Jun 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) in the on deck circle in the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Howard’s Knee is the New Chase Utley’s Knee

Ryan Howard will leave the Phillies’ lineup tonight, due to knee problems that we can all assume are ongoing.

Howard was just starting to heat up, so it makes perfect sense that his nagging knee soreness would intensify to the point of debilitation.  In the past seven games, he’s gone 6-for-16, with two doubles and two home runs.  He has also walked twice and struck out eight times.

And that’s it, that’s all of the at-bats.

Wow.

So yeah, that’s good enough to be “hot” in this lineup, and it put his small sample OPS over 1.300, a friendly sign in these dark times.  The loss of him means we’ll see Kevin Frandsen or John Mayberry or somebody who shouldn’t be there at first.  Of course, you could argue that Howard shouldn’t even be there, but at least he’s got a nice smile.

Though Frandsen’s got a good one too.  I don’t think I’ve seen Mayberry smile for a while.

Eh.

So, a few days after Charlie Manuel’s real lineup took form upon Chase Utley’s return, the beast that is this lineup will take another hideous form, forcing people to fill roles they are not accustomed to or be out there when they shouldn’t be.

Is Mini Mart still around?  No?  Good.

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