Phillies Notes

Reliever

Tom Gordon

showed up at the ballpark yesterday with severe flu-like systems and had to be taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in a precautionary move, the Phillies announced minutes before last night's game.

Gordon, 39, who is on the disabled list with a right rotator-cuff strain, had a temperature of 104 degrees, general manager Pat Gillick said, and was expected to be in the hospital overnight.

It is doubtful Gordon will be able to come off the DL on Thursday, the first day he can be reinstated.

Before he knew about Gordon's illness, manager Charlie Manuel was asked what Gordon's role - closer or setup man to Brett Myers - would be when he returned.

Manuel smiled and said he wasn't sure.

It is widely believed that Myers will be the closer the rest of the season.

Howard sits

For the fourth straight game, first baseman

Ryan Howard

was not in the starting lineup because of a sore left quadriceps, and Manuel said Howard was unlikely to play today.

Howard had ripped a pinch-hit grand slam to trigger a 9-3 win at Arizona on Wednesday, but Manuel said he sat out last night's game as a precautionary measure.

Howard had an MRI performed yesterday on his quadriceps and sore left knee. Ruben Amaro, the club's assistant general manager, said the MRI showed that Howard had a quad strain and a small bruise. "He's day-to-day," Amaro said, adding that Howard was available to pinch-hit last night.

The knee has a bone bruise but "nothing major," Amaro said.

If Howard is put on the disabled list, the Phils would probably recall Chris Coste from triple-A Ottawa. Coste was hitting .235 entering last night.

Madson improving

Reliever

Ryan Madson,

sidelined by a strained left side, continues to make progress. He was exercising and playing short-toss yesterday. In the next week, he will throw on the side and, in all likelihood, make two appearances at double-A Reading before being activated.

Madson (0-2, 3.63 ERA) is eligible to come off the disabled list next Saturday. The righthander said he hopes to rejoin the team when it begins a road trip in Florida on May 22.

Notes

Aaron Rowand,

who singled in his first at-bat last night, has hit safely in 26 of his last 28 games. . . . Entering last night, the Phils were 30 for 37 in steals (81.1 percent), the league's second-highest percentage. Cincinnati was first at 84.4 percent.

- Sam Carchidi