Phillies

Bryce Harper admits HBP was a 'scary' moment, but it sounds like he'll be OK

Bryce Harper admits HBP was a 'scary' moment, but it sounds like he'll be OK

NEW YORK — Friday night wasn't a fun one for the Phillies, but they at least avoided disaster. While Bryce Harper's hand was wrapped and sore after the Phils' 5-4 walk-off loss to the Mets, X-rays were negative.

The Phillies have called it a right-hand contusion.

As of now, no further testing is scheduled. Harper is unsure whether he can play Saturday night. It is a tricky spot. The Phillies are fading out of the wild-card race and every game carries extreme importance. Harper wants to play. But exacerbating a hand injury is not something any slugger wants to do. 

"I don't know yet. See tomorrow how I feel," he said. "Of course, we're in the stretch right now so if I can be in there, I'm gonna be in there. But gotta be careful too."

Harper could not grip a bat after Steven Matz hit him in the hand with a 92 mph sinker in the third inning. He remained in the game to run but was removed for Sean Rodriguez a half-inning later.

"Any time it squares you up a little bit, it's scary," Harper said. "Definitely wanted to get on first and keep the game going. But yeah, it wasn't good."

Nor was Friday's ending. For the second straight game, reliever Nick Vincent was dealt a walk-off loss. The winning run scored when Vincent walked Pete Alonso with the bases loaded in the ninth.

The Phillies are 72-68 and remain four games behind the Cubs, who also lost Friday to the Brewers.



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Phillies manager update: Dusty Baker has second interview, Buck Showalter on tap Friday, Joe Girardi still to come

Phillies manager update: Dusty Baker has second interview, Buck Showalter on tap Friday, Joe Girardi still to come

Interviews continued Thursday for the Phillies’ vacant manager’s job.

According to multiple sources, Dusty Baker spent a second straight day in Philadelphia meeting with club officials. Baker went through a first round of interviews on Wednesday.

Buck Showater and Joe Girardi met with Phillies officials on Monday in the New York metropolitan area, according to multiple sources.

Showalter has been working as an analyst for the YES Network in New York during the postseason. Sources say he pulled out of his scheduled assignments for Thursday and Friday nights because he will be in Philadelphia for a second round of interviews on Friday.

Girardi is expected to have a second round of interviews early next week.

Though it’s possible more candidates could emerge, the Phillies are currently focused on just these three candidates.

“They want major-league experience,” a person with knowledge of the Phillies’ thinking said earlier this week.

Baker, Showalter and Girardi have a combined 53 years of big-league managing experience and they have won a combined seven manager of the year awards and 13 division titles. Girardi led the New York Yankees to the World Series title in 2009. His club beat the Phillies in six games.

Girardi may very well be the Phillies’ preferred candidate because of his experience working with a front office that values the use of analytics in building a roster and running a game. The Yankees are one of baseball’s analytic powerhouses. Girardi, however, is a former catcher who also relies on instinct and feel in running a game. That balance would be attractive to the Phillies.

Girardi is also being pursued by the New York Mets and they have geography going for them as Girardi lives outside the city.

With the second round of interviews underway, it's possible the Phils could name a manager as early as next Thursday, between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series.



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Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

Another sign that Joe Girardi will be hired to manage somewhere soon

In another sign that he's likely to return to managing in the majors in 2020, Joe Girardi stepped down as the manager of USA Baseball, the organization announced Wednesday.

Girardi, who is believed to have met with Phillies officials Monday, is a strong candidate for multiple open manager jobs. The Phillies are interested, and the Cubs and Mets appear to be hot after him as well.

Girardi is the overwhelming fan choice to manage the Phillies. It's hard not to see the appeal of his combination of experience, blend of new school and old school and track record of winning. Phillies fans seem to prefer Girardi to Buck Showalter, whose teams haven't advanced as far in the postseason.

Girardi has played things differently this year than last. He had two interviews for the Reds job last fall but pulled himself out of the process, saying it wasn't the right time.

Now, he wants to manage. And the openings this time around are more appealing — three major market clubs in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The Mets do not spend to their market size but the Phillies and Cubs have done so in win-now periods.

It is much more likely that the Phillies would be forced into a bidding war for Girardi than for Showalter because of the number of interested teams.



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