In a strange turn of events last night, the Phillies lost a 4-2 game to the Astros in 16 innings that took 5 hours and 20 minutes to play. The game started with an outstanding effort, again, by Cole Hamels who allowed just 2 runs. But as has been the case all year, Hamels got no help.
The Phillies offense scored only 1 run off Bud Norris who entered the game with a 5.23 ERA. The one run was a Raul Ibanez double that scored Jayson Werth. Not only are they not hitting, the Phils are striking out at a record pace lately. Adding to the problem, Jimmy Rollins even got thrown out trying to steal 3rd base. Most of the few hits they got came with 2 outs and the next batter could not capitalize.
Rollins tried to redeem himself with a game-tying homer in the 9th that sent the game into extra innings. But as in the first 9, the Phillies still did not hit. Both teams’ bullpens got a workout though and both performed well. 15 pitchers were used in total for both teams.
There were some nice defensive plays in the game; most notably two double plays, one of which Rollins started from the ground to toss to Chase Utley:
The real drama occurred when in the 14th inning, umpire Scott Barry, acted like a child, which led to the ejection of Ryan Howard from the game. Howard put his hands on his hips in disgust as a check swing was called a strike. Barry in response mimicked Howard’s action by placing his hands on his hips and gawking childishly at Howard. Howard told the home plate ump he was mad at himself, not at Barry. The kindergarten move by Barry was unprofessional, uncalled for and outright disgusting.
As a result, the already annoyed Howard tossed his bat after being called out on another check swing. He was mad, and with good reason. Replay shows the bat never crossed the plate and Howard should not have been called out. But Barry, still in 3-year old mode, took offense to the bat toss and ejected him. But this should have been an equipment fine, not an ejection. However, the infantile Barry made up his own rules. Check out the VIDEO. Here are a few game shots of Howard:
Barry, 31, is a minor league call-up who just started his 4th year of AAA ball umpiring. This is the same ump who tossed Charlie Manuel from the game on Monday night after another BS call. And on August 18th, the same umpire ejected the National’s Ryan Zimmerman for tossing his bat and helmet after striking out. Zimmerman said nothing but Barry ejected him anyway for the first ejection of his career. Again, this should have been an equipment fine, not an ejection.
This minor leaguer is a disgrace to all umpires and he should be fired for his childish actions. Barry is the kind of ump who gives all the good ones a bad rap. But as usual, NO umpires are EVER held accountable for their actions. It is a real shame and a serious blemish on the game of baseball.
All that drama led to the Phillies not having ANY players left. As a result, starting pitcher Roy Oswalt was put in to play left field; it was the first time since Bill Wilson on Aug. 6, 1971 that any pitcher had been made to play another position. Raul Ibanez, having some experience at first base, was moved to take Howard’s place.
And of course, the first batter of the 15th inning hit the ball right to Oswalt who snagged the fly ball easily and had a nice giggle over it. Ibanez did a descent job at first, considering he has not played there in years. He did drop a ball in the 16th, but no one can really blame Ibanez for the loss. Same goes for relief pitcher David Herndon who gave up 2 runs that inning. He got all ground balls, they were just hit in odd places.
I was at the game for the first 9 innings but having to get up early for work today, I did not stay for extras. I listened on the radio in the car and then saw the last 3 innings on TV at home. Here is the full Photo Album from the first 9 innings.
As for tonight, the Phillies had better find their bats if they are going to avoid losing this 4-game series to the Astros. Roy Halladay will pitch against former Phillie JA Happ who will be in another uniform in Philly for the first time. Game time is 7:05pm.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
While the season is not over yet, today was definitely a low point for the Phillies thus far in 2009. They hit rock bottom by getting swept by the Marlins in spectacularly bad fashion; today’s final was 12-3. Right now, the Phillies are playing very, very bad baseball.
Jamie Moyer did a decent job and got through 5 innings of one run ball. He ran into trouble in the 5th and was pulled. The bottom of the 6th is where things began to unravel. Ryan Howard was up with 2 outs and 2 men on; ball 4 came across the plate and umpire Ed Rapuano, whose strike zone had been all over the place all day long, called the ball below his knees a strike and rung Howard up to end the threat. And that blown call kicked off a crap-storm of epic proportions.
Still with a 3-1 lead into the 7th inning, Rodrigo Lopez came in to pitch and the strike zone began wandering all over the place again as Rapuano’s brain must have been fried in the heat. With an 0-2 count on the batter, Rapuano called a ball that again, looked like a strike. Shane Victorino, in centerfield (yes, 400 feet away) lifted his arms and put them down in what appeared to be disgust at the call. He did not say anything and even if he had, no umpire could have heard him all the way out in center.
And then the truly unbelievable happened; umpire Rapuano EJECTED Victorino all the way from home plate! For throwing his arms up! Never in my life have I seen such a ridiculous, self-indulgent, asinine call from an umpire. Victorino ran in to defend himself and catcher Paul Bako tried to restrain him. Howard ran in for back-up and subdued Victorino before he was able to get at Rapuano and possibly get a suspension. Charlie Manual argued the ridiculous call, but after that, all hell broke loose.
The crowd, myself included, boo’ed every move that the umpire made after that. Chants of “Victorino!” echoed throughout the stadium in support of Shane who was the obvious victim of a BS call and personal attack from a childish umpire. Rapuano should be ashamed of himself; not only did he call an awful game, but then he cannot handle the pressure and act like a professional. Instead, he throws what amounts to a temper tantrum and gives a bad name to umpires everywhere. Disgusting. See the Video for yourself.
The Phillies did themselves no favors after that and the Fish blew the game wide open. Jayson Werth was forced to enter the game to replace Victorino and committed 2 errors that same inning. Lopez surrendered 6 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks and only made it through 2/3 of the inning. With the blow-out in order, Brad Lidge was sent to the mound for the 9th just to get some work and he gave up 3 runs, 2 of which came on a homer. And thus, the disaster was complete.
With a day off tomorrow and a road series set to begin in Chicago in Tuesday, the Phillies had better get some rest, regroup and come out swinging. They are still ahead in the division by 4 games, but with new life awarded to the Fish and the Braves not far behind, this is the time to forget and move on.
Here is a full Photo Album from the disaster today and also shots from the Alumni Batting Challenge which was won by Ricky & Ricky – Botallico & Jordan.
Photos by Jenn