The Phillies replaced Andrew McCutchen on Sunday with two hits from Odubel Herrera, but it won’t be that easy if McCutchen’s sore left knee leads to an extended absence. McCutchen had an MRI on Sunday, but the Phillies won’t have more information until Monday.

McCutchen is expected to miss at least a few games. He has a .964 OPS since June 1 and has been one of the team’s most productive hitters. The Phils are already scrambling for production in center field, and their postseason hopes could be in trouble if they have to find it in left.

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— Matt Breen (extrainnings@inquirer.com)

The rundown

Spencer Howard, another faded Phillies prospect, is “at peace” with getting traded, Scott Lauber writes.

The Phillies shuffled their rotation this weekend. Ranger Suárez and Chase Anderson are in, and Vince Velasquez and Matt Moore are out.

Kyle Gibson had a strong Phillies debut and other observations from Sunday’s 15-4 win over the Pirates.

Phillies minor leaguer Daniel Brito had surgery after collapsing during game in Rochester, N.Y.

Important dates

Today: Ranger Suárez enters rotation vs. Nationals, 7:05 p.m.

Tomorrow: Zack Wheeler faces Patrick Corbin, 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday: Chase Anderson starts against the Nats, 7:05 p.m.

Thursday: Aaron Nola starts the series finale, 4:05 p.m.

Friday: Kyle Gibson pitches series opener vs. Mets, 7:05 p.m.

Stat of the day

The Phillies ended July with 130 runs scored, their highest total for that month since 2011 (a season in which they set a franchise record for wins in a season), when they scored 138. The 2021 Phillies hit 38 home runs in July, their highest total for that month since the World Series-winning year of 2008, when they slugged a franchise-record (for July) 42 homers, and third-highest total ever (41 in July 1977).

From the mailbag

Send questions by email or on Twitter @matt_breen.

Question: Why do the Phillies have such trouble with bad teams? Always! — Paul E. via email

Answer: Thanks, Paul. I asked Joe Girardi before Saturday’s game why teams with bad records such as the Pirates give the Phillies trouble. Here’s what he said: “You know what it is? I think young kids start to figure out who they are the more they play and they play to their potential. Sometimes there’s kids who you figure out their weaknesses, but I had a really young team and it took us 40-plus games for us to figure it out and for them to believe in themselves. Sometimes when you’re a young kid, you have confidence, but the first time you get knocked down a little bit, you’re like ‘Hmm. Can I do this?’ Then you figure out you can, and that’s when they’re really dangerous.”