Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel didn't want to erase Cliff Lee's name from the starting rotation, but he had to because a left oblique strain caused him to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
An injury to one of their top pitchers is hardly what this team needed right now, but that is what they got.
One more piece off the table
This Phillies team has played slightly under .500 baseball through the first few weeks of the season. With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley already out of action indefinitely, the loss of one of their three aces is troubling.
Lee looked great during the 10 innings of shutout ball that he threw earlier this week against the San Francisco Giants. But, apparently he strained his left oblique during that final inning and was shelved before Saturday night's game against the San Diego Padres.
Through three starts he has an absurd 2012 statistical line that includes a 0.696 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched), a 1.96 ERA and a 0-1 record.
Kyle Kendrick has been a good swing man for the Phillies over the years and should do an adequate job in Lee's absence.
The coming summer storm
Philadelphia's hockey team is rightfully garnering the attention of a majority of sports fans within the region at the moment. As long as they keep advancing in the playoffs, the Phillies will continue to duck everyone's direct digital gaze.
Once the iced oval has been 'Zambonied' for the last time, Philadelphia's baseball team will then move into the cross hairs. Once the summer season hits and the kids are out of school, everyone will feel the pressure quickly build within Citizens Bank Park.
If Charlie Manuel's squad is still playing sub .500 baseball by June, lookout. Even though the Phillies have played playoff baseball for five consecutive seasons, this refreshed baseball town has a shallow pedigree.
Many fans are not of the hardcore variety and generally come to the park to party. If the familiar winning tune doesn't play consistently, that great baseball home might be sullied by various unruly creatures who falsely believe that every season must equal victory.
Life doesn't work that way and as all old school fans know, the 1979 and 1982 seasons didn't lead to Doomsville.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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