Phillies' Ryan Howard has torn Achilles tendon

Baseball Playoff Notebook

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The Philadelphia Phillies say first baseman Ryan Howard has a torn Achilles tendon and it’s uncertain if he will be ready for spring training next year.

The power-hitting first baseman was injured on the final play of Philadelphia’s season-ending loss to St. Louis in Game 5 of the NL division series Friday night, falling as he ran out of the batter’s box on his grounder.

The team said Saturday an MRI revealed a rupture of the left Achilles tendon and he will need surgery once the swelling goes down.

STIRRING IT UP: Milwaukee’s soft-spoken starter Zack Greinke is not afraid to exchange playful banter with his more gregarious teammates.

On Saturday, the day before he starts in the opener of the NL championship series, he said All-Star Ryan Braun envied him.

“He’s jealous of a lot of things I do,” Greinke said.

After Greinke singled in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the NL division series against the Diamondbacks last week, the right-hander did a halfhearted “beast mode” gesture that the Brewers have popularized this season. Braun didn’t see it, but teased his teammate when asked about it following the 9-4 win.

“I don’t think there’s much that Zack does that’s smooth or cool, we give him a pass for being awkward,” he said. “He lives his life awkwardly.”

SCHERZER SWITCH: When Jim Leyland initially announced his rotation for the AL championship series, he listed right-hander Max Scherzer as the Game 4 starter.

That quickly changed after Scherzer, who threw 1⅓ innings in relief in the AL division series clincher, played catch the day after in Texas.

“I wanted to make sure when I played catch that my arm felt good,” Scherzer said. “When I played catch (Friday), my arm felt good. Given that it was going to be two days off, I knew my arm was going to recover quick enough to be able to be on a full start for Game 2.”

RETRACTED ROOF: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said it was his understanding that the Miller Park roof would be open for Game 1 of the NLCS.

He’s OK with that as long as the conditions for today’s game are the same for both teams.

The decisions to play with the roof open or closed is up to Major League Baseball officials.


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