The Phillies were able to pull out a 7-4 win Sunday afternoon against the Cubs to split a four-game series, but suffered a loss even in victory.
Cesar Hernandez suffered a dislocated left thumb in a collision with the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo at first base in the seventh (video) and there is concern about the ligament in his hand. Hernandez will visit a hand specialist on Monday, and it appears the injury could bring the 25-year-old's season to an end a few weeks early.
Howard would extend that lead with a two-run home run, his 22nd of the season, in the bottom of the third.
The Cubs would slowly chip away at the Phillies' lead, entering the seventh down just 4-3.That is when the fateful play that will potentially end Hernandez's season took place.
With two outs in the seventh, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo would hit a ground ball to Hernandez for what would seemingly be the third out. Hernandez would drop the ball while trying to flip it to Howard, however.
Hernandez would recover the ball and get to first after Rizzo had reached the base, colliding with him and sending both men to the ground. Hernandez would exit the game immediately, and in visible pain, with a dislocated left thumb.
The Cubs would also tie the game during the play, but the Phillies would be able to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch. The Phillies would tack on two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on their way to a 7-4 win, but would suffer the loss of Hernandez in the process.
Hernandez had been solid in 2015, batting .272 with a 20 doubles, four triples, one home run, 35 RBIs, 57 runs scored and 19 stolen bases.
With Hernandez likely finished for the year, Darnell Sweeney, who was acquired in the trade that sent Chase Utley to the Dodgers, could see additional playing time. The 24-year-old Sweeney has hit .191 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 47 at-bats (55 plate appearances) this season.
By: Kyle Babcock
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