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Jeremy Hellickson does not appear to be in danger

When the Phillies needed good news most, they finally got some.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Losing Jeremy Hellickson to the disabled list would have probably pushed this team to the brink. At this point, with Aaron Nola an Zach Eflin already out of commission, the brink was starting to appear on the horizon, and the loss of the only pitcher who has been effectively charging into the seventh and eighth innings of games would have taken them a few leaps closer to it.

But nobody was thinking about that yesterday when Hellickson made his start against the Dodgers; they were thinking about how, after a first inning Adrian Gonzalez double made it 1-0 in L.A.’s favor, he actually mowed down the Dodgers, retiring 13 straight batters. It’s the level of effectiveness that has become the norm for the 29-year-old right-hander, who holds a 3.65 ERA after a league-leading 24 starts this season. Sadly, when Hellickson suddenly began a lower back stretching regiment between batters, the Phillies used their precise detection skills to figure out something wasn’t right.

Hellickson was removed after only five innings and 71 pitches, and everyone reacted accordingly.

The Phillies announced that Hellickson was suffering simply from “back tightness,” which Hellickson himself said was “definitely not something I think will linger more than a couple days.” Reports indicate that he should make his next start and even has a bump in off days to recover thanks to today’s empty schedule.

Still might want to fudge the writing on that Randy Wolf one-day contract, however, just to be safe. You can never have too much pitching depth.