It should have gone down as one of their most impressive victories of the season. Their young No. 2 starter shut down a Red Sox line-up that scored 22 runs against them in a three-game series last June. Their left/right combination in the middle of the order drove in four runs, Ryan Howard hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning and Jayson Werth hitting a towering two-run shot in the fifth off starter John Lackey. They began interleague play with an impressive 5-1 victory over Boston that ended when David Ortiz lined out to deep center field with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.
Yet it was impossible to ignore the loss that may have occurred when short stop Jimmy Rollins pulled up lame a third of the way to first base on a single to right field in the sixth inning. The diagnosis was sunny given the circumstances -- a mild strain of his right calf, the same muscle that caused him to spend five weeks on the disabled list -- but even the short stop admitted afterward that his immediate future was unknown.
Asked if he had any idea whether a trip to the disabled list was possible, Rollins shook his head.
"About as good (of an idea) as yours," he said.
The injury came on the day that Rollins made his return to the leadoff spot, and just four days after he was activated from the disabled list following a lengthy rehab of what had been diagnosed as a mid-grade calf strain.
Rollins said afterward the injury did not feel as bad as the one he suffered on April 12 while running sprints in the outfield prior to the Phillies' home opener against the Nationals.
"Not at all," Rollins said, "which is a good thing. It's not tender to the touch. I'll see how it feels tomorrow."
But at the bare minimum, Rollins sounds set to miss the rest of this weekend series against the Red Sox, who took two out of three from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park last summer. He said there are no immediate plans for an MRI, although there is the possibility of undergoing one on Monday's off day.
Until then, veteran short stop Juan Castro, who replaced Rollins at first base after the sixth-inning single yesterday, will likely start in his stead. Coincidentally, the injury occurred on the same day the Phillies learned that back-up infielder Wilson Valdez had cleared waivers and accepted an assignment back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Valdez, who played solid defense and had a few big hits while splitting time with Castro at short stop, was eligible to be claimed by another big league team, which the Phillies thought was a possiblity.
Instead, he'll be recalled if Rollins does indeed need a second stint on the DL.
Rollins doesn't sound convinced that he'll need one, though.
"An hour later, it feels a lot better than it did when I came out," he said, "so we'll see."