick in next year’s draft. In the short term, the Phils could soon have Cody Asche back on the roster.
“Our pitching overall has been very good,” Mackanin said. “We’ve just got to hit.”
The Nationals won this game with power and good starting pitching.
Right-hander Joe Ross held the Phils to a run over seven innings – an RBI triple by Cesar Hernandez.
Meanwhile, Jayson Werth capitalized on a poorly located fastball by Nola and homered two batters into the game. Daniel Murphy got Nola in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.
Nola would like to have had both pitches back.
“The pitch to Werth was right down the chute,” he said. “With Murphy, I wanted to get it in a little further and I didn’t.”
Other than that, Nola was pretty good. He pitched out of trouble in the second inning and was supported by a double play started nicely at second by Hernandez and a nice catch by Odubel Herrera in center field.
“We’re doing some things right but not enough of them,” Mackanin said.
“That’s baseball,” Nola said of the lack of run support. “Sometimes we pitch bad and get a lot of run support. The guys are battling. I feel like we’re going to bounce back the next couple of games.”
The Nationals blew the game open with three runs in the ninth against reliever Colton Murray. Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run homer and Stephen Drew followed with an inside-the-park homer.
The two home runs deprived Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon a chance at a save as he recorded the final three outs against his old team.

Instant Replay: Nationals 5, Phillies 1


Instant Replay: Nationals 5, Phillies 1


The Phillies' late-May slide continued in a 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
Aaron Nola delivered a solid start, but got poor run support. The Phillies entered the game averaging 3.2 runs per game, lowest in the majors.
The Nationals scored all their runs on home runs.
The Phillies have lost nine of their last 11 games. They are 1-7 in their last eight and have gone from 25-19 and two games back in the NL East to 26-26 and 5½ games back.
Starting pitching report
Nola went six innings and allowed two runs, both on solo homers. He walked one and struck out six. He is 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
Washington right-hander Joe Ross (5-4) pitched a strong game. He gave up just three hits and a run over seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Ross has given up just two runs over 14 innings in his last two starts.
Bullpen report
Jonathan Papelbon closed it out for the Nats in a non-save situation.
At the plate
The Phillies had just four hits. They have been held to two or fewer runs 20 times in their 52 games.

Cesar Hernandez tripled home the Phillies' only run.

Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy accounted for the Nationals’ first two runs pair of solo homers against Nola. Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run homer off Colton Murray in the ninth and Stephen Drew followed with an inside-the-park homer.
Murphy also singled in the game. He had 47 hits in the month of May, tying a Washington/Montreal franchise record that had previously been shared by Al Oliver and Marquis Grissom.

Lineup stuff
Mackanin was trying to send Hernandez a message by batting him eighth (see story).
Bryce Harper did not play for Washington. He was hit on the right leg by a pitch in Monday night’s game.
Slumping Ryan Howard started at first base and went hitless in three at-bats to fall to .154. He hit .101 (7 for 69) in the month of May.
Howard will not start Wednesday night against Max Scherzer. He is 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against Scherzer. Tommy Joseph will start that game.
Minor matters
Cody Asche’s minor-league rehab stint expires Wednesday. He could rejoin the team at any time.
Up next
 The series concludes on Wednesday night. Lefty Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67) pitches against Washington right-hander Scherzer (5-4, 4.05).