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Tim Brown

Five and Fly: Phils afire

Big League Stew

It's not often you get four-alarm hysteria after a dozen or so games, but the Philadelphia Phillies are in full hair-afire mode. Jon Lieber goes into the rotation after two (poor) relief appearances, Brett Myers goes into the bullpen after three (two of them poor) starts, Ryan Howard goes lame after one (lousy) home run and manager Charlie Manuel goes apoplectic after one (ill-conceived) post-game question. This doesn't look like it's going to end well for Manuel or the Phillies, proving again that the only thing more painful than a bad team in Philly is a promising team in Philly.

• The folks in Cincinnati are watching closely as manager Jerry Narron takes a stand against the occasional lapses in hustle, in a single week reminding Edwin Encarnacion (with a mid-game benching) and Brandon Phillips (with a stern chat) to run hard on everything. Now, they're asking, what to do about Ken Griffey Jr.'s off-the-wall, stand-up singles?

• One night in baseball: Felix Hernandez (elbow) and Rodrigo Lopez (elbow). They joined recently stricken Jason Schmidt (shoulder), Carl Pavano (forearm), Kelvim Escobar (shoulder), Jamey Wright (shoulder), Jaret Wright (shoulder), Ricky Nolasco (shoulder), Chris Carpenter (elbow), Jason Jennings (elbow) and Rich Harden (shoulder), and those are just the arm ailments. Proving again, you win with pitching, but only if you can keep it on the field.

You get the feeling Ron Gardenhire sat across the field knowing exactly what Mike Hargrove was going through. Seven months ago, Gardenhire had to go get Francisco Liriano in the middle of an inning, an escort that was followed by Tommy John surgery.

• The Ortizes: Ramon and Russ are a combined 4-1, 3.28 ERA, which is just about how we had it figured.

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