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Phillies' Shane Victorino could miss Game 6

The Gold Glove center fielder is hit on the hand while trying to bunt in the first inning of Philadelphia's Game 5 victory and eventually has to come out. X-rays reveal no broken bones.

November 03, 2009|Kevin Baxter and Bill Shaikin

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies are taking the World Series back to New York, but they may be missing their starting center fielder when they get there.

Shane Victorino was hit on the hand while trying to bunt an A.J. Burnett fastball in the first inning Monday and eventually had to leave the game because of severe swelling.

"He had X-rays, and it's not broken," said Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel. "But as the game went on, his finger kept swelling. He couldn't grip the ball and couldn't grip the bat."

Victorino has struggled in the Series, batting .167. But he's a Gold Glove outfielder and is second on the team with three runs scored. So his absence would leave a big hole at the top of the Philadelphia lineup.

"Probably tomorrow his finger is going to be sore," Manuel said. "It's definitely not broken or didn't have a fracture."

If Victorino can't play in Game 6 on Wednesday, the Phillies can petition to replace him on their roster as the Yankees did Monday when they named infielder Ramiro Pena to take Melky Cabrera's spot of their roster.

Cabrera, who was hitting .271 in the postseason, left Sunday's game after straining a hamstring. Brett Gardner replaced Cabrera in the Yankee lineup.

Signs everywhere

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada visited pitcher CC Sabathia six times in the first inning of Game 4, then eight more times in the fifth. Posada was roundly booed, the game was reduced to a snail's pace, and everyone wondered why all this was necessary.

ESPN's Buster Olney offered one possible explanation: "There has long been a concern among visiting teams that the Phillies steal signs from their bullpen [behind center field] and relay them to the hitter."

In the interview room before Game 5, Victorino offered two long responses, talking a lot but never flatly denying his team stole signs. Maybe the Phillies do, or maybe Victorino just doesn't mind if the Yankees think they do.

Manuel was a little clearer.

"I can tell you this, if I can steal signs, I will," he said. "We don't have their signs and we're not stealing their signs. But we are trying."


The back page of Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer had a five-column department store ad congratulating the Phillies on winning back-to-back World Series and hawking championship merchandise.

The Phillies, of course, woke Monday facing elimination and still trail the Yankees 3-2 despite Monday's victory.

The store placing the ad? The New York-based Macy's chain, which apologized for the error.

Long and short of it

The fragile state of the Phillies' bullpen could make a lengthy outing from Pedro Martinez necessary in Game 6.

Martinez averaged just under five innings in nine regular-season starts, but he went seven innings against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series and six against the Yankees in Game 2 of the World Series.

"I expect probably something similar to what we got the other night," Manuel said.


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