Phillies suffer another injury despite ending losing streak

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Following a dreadful series against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday night’s match at Citizens Bank Park was a fairly well-played game by the struggling Phillies. 

Alec Bohm filled in for Rhys Hoskins at first base and made a couple of good plays in the field. The bullpen held the Mets scoreless through 2 ⅔ innings. And, Adam Haseley hit a clutch two-out, two-run pinch-hit single, which ended up being the game-winning play. It was all a part of a 4-1 victory. 

Amid all that, the Phillies suffered another injury. 

Holding that 4-1 advantage with one out in the top of the sixth inning, starting pitcher Jake Arrieta hit Andrés Giménez to load the bases. 

The 34-year-old, who’s in the final year of a three-year, $75 million contract, immediately grabbed the back of his right leg, around his hamstring. 

Not good for the #Phillies. pic.twitter.com/y2cadWJ8XR

— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 16, 2020

“Silver lining — the strength in my right hamstring was actually pretty good,” Arrieta said. “It’s when the leg was loaded I tried to make my move toward home plate is when it kinda felt like I got shot.”

Arrieta said he knew exactly what was happening, even before medical staff concluded it was a Grade 1 hamstring strain. He had a similar injury in 2017 while with the Chicago Cubs — that time, on his left leg. 

He admitted he rushed to return to play, and it set him back. He believes he’ll handle it differently this time and won’t allow it to sideline him too long. 

“I’ll be back for the playoffs,” he said. “There’s no question in my mind about that. I think I can be back sooner than that.”

“Jake’s a tough guy,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re just gonna have to wait and see.” 

After a very forgettable performance against Atlanta at the end of August, Arrieta has been much better in his last three starts — he pitched 18 innings and allowed six runs with a 3.00 ERA. 

His role is important if the Phillies are going make a run in the postseason. 

The first step, though, is getting there — which is not even close to being locked up. With their win over the Mets, and Miami losing to Boston 2-0, the Phils inched to within a half-game of the Marlins for second in the National League East, heading into Wednesday’s action. But at the same time, they’re in tight competition for one of the two wild-card spots, which they currently possess. 

There are only 13 games left for the Phillies, and it’s likely Arrieta will miss some, even if he is healthy enough to return for the playoffs. 

Arrieta’s injury joins a long list of others: J.T. Realmuto’s hip/upper quad discomfort, Hoskins’ elbow problem, Spencer Howard’s stiff shoulder, Jay Bruce’s strained quad, and Jose Alvarez’s testicular contusion. 

Hoskins and Howard are on the injured list and will miss most of the remaining portion of the regular season. Cross your fingers that Hoskins’ elbow isn’t more serious than that. Realmuto is not on the list, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to contribute on the field. Bruce is working his way back. 

And then there’s Zack Wheeler, who is scheduled to pitch Wednesday night against the Mets. Last week, however, he severely compromised the nail on his middle finger while putting on his pants. 

Girardi, who chose not to take a more recent look at Wheeler’s nail, said the trainer indicated all was well. 

“I (took a look at it) earlier,” Girardi said. “I didn’t know because I don’t like that kind of stuff. I get a little queasy when I see that. But it looks good now. The trainer said it looks good now. So I was like, ‘OK.’ He was like, ‘Do you wanna see it?’ I was like, ‘No, I’m good.’ ”

#Phillies are planning on starting Zack Wheeler tonight after his nail scare from last week. Joe Girardi said the trainer indicated to him that Zack's nail is good to go. Girardi had no interest in taking a look at the nail after seeing it before. @KYWNewsradio pic.twitter.com/GrjKh0mqSO

— Dave Uram (@MrUram) September 16, 2020

Girardi doesn’t think Wheeler will have a pitch count limit. But his return is an encouraging sign for a team that’s dealt with a lot of adversity this season. 

“It’s just another chapter in our story,” Arrieta said, “that we have to continue to write and play out the remainder of the season. Nobody said it was going to be easy, right?”