Phillies’ Shane Victorino Questionable for Game 6

NEW YORK — Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino was examined by doctors Tuesday and manager Charlie Manuel said he isn't sure if he'll be able to play in Game 6 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Victorino was struck on his right index finger by an A.J. Burnett fastball in the first inning of Philadelphia's 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night. X-rays were negative but the injury appeared to bother him throughout the game.

"He'll probably get in the ballpark early tomorrow, and when he first comes in, I'll go talk to him and I'll go talk to our trainer when our trainer comes in," Manuel said Tuesday. "I'll be there when they get there. They just said he's day to day, and they said he's going to have some soreness in his finger. We'll see."

Victorino said his hand was fine after Monday's win and he expected to play when the Series shifted back to Yankee Stadium. But the All-Star switch hitter gingerly removed his batting gloves after each at-bat in Game 5 and had trouble gripping the bat and throwing the ball because his finger was swollen.

Victorino went 0-for-3 and was replaced in the eighth inning by Ben Francisco. Manuel said Francisco probably will start Game 6 if Victorino can't go.

Victorino's absence would be a difficult blow for Philadelphia, which needs to win the last two games of the Series to win its second consecutive title. He hit .292 this season with 10 homers, 62 RBIs and a major league-high 13 triples.

Good-Natured Ribbing: Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner tweaked teammate Nick Swisher on Tuesday after the right fielder poked fun at him following his outstanding catch in Game 5.

Gardner robbed Phillies slugger Jayson Werth of extra bases in the fifth inning of New York's 8-6 loss, making a leaping grab on the warning track. Gardner slammed his back into the wall and was down for a few minutes, but remained in the game.

After manager Joe Girardi and assistant athletic trainer Steve Donohue came out to check on Gardner, the effervescent Swisher needled Gardner, saying that he was just trying to get on television.

"Him, of all people," Gardner said, drawing laughs.

The speedy Gardner, starting in center for the injured Melky Cabrera, said he wasn't worried about getting hurt and leaving the Yankees desperately thin at a key position.

"If it's 15-0 right there I'm going to do the same thing. That might not be smart of me, but that's how I play," Gardner said. "If I'm the guy on the mound, I want the guy out there to catch it."

Spirited Defense Phillies manager Charlie Manuel defended Cole Hamels on Tuesday, saying there was no quit in the left-hander.

After a rough outing in Game 3, Hamels caused a stir when he said he couldn't wait for the season to end. He met with Manuel for about 15 minutes Monday night.

"I want you to listen to this," Manuel said on the Series' last scheduled off day. "I never, ever questioned his mental toughness because he's just as tough as anybody on our team. And I mean that. That part I've never, ever doubted.

"He is a gamer and he's a fighter," the manager added. "I can't say enough about him, really. That's kind of how I see him."

Last year's World Series and NLCS MVP, Hamels is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four starts in the 2009 playoffs after going 10-11 in the regular season.

It would be Hamels' turn to take the mound if a Game 7 is necessary on Thursday but Manuel wasn't ready to commit to him Tuesday.

"Right now, we're going to play tomorrow's game," Manuel said. "We don't look back and we don't look ahead."

Bolstered Lineup: The Yankees' lineup for Game 6 should have more bite with the return of designated hitter Hideki Matsui and catcher Jorge Posada.

Matsui was limited to pinch-hitting duties in Philadelphia and Posada didn't start Monday night's 8-6 loss because light-hitting Jose Molina was behind the plate again for A.J. Burnett's start.

"It really makes the lineup a lot stronger," Posada said.

Matsui is 5-for-9 with two homers and two RBIs in the Series while the switch-hitting Posada is batting .313 and has driven in five runs against the Phillies.

"Getting Matsui back is always important to our lineup," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been a huge hitter in our lineup … a great RBI guy, big hits, home runs, so that's a very good thing."

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