That Hurts! Rollins and Madson Both Shelved

The absence of Jimmy Rollins came back to bite the Phillies Wednesday night in their 8-2 loss to the Mets. Meanwhile, Ryan Madson is having some injury issues of his own, further depleting the Phillies bullpen.

After Jimmy Rollins took a few hacks in the indoor batting cage and did some exercises during the Phillies' team stretch Wednesday, he was scratched from the lineup, ending a streak of 230 straight starts dating to July 30, 2006.

Instead of leading off a nationally televised game against the Mets at Shea Stadium, he underwent a precautionary X-ray on the sprained left ankle he suffered in the eighth inning Tuesday when he spun awkwardly into second base on a fake pickoff throw. The X-ray was negative, and Rollins may return to the lineup within a few days.

"It's just sore," Rollins said. "It isn't anything more than that right now. I never felt bad. It's never been swollen. It's just my mobility, going left to right, it's pretty sore. That's what my game is, especially defensively."

Thus, Eric Bruntlett, acquired with closer Brad Lidge in a November trade with the Astros, made his first start for the Phillies and promptly committed two errors in the Mets' five-run third inning.

Rollins, a Gold Glove shortstop, said he'd be available to pinch-hit, but he didn't Wednesday night, ending his consecutive games streak at 230, the third-longest active streak in the majors behind Cleveland's Grady Sizemore (366) and Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur (334).

"If Jimmy tells me he can play, I want him to play," manager Charlie Manuel said. "If he's hurt, I'm not going to play him. I want tough players. Philly wants tough players, don't they? And he's one of them. At the same time, if he's hurt, he's not going to play." Rollins said he likely would've played had it been later in the season.

"If it was (game) 155, I'd be medicated heavily and heavily taped," Rollins said. "I want to go out there every day. But it's better to miss two or three games now than to miss three weeks."

Meanwhile, Ryan Madson hasn't pitched since last Friday night in Cincinnati, and even before he played catch Wednesday, manager Charlie Manuel pronounced him unavailable yet again. Madson experienced soreness in the back of his shoulder after tossing two scoreless innings against the Reds. The injury isn't related to the strained shoulder muscle that sidelined Madson for the final two weeks of last season. "I didn't want to just keep throwing through it and be out for three months," said Madson, who insisted he was feeling better and hoped to be cleared to pitch Wednesday night.

METS 8, PHILLIES 2: Fill-in shortstop Eric Bruntlett committed two of the Phillies' four errors in a sloppy loss at Shea Stadium that snapped their nine-game winning streak over the rival Mets. Second baseman Chase Utley and catcher Carlos Ruiz also made errors. The Phillies have committed 13 errors in nine games. Right-hander Kyle Kendrick walked a career-high six batters and lasted only 2 1/3 innings. Pat Burrell picked up two hits to hold his average at .400.

NEWS & NOTES

  • Kyle Kendrick impressed the Phillies last season with his pinpoint control. So it was uncharacteristic for him to issue a career-high six walks in 2 1/3 innings against the Mets on Wednesday night. It took only six batters for him to match his previous career high for walks in a game (three). Barely half of the pitches he threw (36 of 71) were strikes. "They only had four hits (against him), but with six walks, it was like they had 10 hits," Kendrick said. "That's not me. I'm a contact pitcher. I'm trying to make better pitches, and I'm nibbling. I'll learn from it and be better the next time."
  • Eric Bruntlett's first start for the Phillies couldn't have gone any worse. Filling in for injured SS Jimmy Rollins, Bruntlett committed two errors in the Phillies' three-error third inning in which the Mets scored six runs. With the bases loaded, one out, one run already in and the Mets leading 2-1, Jose Reyes punched a grounder that Bruntlett bobbled, allowing Ryan Church to score. After Angel Pagan's two-run double extended the lead to 5-1, David Wright laced a grounder that went under Bruntlett's glove, allowing Reyes to score. "First start for a new team, it's not the impression you want to make," said Bruntlett, acquired with closer Brad Lidge in an offseason trade with Houston. "It was a big spot. That's the ballgame right there. But you just have to try to relax and be ready for the next play. You don't want two to turn into three."
  • Adam Eaton will start Thursday night's finale of the Phillies' three-game series at Shea Stadium, a place where he always has had success. Eaton is 5-0 with a 2.68 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets. At Shea, he is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
  • HE SAID WHAT? "He's an MVP. That's what they do. They do things at special times to win ballgames. You can't teach that. Jimmy has the "it" factor, if you will." - Phillies RF Geoff Jenkins on 2007 NL MVP Jimmy Rollins' first-to-third dash on a sacrifice bunt in a win last week.



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