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NL East Update: The one where Howard is hurting

Ryan Howard has become the latest victim of the Phillies injury bug.

The big first baseman sprained his left ankle rounding second in Sundays game against the Nationals. The Phillies were riding high having won nine of their previous eleven, so the team hopes Howard won’t be sidelined for too long. Despite leaving the game with crutches, Charlie Manuel says that Howard could possibly return for their next series against Florida. That would be good news for Phillie fans but you have to wonder how this injury will affect him for the remainder of the season. Chances are that he will probably favor it at times, giving him even less mobility in the field and making his trips on the base path even more nerve-wracking.

The Marlins did something they have been meaning to do all season, get help for their miserable bullpen.

Florida acquired left-handed reliever Will Ohman from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rick VandenHurk. This move is not the cure to all their problems, but it is a step in the right direction. In 51 games with the Orioles this year, Ohman posted a 3.30 ERA with 15 holds and 29 strikeouts. The move gives manager Edwin Rodriquez a much more reliable left handed arm out of the bullpen, an asset the team has been lacking all season. Ohman is lights out against lefties, holding them to just a .226 batting average. This could quietly be one of the best moves of the deadline.

Braves Blast takes a look at his teams trade deadline moves.

Atlanta picked up Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth in a deal with the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Gregor Blanco, Jesse Chavez, and Tim Collins. I like the Ankiel pick up, I feel like many people wrote him off while with the Royals, but doesn’t that happen to everyone who goes to Kansas City? Although he is injury prone, having spent a majority of the season of the disabled list due to strained right quadriceps, Ankiel is still a threat at the plate and could take this chance with a division leader to rejuvenate his season. This is Farnsworth’s second stint in Atlanta having played for them in 2005. Farnsworth has had an incredible season thus far sporting a 2.42 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched. The move solidifies an already outstanding Braves bullpen, of course a little reliever depth never hurt.

Statistically, Francisco Rodriquez is having a great season, so why does he continue to irk Mets fans?

Its simple, Mets fans demand perfection, and having the Yankees across town doesn’t help. When the Mets acquired K-Rod in 2008, he was coming off a record breaking season with the Los Angeles Angels, picking up 62 saves, so what did Mets fans expect for 2009? 63 saves of course. They thought that K-Rod would come in and set down the opposing team 1-2-3, but that’s just not the way he operates, as a matter a fact, that’s never the way he’s operated. Mariano Rivera is the only closer in baseball you can expect to save the game for you without breaking a sweat. It’s no secret things aren’t going well for the Mets, but its time for them to recognize that they do have one of the best closers in baseball, no matter how interesting he makes the final inning.

Adam Dunn is still a National, Federal Baseball tells us how it all went down.

This was the right move for Washington, and I think the fans are happy and relieved that Dunn is still with the team. If Edwin Jackson was the best thing you could get for Dunn then its no surprise Mike Rizzo didn’t pull the trigger. I would really like to see the Nationals try and extend Dunn in the near future, sooner rather then later just so the focus can be more on his game and less on his trade value. The first baseman has proved himself to the organization and their fans by being their biggest bat and arguably the team MVP. There is a good relationship between the two sides; you would hate to see it end over a contract dispute.

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