PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Yankees already having lost center fielder Melky Cabrera (hamstring strain) for the duration of the World Series in Game 4, the Phillies came darn close to losing their center fielder for good in Game 5.
Shane Victorino apparently will survive to play another day, but the knuckle on his right index finger was swollen and purple late Monday night.
Still, he was relieved because when he was hit with an A.J. Burnett pitch in the first inning of Philadelphia's 8-6 Game 5 loss, he feared it was broken.
"The trainer looked at it and we were like, 'Oh no'," Victorino said. "When he hit me, I thought, 'Oh my gosh.'"
The Phillies X-rayed it in the second inning and determined that there were no fractures. Victorino determined he was good enough to keep playing, though manager Charlie Manuel replaced him with Ben Francisco in center field in the eighth inning.
Victorino didn't want to leave and, though he was already on the field when Francisco came out, he said it simply was a "mix-up" and he wasn't upset with Manuel for replacing him.
As for the finger, he said it bothered him more gripping the bat than throwing, though he added "it feels fine."
He also was sure Burnett was not intentionally throwing at him. Some questioned whether the Yankees right-hander might be given that Phillies pitchers have hit Alex Rodriguez with pitches three times in this series.
"During his at-bat, when he walked up [to the plate], he asked Carlos [Ruiz, Phillies catcher] how I was doing and said, 'I wasn’t trying to hit him,'" Victorino said. "For him to do that means a lot."
Victorino also said Burnett acknowledged him on the field as if to say, "Sorry."
"He looked over at me when I was at first base and he gave me a nod like, 'My bad'," Victorino said.
The Phillies' biggest worry now, of course, is whether it will worsen overnight. But with Tuesday's travel day, they get a break and Victorino gets an extra 24 hours to heal.
"Probably [Tuesday] his finger is going to be sore," Manuel said. "It's definitely not broken or didn't have a fracture. ... A couple of days it probably is going to be OK."