As the sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park likely watched victim No. 16 succumb to the disabled list during the Phillies' 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, Brad Lidge turned to Danys Baez in the bullpen.
"Not again," Lidge said to Baez. "How can this be happening again?"
Fill-in first baseman Ross Gload injured his groin in the sixth inning when running to second after hitting a hard liner to right. He was on two knees before he finally touched the bag with his hand.
With Gload on the ground, Charlie Manuel emerged from the dugout only to watch helplessly, a sight so familiar for these 2010 Phils.
But once again, the Phillies didn't let it bother them, scoring a key insurance run. They beat the Dodgers by executing a textbook pitching plan started by Roy Oswalt and finished by Ryan Madson and Lidge.
The Phillies remained 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves, who rallied Wednesday afternoon to defeat Houston.
Oswalt, making his home debut, looked every bit the part of the third ace the Phillies envisioned when they acquired the former Houston pitcher at the trade deadline for J.A. Happ and two prospects.
In seven innings, Oswalt allowed just five hits. He walked two, struck out five, and lowered his season ERA to 3.34. His 109th and final pitch of the night, a 94-m.p.h. fastball, soared past pinch-hitter Matt Kemp's bat. Oswalt, pitching in the air of a pennant race, something he hasn't experienced in years, pumped his fist and departed to a standing ovation.
"There's a lot more adrenaline," Oswalt said of pitching in Philadelphia. "When you're pitching in front of 15,000 people and you're doing nothing but trying to get to the end of the year - there's a lot more excitement here."
Oswalt had allowed six earned runs in 12 1/3 innings over his first two starts with the Phillies. After his last start, in Florida, he said he was going through a "dead arm" period that typically strikes about this time of year.
On Wednesday, he was good from the beginning. Yet again, he pitched with low run support, as he did all season with the Astros. It made the Phillies' sixth inning all the more important, allowing Oswalt and the bullpen to breathe.
Gload led off with the double to right. He was helped off the field by a team athletic trainer, and a strained right groin was diagnosed. Manuel indicated the injury was not as serious as originally thought, but it still could sideline Gload for some time. The team will know more Thursday.
It adds to the myriad injuries this team has suffered, but still the Phillies remain very much in contention. Gload had become a suitable substitute for Ryan Howard (sprained left ankle). He hit .380 in 14 games as a starter with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
Now, should Gload need the disabled list, Mike Sweeney probably will inherit the job until Howard returns. Before the game, Howard walked around the clubhouse with a slight limp and wore a brace for his ankle.
Sweeney pinch-ran for Gload at second. He misread Raul Ibanez's double to left but still raced around the bases in time to score without a throw to home. That provided the Phillies with a key insurance run, considering how the bullpen has performed of late.
For Ibanez, the double extended a career-high hitting streak to 18 games. On July 22, Ibanez was batting .248. He has raised his average 29 points in 20 days. The leftfielder is just one of the Phillies who have stepped up during the stream of injuries.
"Good things can happen to us," Manuel said. "I say that every night. That's how baseball is."