2010 Top Moments

Top Moment #18: Roy O. Shags a Fly, Howard Goes Off, Phils Lose in Extras

This was a wild one. There’s really no better way to put it.

It started out innocently enough, with the pesky Astros coming to town to pit Bud Norris against Cole Hamels. Cole entered the game looking to bounce back from a subpar start against the Giants in his last outing, and the Phillies were just hoping to keep pace with Atlanta in the East.

As has been common throughout his career – at least, it seems – Cole had a great outing with no run support, throwing seven innings of two-run ball with eight strikeouts, but left the game trailing 2-1. The Phils had opportunities in the eighth and ninth to tie the game, but a bad caught stealing by Jimmy Rollins and a RISP flyout from Carlos Ruiz ended those chances. Things looked bleakly frustrating as the Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth, still down 2-1 with Ruiz, a pinch-hitter and Jimmy Rollins due up. Chooch and PH Mike Sweeney both grounded out to short, leaving J-Roll as the last hope.

Jimmy made up for his baserunning error by delivering a game-tying homer to right field on a 3-1 count, tying the game and kicking off what would become an epic string of extra innings.

Jose Contreras escaped a jam in the eleventh by getting a pop fly double play with two on and one out. Madson escaped similar trouble in the twelfth, retiring Michael Bourn with two on and two out. Ryan Howard struck out with the winning run on third in the fourteenth.

Well, there’s a little more to the story than that.

Howard was called out on the swing by third base umpire Scott Barry – remember him? – and was ejected right after that for tossing his bat, sending the Big Man into a frenzy. It was difficult to blame Howard for this. Sure, he probably could have stood to not toss his bat away, but Barry was obviously on a short fuse for whatever reason, mimicking Howard’s hands-on-hips initial reaction, then wasting no time in ejecting him despite the situation.

With Howard gone and the bench empty, Charlie Manuel had to get creative. He moved Raul Ibanez in from left field to play first, a position he hadn’t played since 2005, and brought in Roy Oswalt to play left field. It was pretty obvious where the balls in play were going that inning, wasn’t it? Oswalt made the most celebrated, routine fly catch in history. Ibanez made a great play at first on a Bourn bunt, and the train kept on rolling.

Unfortunately, with the bullpen and bench exhausted, Oswalt was pressed into duty with the bat in the sixteenth, after the Astros took a two-run lead in the top half. The Cinderella story ends with a weak grounder to third, but the legend lives on, as this game goes down as one of the strangest in recent memory.

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  1. Don M

    January 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    i LOVE the fact that you guys linked the videos – into the recap, and right there on the page.. Nice Work!!!

    What ever happened to Scott Barry ??? I remember thinking after the first check-strike …. that his hands-on-hips return geasture towards Ryan Howard was one of the most unprofessional things i’ve ever seen … I have to believe they kept him out of any playoff games, etc? (i kinda think he was a minor league guy filling in for vacationing umps anyway??)

  2. phillygirl17

    January 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Unfortunately Don, he wasn’t. He was in the regular rotation. The next day was Baseball 101 and the front office arranged to have the Crew Chief in to talk to the women. He was really nice, and we asked about that, and he was very evasive, obviously, but made it clear that Barry was a regular.

    At Baseball 101 the next day, everyone was looking at us exhaustedly, and you could tell that they were relying on coffee and caffeine to get them through the day. Great time though.

  3. Kate

    January 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I was at that game and, despite the loss, it was one of the greatest experiences I had last year at Citizens Bank Park.

    Since Oswalt and the Astros are both main topics here, I’ve got a silly question.

    Now, I know that Roy Halladay is going to start on Opening Day. But given the Astros’ inexplicable success at the Bank, would it be a respectful nod to the baseball gods to start Roy Oswalt on Opening Day? The man, after all, remains undefeated at the Bank and he got a lot more playing time there in 2010.

    Just a silly little question.

    • Manny

      January 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Doubtful. But it could give him an edge over Hamels as far as starting Game No.3, which is the last one vs the Astros. Then you go Hamels, Blanton, Halladay vs the Mets. Then Lee, Oswalt, Hamels vs the Braves. Holy $hit… this rotation is just ridiculous.

      Then we (DC phans) get Blanton, Halladay, Lee in DC. You can bet I’m going to the last two hehe

      • Kate

        January 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

        Oh, I know it’s never going to happen. It’s just one of those random factoids that popped into my head a few days ago.

        Provided the Bank Curse of the Astros doesn’t continue, a healthy Phillies team has the capability to railroad through the Astros and Mets. Atlanta does concern me, though. I’ve been hearing they’re better than they were last year.

  4. Don M

    January 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    If they are all “feeling well” (you know, not to jinx anyone) ….. Roy Halladay has established himself, and earned the right to be the ACE of this staff..

    Cliff Lee will be #2
    and although it would be nice to see Hamels here… I think by virute of them wanting to go R-L-R-L-R in the rotation, they’ll give Oswalt the ball in game #3 – still a start vs. Houston (and I’d imagine we’ll see Myers and Happ in this series?)

  5. Jay aka Phillyboy

    January 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I really thought howard was going to kill scott barry that night,never seen ryan soooo mad..lol

  6. Pat Gallen

    January 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    This was one of those games where as soon as Howard got thrown out me and few other press members looked at each other and said, “who’s left?”

    I thought it would be Blanton, but turns out Oswalt beat him out there.

  7. Kate

    January 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I saw somewhere that as soon as Oswalt realized what was happening, he went into the clubhouse and put his cleats on to beat anyone else they might try to throw out there.

    I was in the position of being close to one of the TVs in the 100 level and while everyone was going nuts over Roy’s routine catch, we caught that grin on his face and most of us started laughing. No small feat, considering we could have all chosen to remain disgruntled and ornery over the ejections that had just taken place.

    I don’t care what he did for Houston. Li’l Roy became OURS that night.

    Ross Gload has the distinction of being thrown out of that game as well… despite being on the DL at the time.

    • Lefty

      January 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      That’s a great story about the cleats Kate. I couldn’t agree more, that’s the night R2 became a true Phillie in the hearts of the fans.

  8. betasigmadeltashag

    January 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I just remember coming home from work around 11:30pm and settled in to watch the game on my DVR, and wait, the game was still goinig on, so I watched the end then started it from the begining. I also remember texting my sister, who was there, to see if she was still there, because I knew she brought a friend who doesn’t stay up late. She was there til the end, and when they lost, we figured it was her friend’s fault

  9. Brooks

    January 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Terrible game, terrible loss – frustrating – the Astro’s did their best to give the game away and the Phils did their best to prolong the loss.

    Paul, the devil is in the details. Howard was a robust 0 for 7 with 5 strikeouts the last few k’s were called and he was frustrated and probably embarrassed.

    Kate – great experience? The Phils had 13 hits and 10 walks. I think 7 of those walks came after the 9th inning where they could do nothing, nada with them – it was ugly, wrong and they stopped serving beer in the 7th : (

    One more frustrating thing – Keith and I hop the Broad street line to 16th to take the Patco. By the time we get there the next train was in 45 minutes, maybe longer. Fortunately, there were 2 other (now sober) fans going to the Collingswood station and we decided to catch a cab – aside from another $40, the cabbie was lost.

    Terrible night. I went to 2 out of the 4 losses. Bleh.. We were looking for the August magic and got the dud.

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