Ryan Howard sat out last night’s game after fouling a ball off his right foot and is also expected to get a cortisone injection in his sore left ankle today, so he’s unlikely to be back in the Phillies’ lineup before Thursday.
Howard would almost surely play through bursitis in his ankle if the Phillies hadn’t already clinched the division title and weren’t a near-lock for homefield advantage. Or as the former MVP put it: “The focus is towards October and being healthy for October.”
As usual Howard is knocking in a ton of runs, leading the league with 113 RBIs, but he’s also posted career-lows in batting average (.249), slugging percentage (.490), and OPS (.833) while hitting just .237 in 120 games since a strong April.
Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.
The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.
Red Sox third base prospect Rafael Devers notched his first major league hit in style on Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners. The 20-year-old smashed a solo home run to straightaway center field, padding his team’s lead to 2-0 in the third inning.
Per MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter account, Devers is currently the youngest player in baseball at 20 years and 275 days. He went 0-for-4 with a pair of walks and a run scored in Tuesday’s 13-inning loss to the Mariners.