AP Photo/Morry Gash
Phillips gave his owners one last piece of production with a game-winning single in the 11th inning as the Reds beat the Brewers, but found out after the game that he broke his right index finger earlier in that at-bat while trying to bunt for a base hit.
He is flying home Wednesday to be looked at by the team's medical staff, but with the Reds not playing for anything, it appears his season will be over.
Phillips did a good job in following up his 30/30 campaign in 2007. While he only hit .262 this season, he did have 21 homers and stole 23 bases.
The recently returned Jerry Hairston Jr. should see quite a bit of time at second in Phillips' absence, with Danny Richar and Jolbert Cabrera possibly seeing a spot start here and there in Cincinnati.
Compounding the injury issues for the Reds and fantasy owners, Chris Dickerson missed a third consecutive start due to an ankle injury, and is likely to be out Wednesday as well, partly because CC Sabathia will be on the mound. Since being promoted to the big leagues after Adam Dunn was dealt to the Diamondbacks, Dickerson has been a fantasy stud, hitting .322 with six homers and five steals in just 24 games, setting him up for a potential starting job in 2009.
His ankle is still sore, but the good news is that after skipping a tough lefty Wednesday and an off day Thursday, the hope is he'll be ready to go for the weekend.
Torii Hunter left Tuesday's game with tightness in his left quad, and was replaced by Gary Matthews. It's possible he could be out for a few games. Paul Konerko suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee in the second game of the White Sox's doubleheader. He's scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday to confirm the diagnosis, and at that point we'll have more of a timetable for how long he is going to be out. It was bad timing, as he had homered in three straight games before Tuesday. Travis Hafner was recalled from Double-A and was immediately back in the lineup as a DH batting fifth, recording two singles. It was his first big league game since May 25. His playing time is uncertain going forward, because Victor Martinez is also getting DH at-bats. Hafner likely is not going to be an every-day player for the duration of the season. Called up from Triple-A earlier in the day, Dan Johnson hit a game-tying homer in the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon. Keith Law has noted that Paps has become overly reliant on his fastball, and he fed Johnson six straight heaters in the at-bat before Johnson timed one. In fact, in giving up the lead and eventually losing the game, 19 of the 20 pitches Papelbon threw in the inning were fastballs, including the first 18 when all of the damage was done. Milton Bradley left the Rangers game after straining his back in his first at-bat. Who is Alfredo Aceves? A control specialist signed by the Yankees out of the Mexican League before the season, the 25-year-old baffled the Angels over seven innings with his four-pitch repertoire in his first major league start. I'm not ready to run out and pick him up, but I was intrigued enough with the way he mixed in his secondary pitches with his 89-91 mph fastball to watch his next start closely. Aceves beat Ervin Santana, who was knocked around after being moved up a day because of the cuts on Jered Weaver's hand. Jeremy Sowers limited the Orioles to just one run over eight innings, striking out seven in his best start of the season. Then again, it was the Orioles. A.J. Burnett has quietly posted a career-high 208 strikeouts after allowing just one hit and an unearned run in the first game of the twinbill. Burnett has a 3.19 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break. Jesse Litsch continues to pitch well since returning from the minors, with a strong seven innings in the second game. He's thrown five straight quality starts, allowing a 1.26 ERA and 1.01 WHIP since being promoted, and looks to be a solid play for the stretch run. Meanwhile, the Jays have won 10 in a row. Troy Glaus left his game in the third inning with a right shoulder strain, an injury that has bothered him for a while but really flared up on a swing during the contest. He's scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday and is likely to miss at least a few games. Freddy Sanchez departed in the second inning with blurred vision in his right eye, and is considered day-to-day. Chris Volstad took a line drive off the leg in the third inning that caused him to leave the game with a contusion. It's possible he could miss one start. Manuel Corpas has quietly rebounded to closer form. He has a 1.38 ERA in 25 games in the second half after finding the sink on his fastball again. Jayson Werth stole two bases, making him 16-for-17 on the season. He has a good shot at becoming a 20/20 player, with 22 homers already in the books. Ryan Howard hit homer No. 41, blasting his fourth in six games. Dana Eveland has a 3.12 ERA in four starts since changing his delivery in the minors. He threw six solid innings Tuesday but got a no-decision. After being activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Vicente Padilla allowed just an unearned run over five innings to beat Felix Hernandez, who gave up six runs, six hits, walked four, and hit three batters. Hernandez fell back into the rut of throwing way too many fastballs early in the game. The Rangers, having seen him do that against them just six days ago, were ready, and pounced on him for four early runs. Carlos Delgado went yard twice, and is hitting an even .300 with 18 homers in the second half. Luis Ayala picked up his sixth save in seven chances for the Mets. Ramon Ramirez allowed just one hit over six in his second big league start, but is still a risky play for the stretch. Defying expectations, Randy Wolf has a 3.81 ERA in nine starts since joining the Astros after a quality start to beat the Pirates on Tuesday. The minute you roster him is the minute he blows up. That's the way it works. Amazingly, the Astros are just four back in the wild-card race. Albert Pujols homered for his third straight game. Brian Wilson blew just his fourth save of the season in 41 chances after surrendering a ninth-inning homer to Chris Snyder, but picked up the win in the bottom of the inning.
Lance Berkman, Astros
He slugged a three-run homer and had four total RBIs to beat the Pirates. However, while the Astros have the best record since the All-Star break, he has just six homers and 24 RBIs in that time, compared to 22 and 73 before then.
Brian Bannister, Royals
He tied Justin Verlander for the American League lead with his 15th loss after getting tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings. Bannister has lost his past nine decisions, with his last win coming June 23.
Dontrelle Willis and Freddy Garcia will both get starts for the Tigers next week. Willis will go Monday and Garcia on Wednesday. Willis needs to show his control problems are behind him, and Garcia needs to demonstrate he can succeed despite diminished velocity from shoulder surgery before either is a fantasy consideration again. Both Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden are on track to return to the rotation for the Cubs this week, with Harden on Thursday and Zambrano on Saturday. Zambrano, in particular, needs to show that he can not only pitch, but also pitch effectively after getting knocked around in his previous six outings. Even if healthy, he may not be the "Big Z" we've grown accustomed to. Hong-Chih Kuo is being shut down for "another day or so" due to a sore elbow, according to the team Web site. Normally, this isn't a big deal, but considering Kuo has had four elbow surgeries, including two Tommy Johns, and reportedly considered retirement before the last procedure, it becomes a larger issue. It looks as if the Dodgers will get some more of their walking wounded back, as Brad Penny is expected to be activated Wednesday to fill a bullpen role, and closer Takashi Saito is expected to work a simulated game Wednesday, which could lead to his activation this weekend if all goes well. Rafael Furcal (back) will be one of the batters in that game, as he looks to be back early next week barring any setbacks. Carlos Quentin hasn't ruled out a return this season after his wrist surgery, but if he does, any impact he has likely would be limited to the final week. Ramon Castro is expected to be activated Friday and get most of the playing time at catcher for the Mets against left-handed pitching. B.J. Upton hopes to return from his strained quad Friday, but Evan Longoria is not expected back until the weekend. David Ortiz received a long-overdue day of rest against a tough left-hander in Scott Kazmir. Emmanuel Burriss' strained oblique muscle could end his season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Jeremy Guthrie was a late scratch from his start due to the flu. He was replaced -- and not particularly well -- by Radhames Liz. The fate of the rest of Mark Ellis' season rests on the results of an MRI on his shoulder. Bobby Crosby will see reduced playing time for the balance of the season so the team can get more of a look at Cliff Pennington.
"[Chris] Carpenter will be going down to the bullpen not as a Cy Young Award winner, but as the new closer. Maybe he'll convert the culture or maybe he'll blend into it. Sometimes, when they are in between starts, starters will go down and hang out in the bullpen -- but a lot of bullpens don't like that. They'd be like 'This is our territory, you're a starter, get out of here.'"
-- Orel Hershiser Baseball Tonight Clubhouse
• The Red Sox recalled Bartolo Colon from Triple-A, and he is penciled in to start one of the games of the team's doubleheader Saturday. However, unless something changes, there appears to be no room for him in the rotation after that.
• The Cubs called up outfielder Felix Pie from Triple-A, where he hit .287 with 10 homers after being sent down May 14. He was the team's Opening Day center fielder.
• The Athletics granted Mike Sweeney's request to be released rather than be put on the 60-day disabled list, as he would like to try to contribute to another team before the end of the season. The chances of him being picked up may not be that great, and he'll have no value if he does.
• The Cardinals activated Brian Barton from the disabled list, even though he is limited to pinch-running at the moment due to his strained oblique. When fully healthy, he'll play center field against left-handed pitching.
• David Price worked six innings in Game 1 of the Governor's Cup Finals in the International League on Tuesday night, allowing four runs and striking out nine, picking up a no-decision, as Triple-A Durham lost to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The sooner Durham gets knocked out, the sooner we'll see Price in the Rays bullpen for the stretch run.
• Meanwhile, top A's pitching prospect Brett Anderson picked up a win in the Pacific Coast League finals, allowing two solo homers over five innings. Anderson is a somewhat under-the-radar starting prospect who deserves attention, as the southpaw has a chance at starting quite a few games in Oakland next season.
• Buster Posey, the fifth overall pick in this year's draft, followed up an 0-for-5 night Monday with a 1-for-4 outing batting cleanup for high Class A San Jose in their playoff series. With the Giants' recent quick promotion of Conor Gillaspie, the end of San Jose's run could mean a late callup for Posey as well, which could have an impact in dynasty and keeper leagues as far as putting one of the top catching prospects in the game on your roster for the future.