The Philadelphia Phillies realize they are still in contention for a playoff spot. But they also know they must play better if they hope to stay there.
After dropping two straight games to the Colorado Rockies, who have the third-worst record in the NL, the Phillies will look for a better result in the third game of their four-game set at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia, which trails Atlanta by six games in the NL East, received even more bad news on the injury front Wednesday.
A day after learning that left fielder Pat Burrell will miss the rest of the season following wrist surgery, they found out starter Kevin Millwood is out indefinitely because of a sprained ligament and a strained tendon in his pitching elbow. The Phillies are unsure if he’ll finish the season.
“It’s not over, but we’re not helping ourselves,” said reliever Tim Worrell, who allowed three runs in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Rockies.
Worrell, signed to be a setup man, is filling in for closer Billy Wagner, who is out with a shoulder injury. Philadelphia is also missing rookie reliever Ryan Madson, who is sidelined with a finger injury.
The Phillies had won five of six before dropping two straight to the Rockies.
“Obviously, we’ve got to get hot and get some momentum,” catcher Mike Lieberthal said. “Every game is a playoff game now. We’re not pushing any panic buttons yet, but every game is a big game.”
Colorado won its fifth straight road game and improved to 11-3 in its last 14 games away from Coors Field. With the Rockies trailing 3-2 in the ninth Tuesday, pinch-hitter Vinny Castilla delivered a go-ahead, two-run double off Worrell. He then scored on a sacrifice fly.
“It’s nice to have a guy that can take a big swing and make something happen,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
Castilla is second in the NL with 96 RBIs—two behind St. Louis’ Scott Rolen.