Well, the Phillies projected optimism after the game, despite Hamels’ injury. Charlie Manuel said that while the dugout was quiet and teammates were concerned immediately after their ace sprained his ankle, x-rays were negative and revealed a “mild sprain” and that Hamels would make his next start. Because of Thursday’s off-day, Hamels has six days before that happens, and he said that would be enough.
The pitcher was clearly and justifiably upset in the fifth inning, but later tried to downplay the darkness. Some quotes from the morning story: “It’s not severe, so I’m not planning on missing a start...Obviously, we’re going to see how it feels the next couple days, but I think it helps that we have an off day.”
“(There was) some frustration, but almost comedy, because the last time I felt like I was doing really well and obviously got hit and that knocked me out of the game,” he said. “This time, I felt like I was finally getting in a good groove again, and it happened. But I don’t know what else to do but just kind of laugh about it, because it’s not serious.”
As he spoke, he smiled, laughed and wore a light bandage wrap around the ankle.
Reasonable people understand that Hamels’ last two injuries, this and the Prince Fielder liner he took off his left shoulder on Thursday, were freakish and not indicative of fragility. His stuff was terrific tonight and his velocity up to 93 in the first inning, and the team hopes that this setback will be as minor as they say. Of course, the next few days will determine that.
Also, the Inquirer has learned that Chase Utley is a good baseball player.
Those who watched the game understand that Chad Durbin’s 3 2/3 innings of relief were crucial. He took the mound at a dark moment, and held the sucker down. The reliever allowed only run, an Adam Dunn homer.
“His stuff is plenty good right now, so it’s just a matter of time,” Durbin said of Hamels.
Check the morning paper for updates on Lidge, Ruiz, J.C. Romero and other Phillies-related business.