PITTSBURGH - It looks like the Phillies dodged a couple bullets this weekend after starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and outfielder Daniel Nava were injured in Friday night's win.
Hellickson, who exited Friday after tweaking his lower back, reiterated Saturday morning that he feels good and thinks he'll make his next start. That would come Wednesday at home against the Rockies.
Hellickson's back tightened up following a swing during his seventh-inning at-bat. He doubled on the next pitch and clearly was not running at full speed. Pete Mackanin came out with the Phillies' trainer, and though Hellickson told them he thought he could continue, Mackanin quickly decided to not take any chances.
Hellickson was frustrated after the game because it was the most locked-in he's been since his first few starts. There have been some extenuating circumstances in his nine starts, but he's surprisingly yet to throw 100 pitches in a game this season.
Hellickson allowed just two hits and one earned run over six innings against the Pirates and had thrown just 53 pitches in five innings after a 31-pitch first. Mackanin said after the game that with the way Hellickson was throwing, a complete game could have been in store.
The Phillies do not have a day off until June 1 so skipping Hellickson in the rotation or getting him an extra day is not really an option. That's especially the case with the lack of innings the Phillies have gotten out of their starting rotation.
Hellickson's outing Friday was the first time a Phillies starting pitcher has gone at least six innings and allowed two runs or less since Zach Eflin did it on April 29, which was 17 games ago.
As for Nava, he's day to day with a left hamstring injury. It's the first of his career so he's not totally sure when he'll be ready to return, but he doesn't think it's serious. He pulled the hamstring beating out a double-play ball in the third inning Friday but felt good enough to stay in the game three more innings and score on a sacrifice fly after doubling down the left-field line.