Aug 132010

August 12 Philadelphia Daily News

“WITH HIS FLY BALL rattling in the rightfield corner and his team looking for that all-important insurance run, Ross Gload dropped the hammer from fourth gear to fifth, perhaps thinking that his leadoff double could become a leadoff triple. But his body didn’t respond, and a split-second later the fill-in first baseman was walking the final couple of steps to second after one of the more obvious groin pulls you will see.

Watching the play with fellow reliever Danys Baez in the bullpen, Brad Lidge reacted as you might expect.

“Honestly, I remember, I was looking at Danys down there and we were just like, ‘Not again,’ ” the Phillies‘ closer said. “How can this be happening again? It seems like whenever somebody gets hot, they get hurt.”

There was plenty of good news last night, though. Lidge and Ryan Madson combined to retire the last six batters of a 2-0 win over the Dodgers as the Phillies (63-50) maintained a 2 1/2-game deficit behind the Braves in the NL East. Roy Oswalt tossed seven scoreless innings in his Citizens Bank Park debut. And Raul Ibanez went 2-for-4 with an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.

But once again, the injury-ravaged Phillies could not escape a victory without a significant loss.

The official word on Gload, whose ill-fated sixth-inning hit set up a key insurance run by pinch-runner Mike Sweeney on a Ibanez’ double, was a groin strain that will be re-evaluated today. It looked bad, and it still might be. But the Phillies, who were already carrying one fewer bench player than normal, say they won’t know about a possible trip to the disabled list until today.

“They said it’s not quite as bad as they thought it might be [at first],” manager Charlie Manuel said.

Two or 3 or even 4 weeks without a reserve infielder might sound like more of a flesh wound than a crippling blow, considering the amount of injured star power the Phils have succeeded without this season. But Gload was one of the big reasons why the Phillies were able to succeed without that star power, particularly slugger Ryan Howard, who hit the disabled list with a sprained ankle on Aug. 2.

In seven games since Howard’s injury, Gload was 7-for-21 with seven RBI and six runs. Overall, he is hitting .293 with an .853 OPS, five doubles, six home runs, 14 runs and 21 RBI.

The platoon-like situation the Phillies envisioned after acquiring veteran castoff Sweeney from the Mariners last week instead could become Sweeney’s chance to get himself to the postseason for the first time in his 15-plus year career (only two active players have played more games without appearing in the playoffs). Howard is eligible to return from the disabled list in just 5 days, but there are indications that his recovery could take as long as another 2 weeks. Greg Dobbs is a lefty who can play first, but he is hitting just .196 and entered last night with one hit in his last 19 at-bats.”

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