The Phillies celebrated the reunion of their multi-million dollar infield last night by nearly laying a goose egg. So much for reunions!
Ryan Howard was the final holdout preventing the Phils from fielding their starting infield before he came off the disabled list earlier in the day to join Chase Utley, recently un-disabled, Jimmy Rollins, previously disabled (twice) and Placido Polanco, long-ago disabled. Frankly, all of them more or less look disabled last night against Nats phenom Stephen Strasburg and the bullpen, getting two hits among the foursome.
Strasburg was the real highlight of the evening but even here their was major disappointment and alarm as he left the game after four plus innings with a strained forearm ligament. This would be the second injury Strasburg has sustained since joining the big club in mid-season and raises all sorts of alarms for Washington. The Nats are counting on Strasburg to be the cornerstone of their pitching staff for years to come and he is already headed for the sidelines for the second time in a month and possibly the Disabled List.
While he was healthy last night Strasburg lived up to all the hype. The kid throws a 91 mph changeup for god's sake and a knee-bending curve to go along with his 95 - 100 mph fastball. There oughta' be a law. Let's hope he remains healthy because he is fun to watch...as long as you aren't standing 60 feet six inches away with a stick in your hand.
Meanwhile, Kyle Kendrick showed again why he is strictly an emergency fill-in pitcher. I don't care how many good games he has thrown; they have all been neutralized by the stinkers he's also thrown including last night.
By losing their third game in their last five against the cellar-dwelling Nats, the Phils blew a chance to close to within 1.5 games of the Braves, who lost to the Cubs.