On a night when manager Charlie Manuel planned to send Brad Lidge in for the save, the importance of getting the Phillies' star closer back on track might have increased dramatically.
Righthander Chan Ho Park suffered a hamstring injury on his final pitch of the seventh inning, and the immediate prognosis is, at best, a concern.
Park, who is 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA since joining the bullpen in mid-May, said he felt his right hamstring "pop" on the play. Manuel indicated that the veteran righthander could be sidelined for a significant stretch of time.
"He's probably going to be down a while," Manuel said.
Manuel said he did not know whether the injury might jeopardize Park's availability for the postseason.
"We'll probably know more about it tomorrow," Manuel said. "But, yeah, he's out for a while. I'm very concerned about him, because he pulled it pretty good."
Losing Park could cause a domino effect that would hinder the closer-by-committee approach the Phillies have used since last week, since veteran righthander Brett Myers could be needed for more work in the sixth and seventh innings. Over the last 10 days, Manuel has often used Myers as a setup man for Ryan Madson, who has converted four of five save situations since replacing Lidge on Sept. 8 in Washington.
Two other top relievers, lefthander J.C. Romero (forearm strain) and Scott Eyre (elbow), hope to rejoin the team, but both of their statuses are uncertain.
Park was limping badly in the clubhouse after the game. The Phillies plan to evaluate him today, at which point a more definite prognosis should be known. *