Hunter Pence to undergo precautionary MRI for patellar tendinitis

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The Phillies have dropped four games in a row, including a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Nationals today. Big deal. Now here’s something to potentially worry about.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Hunter Pence has patellar tendinitis in his left knee and will undergo a precautionary MRI tomorrow.

Pence left the first game of today’s doubleheader in the sixth inning with the injury, which Charlie Manuel said was the result of “sliding or something.” He was held out of the lineup for the second game, but downplayed the situation in comments to Salisbury, saying that the knee was “a little tight” and that they were “just trying to be smart.” The Phillies have already clinched their division and home field advantage, so they can afford to play it safe here, but we’ll soon learn if there is legitimate reason for concern.

Pence is batting .317/.386/.541 with nine home runs, 28 RBI and a .927 OPS over 47 games since being acquired from the Astros at the trade deadline.

UPDATE: Pence tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he has played with the injury all season and that he doesn’t believe it’s serious.

Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts today

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Did you have a bad day? It’s OK. We all do sometimes. It’s just part of life. Even ballplayers have bad days. Even the good ones.

Odubel Herrera is a good one. He’s only 25, but he’s already got two seasons of above average hitting under his belt. Dude gets on base. He could be a regular for tons of teams, so there’s no shame at all in him having a bad day. And boy howdy did he have a bad day today. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the Phillies extra innings win against the Rockies.

“I feel that I am making good swings but I’m just missing the pitches,” Herrera said.

Well, that is how strikeouts work.

Four strikeouts in a game is known as a Golden Sombrero. Players don’t strike out five times in a game very often so they don’t have an agreed upon name, but I’ve seen it referred to as the “platinum sombrero,” which seems pretty solid for such a feat. Six is a titanium sombrero or a double platinum sombrero, though there are references to it as a “Horn,” for Sam Horn, who deserves something to be named in his honor. Horn is like Moe Greene — a great man, a man of vision and guts — yet there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him!

But I digress.

The last time a Phillies player did it was when Pat Burrell K’d five times in September 2008. The Phillies won the World Series that year, of course, so maybe this is an omen. [looks at standings] Or maybe not.

Anyway, get a good night’s sleep tonight, Odubel. Shake it off. Tomorrow is another day.

Rachel Robinson to receive O’Neil Award from the Hall of Fame

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NEW YORK (AP) Rachel Robinson will receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, the day before this year’s induction ceremony.

She’s the wife of late Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. Rachel Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 1973, a year after he husband’s death. Rachel Robinson, who turns 95 in July 19, headed the foundation’s board until 1996.

The O’Neil award was established in 2007 to honor individuals who broaden the game’s appeal and whose character is comparable to that of O’Neil. He played in the Negro Leagues, was a scout for major league baseball teams and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award was given to O’Neil in 2008, Roland Hemond in 2011 and Joe Garagiola in 2014.