Part two of the Roy Oswalt – Philadelphia experience tonight went a tad better than the first part. After allowing 4 earned runs in his Phillies debut, Oswalt handled the Marlins pretty well. He struggled with his control at times, which elevated his pitch count, but the end result was positive. Oswalt went 6 1/3 innings allowing 3 hits, 4 walks and 2 runs.
The 2 runs however, scored after JC Romero came in to relieve Oswalt in the 7th. Romero allowed an RBI double and then walked the 2nd run home on 4 straight balls. Those runs were both charged to Oswalt. Now, I love JC for his spirit and for the person that he is. But the manager has to know that he gets wild in these situations sometimes. Two runners on and one out is not a good situation for Romero. Then again, with the Phillies bullpen as up and down as it has been, who to bring in and when remains a head-scratcher.
Jose Contreras was up next in the 7th and did not fare much better. He immediately allowed a 2-run single. Those two runs were charged to Romero. So the cycle of crap rolling down hill continued as the Phillies lost a 2-0 lead and turned it into a 4-2 deficit in 1 inning.
As for the offense, Oswalt did not get much run support in Houston and so far with the Phillies it has not been too different. With the bases loaded in the first and one out, Jayson Werth hit a weak pop fly to strand the runners. Domonic Brown struck out next, but putting that pressure on the rookie is just unfair. Werth should have been able to hit a sacrifice with only 1 out.
More opportunities came in the 3rd inning, but again, Werth stranded 2 more runners and grounded out to end the inning. Carlos Ruiz finally came up with a big 2-out hit in the 6th to score Brown and Raul Ibanez, but no one else stepped up after that, even after Oswalt drew a walk to load the bases.
Mike Sweeney saw his first action as a Phillie in the 8th as a pinch-hitter and drew a walk. Nice job! Cody Ransom was designated for assignment earlier today to make room for him instead of sending John Mayberry Jr. back down. Ransom did not play very well, batting only .190 since being called up from AAA.
So the Phillies entered the 9th down by two runs. And then the offense started to show signs of life again. Placido Polanco reached on a error which was followed by a Ross Gload single and an RBI-double from the super-hot Ibanez. Werth stepped to the plate again in a good hitting situation and finally came through. A single tied the game at 4-4.
But then, just to totally ruin his shining moment, Werth wandered too far off second base and got picked off! A few pitches later, Brown followed in Werth’s not so nimble footsteps and got caught stealing! He was probably trying to make up for Werth’s bone-head move. What a mess…inning over.
Ryan Madson held the tie down. Then in the 10th, Ruiz played the hero again and smashed his 2nd homer of the season to give the Phils a 5-4 lead. But no sooner could Phillies fans rejoice than we saw Brad Lidge step to the mound with only a 1-run lead. Oh crap….not again. But by some act of God, Lidge got the job done…whew! A SWEEP in Miami! Nice.
The Phillies head back home now to play the Mets tomorrow at 7:35pm. Joe Blanton will pitch. Good night all!
Mayberry and Ransom photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
Oswalt photo by Wikimedia Commons