That was about the extent of the postgame intel on Utley's right thumb injury. We know he hurt it while sliding headfirst into second base in the fourth inning on a failed attempt to stretch a leadoff single into a double. We know he remained in the game for the next 4 1/2 innings. We know he grounded out in the sixth. We know he was involved in several fielding plays after the injury occurred - fielding and throwing to first on a fourth-inning groundout, booting a routine grounder off the heel of his glove in the sixth, and catching a popup and recording the putout on a sacrifice bunt in the seventh.
Everything else will have to wait until today, when the Phillies say Utley will be evaluated by a doctor. That evaluation will include an MRI on his thumb, Phils assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.
Utley declined to comment through a team spokesman, so for at least 1 night the possibility of the Phillies losing their second baseman for an extended period of time hung in the air.
Even a short absence would be tough to handle, putting manager Charlie Manuel in the unenviable position of having to fill out a lineup that includes backups at third base (where Placido Polanco is battling elbow soreness), catcher (where Carlos Ruiz is sidelined with a concussion until at least Saturday) and second base.
"Hopefully he's not seriously, seriously hurt, but for him to leave the game, that in itself says that, you know . . . ," centerfielder Shane Victorino said, leaving the thought unfinished. "I mean that's the last guy who's going to take himself out of the game, so he's obviously hurting."
The Phillies struggled last night even with Utley in the lineup.
Used to be, this was the type of series they could look forward to. Over the previous three seasons, they'd won 14 of their 21 games against the Reds. Last year, they scored more runs against them (54), than they did against any other nondivision opponent.
Except these aren't last year's Reds, destined to watch their playoff hopes float on by like the rotted tree trunks and other miscellaneous junk that can sometimes be spotted behind the rightfield foul pole on the muddy Ohio River. They entered last night with two more wins than the third-place Phillies, who are now 40-34 and 3 1/2 games behind the Braves, and leading the Cardinals by a half-game in the NL Central.
Pete Rose and Tony Perez might not be walking through that door, but the way Scott Rolen and Joey Votto have played it might not matter.
It certainly didn't matter last night as the two corner infielders touched Kyle Kendrick for four RBI and starter Johnny Cueto held the Phillies lineup to one run in eight innings.
Kendrick retired the first 10 batters he faced before allowing doubles to Orlando Cabrera (he was later thrown out attempting to steal third) and Votto and a two-run homer to Rolen that lined off the foul pole in leftfield.
The Reds would add two more in the sixth, following Utley's error, with consecutive singles by Brandon Phillips, Cabrera and Votto and a sacrifice fly by Rolen, and two in the seventh. In all, Kendrick was charged with six runs - five earned - in 6 1/3 innings, although he said later that he felt much better with his performance than he did 5 days before, when he allowed five runs - four earned - in five innings against the Indians.
It has been an interesting season for Kendrick, who was supposed to start the season in the bullpen but has remained in the rotation thanks to injuries to Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ. Blanton has already returned, and Happ is scheduled to make his fifth rehab start tonight. If Happ returns from an elbow strain that has hampered him, Kendrick is the likely candidate to go. Kendrick has allowed at least five runs in seven of his starts, tied with Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton for the most in the National League this season (he entered last night tied with Randy Wells, Wandy Rodriguez, Rodrigo Lopez, John Lannan and Zach Duke with six). But he has also held opponents to two runs or less in six starts.
Yesterday's loss dropped him to 4-3 with a 4.88 ERA.
"We'll talk about who's going," Manuel said. "That'll come up sometime when we have to make a move. So far, we haven't talked a whole lot about it . . . Kyle's been doing fine. He's been doing OK. We had a chance to win tonight."
It was a 2-0 ballgame in the sixth inning. But by the time Raul Ibanez' two-run homer sailed over the rightfield fence in the ninth to provide the final margin, the focus had shifted to Utley's ailing thumb.
"Like Shane said before, he's one of the last guys who is going to take himself out unless there is something that's really bothering him," said Howard, who scored the Phillies' first run in the seventh and finished 2-for-4. "Hope it's not serious."
For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read David Murphy's blog, High Cheese, at http://go.philly.com/highcheese.