Aug 232010

Phillies slugger Ryan Howard

August 22 Philadelphia Inquirer

“For the last few weeks, a Roll-A-Bout (basically a scooter designed for those with mobility on one foot) idly sat at Ryan Howard’s locker. A fan sent it to him when he went on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle.

The Phillies decorated the scooter and kept it around as a joke. Earlier this season, there was a time when the perpetual injuries were no laughing matter; they threatened to derail everything. But with quality starting pitching, the Phillies overcame injuries to nearly every regular.

Howard returned Saturday to standing ovations, just as pitching failed the Phillies in an 8-1 loss to the Nationals. Kyle Kendrick, maddeningly inconsistent as the fifth starter, was knocked around.

Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals’ rookie flamethrower who has captured all of baseball’s attention, was dominating for 4 1/3 innings until he threw a 1-1 changeup to Domonic Brown. Strasburg grimaced and shook his right pitching arm in pain. He was removed from the game with a strained flexor tendon in his right arm.

“He’s got tremendous stuff,” Charlie Manuel said.

But the Phillies couldn’t score against four Washington relievers. In three games, the Phils have scored four runs. It’ll take more than one run to win games when Roy Halladay isn’t on the mound.

“We got out of the gate bad,” Manuel said. “We couldn’t get nothing going.”

It didn’t matter Saturday that for the first time since June 28, both Howard and Chase Utley played alongside one another. Howard, in his first game back, was 1 for 3 with an RBI. He was robbed of a double in the ninth when Roger Bernadina made a leaping catch at the wall in left.”

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