© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
08/26/07 8:03 PM ET
Notes: Utley back, but not activated
All-Star second baseman may return to lineup Monday
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- As it has since July 28, manager Charlie Manuel's Sunday lineup showed Tadahito Iguchi at second base and hitting second. What? No Chase Utley?
"That's the lineup," Manuel said.Utley returned to the team Sunday after a three-game rehabilitation stint with Double-A Reading, in which he went 1-for-10. Though it had been speculated that he might play, Utley wasn't activated for Sunday's series finale against the Padres. His only appearance on the field came during the national anthem. The All-Star second baseman will likely be in the lineup for Monday's game against the Mets. "[The doctors] are going to check him out, but I'd say he's a definite for [Monday]," Manuel said after Sunday's game. "Having Chase in the lineup helps us. He's a tremendous player." The Phillies are 14-13 without Utley, but they have lost six of their past eight games. While Tadahito Iguchi has hit .301 in Utley's stead, and will become a bench player, Utley was hitting .336 with 41 doubles, 17 homers and 82 RBIs -- numbers nearly impossible to duplicate.. No apology forthcoming: Closer Brett Myers' only regret was his choice of words. A day after getting into a shouting match with a reporter, prompted when Myers called the reporter a "retard" because of a question he didn't approve of, Myers said he wished he had consulted with a thesaurus. "Maybe I used my words poorly," Myers said. "There's other words I could've said. It's no disrespect to anybody. It's just a word that came out in the heat of the moment." Myers offered no apology to the reporter, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "If anything, he should apologize," Myers said. "I've had run-ins with him before. He covers high school sports [regularly] and comes in here and tries to stir things up. We definitely didn't need it [Saturday], after a tough loss." Bring me some water, please: Center fielder Aaron Rowand almost didn't make it out of the second inning on Saturday. He's still surprised he did, after an innocent single turned into a exhausting adventure. "I almost died," Rowand said. "The worst part of it was that it happened in the second inning and I had seven innings to go with nothing under me. My legs were jelly." Rowand began the second by singling off Padres starter Clay Hensley, the one normal part of the tale. On the fifth and seventh pitches of Greg Dobbs' 10-pitch at-bat, Rowand tried to steal second, only to have to return when Dobbs fouled the ball off. For those scoring at home, that's 180 feet so far. Rowand took off again on a 3-2 pitch. Dobbs flew out to left, forcing Rowand to hurry back to first, but Bradley's throw skipped away from Adrian Gonzalez, and Rowand turned back around and steamed toward second. "That was the worst, stopping and starting," Rowand said. Two pitches later, Jayson Werth flew to right fielder Brian Giles and Rowand tagged, sliding headfirst. Third-base umpire Wally Bell looked down at the gasping center fielder and said, "I'll give you time." Catcher Carlos Ruiz didn't help when he got right in the box, affording Rowand little time to catch his breath. Ruiz walked and pitcher Kyle Lohse made the final out of the inning, ending Rowand's odyssey at 540 total feet within the span of about 10 minutes on an 89-degree night. "All that and I didn't even score," Rowand said, half laughing. "When Carlos walked, I thought, 'Ball in the dirt,' and I would've been off again. But it was all for nothing." Perhaps Chris Coste summed it up when he called Rowand's escapade, "painfully funny." Twenty-seven and counting: With his three-inning appearance in Sunday's 14-2 victory, righty John Ennis became the 27th pitcher used by the Phillies this season, tying a franchise mark set in 2000. "It only took 26 other guys before I got here," Ennis said. Righty Scott Mathieson, doing well in his recovery from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, will likely establish a franchise mark sometime in September. Did you know? Milton Bradley, the new marked man in Philadelphia who has been engaged in a give-and-take with the fans this weekend, was a high school teammate of Utley's. The two graduated from Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic High School. Bradley graduated in 1996, and Utley followed suit a year later. Philling in: Ryan Howard's homer in the second inning on Sunday snapped an 11-game homerless streak, two fewer than his career-high 13-game stretch from July 23 to Aug. 7, 2005. The slugger had gone 47 plate appearances since connecting off Atlanta's Buddy Carlyle on Aug. 12. ... The 14 runs scored by Philadelphia on Sunday marked the first time in the past eight starts by Kyle Kendrick that the Phillies scored more than five runs. ... OF Shane Victorino missed his second game after tweaking his right calf running to first base on Friday. Jayson Werth went 5-for-5 in his place, making it easier for Manuel to slowly work Werth back in. Coming up: J.D. Durbin, who opposes the Mets' Brian Lawrence in Monday's 7:05 p.m. ET opener, will make his seventh start in the high-pressure environment of a four-game set against the National League East leaders. The right-hander has performed adequately as a starter (4.43 ERA), but he has a 6.75 ERA at Citizens Bank Park. He faced the Mets on June 29, surrendering six runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.