August 25 Philadelphia Daily News
But all that mattered was this:
A game-tying home run by Jimmy Rollins with two outs in the ninth went for naught as the Astros scored two runs in the 16th to hand the Phillies a wild and disheartening 4-2 loss, a game that took 5 hours, 20 minutes.
The Phillies fell to 70-55, but remained 2 1/2 games behind the Braves, who lost to Colorado earlier in the night.
It was already nearing midnight when things took a bizarre turn. Third-base umpire Scott Barry, a minor league umpire filling in for Gerry Davis, called two check-swing strikes on Ryan Howard after appeals from Astros catcher Jason Castro. The second check swing resulted in an inning-ending strikeout, which stranded the go-ahead run on third base. Howard tossed his bat in frustration, which prompted a quick ejection by Barry.
A furious Howard charged toward Barry as his teammates intervened (Gload, on the disabled list with a strained groin, was also ejected).
“I’m sure it was just something that built up from the first check swing. Is it right? Is it wrong? I don’t know,” centerfielder Shane Victorino said. “I’m not the one to make the judgment on that . . . We’ve just got to move on. You’ve got to understand that it’s his discretion on how he feels . . .
“Scott’s a great guy, but a situation like that, hopefully he can be a little more lenient in that situation. Ryan is not a guy that’s going to get upset. But who’s right, who’s wrong? I’m not going to say anybody is right or anybody is wrong. Scott made his decision and it is what it is. We’ve just go to overlook that and find a way to win and unfortunately we didn’t.”
Once the scrum settled, the Phillies, out of position players, were left to make two emergency substitutions. Ibanez, who has 115 career starts at first base, most recently in 2005, replaced Howard. And Oswalt, who is scheduled to start in San Diego tomorrow, took Ibanez’ spot in leftfield.
According to the Phillies, the last pitcher to play the field was Billy Wilson on Aug. 6, 1971.
“That was definitely strange,” Ibanez said.”
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