08/25/10 7:14 PM ET
Oswalt recalls rare appearance in left
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He had a feeling.
Third-base umpire Scott Barry ejected Ryan Howard on a controversial call in the 14th inning Tuesday in a 4-2 loss in 16 innings to the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies had no more position players available, which meant they had to use Oswalt or Joe Blanton in the field. (Roy Halladay was pitching the next day, and was not an option. Kyle Kendrick was not an option because he was in the bullpen.)
Oswalt returned to learn he would play left field. Raul Ibanez moved from left field to first base, where he had not played since 2005. Oswalt had not played the outfield since he played there in slow-pitch softball tournaments growing up in Weir, Miss.
The crowd roared as Oswalt caught a routine pop fly to start the top of the 15th.
The reaction put a huge smile on his face.
"I was just kind of out of my element," Oswalt said Wednesday. "Everybody made a big deal about a fly ball. We catch 50, 60 of them a day during BP, maybe every day for 162 games. For 10 years that's a lot of fly balls."
So what would have happened had Oswalt needed to throw out a runner at the plate?
Would he have let loose?
"Oh, no doubt," Oswalt said. "Shane [Victorino] actually walked over there and said, 'If there's a high fly ball do you want me to catch it and throw it?' I said, 'No.' That's what I've been wanting to do forever is throw somebody out at the plate."
Oswalt ended up making the final out of the game, grounding out to third base. Nevertheless, it is a game Oswalt will not forget.
"I probably hadn't had that much adrenaline since the first day I got called up," Oswalt said. "I've played 10 years in the big leagues and I go to the mound every time. It's different for sure. It's a whole different feeling."
Howard mum on Tuesday's ejection
PHILADELPHIA -- If Ryan Howard felt umpire Scott Barry baited him Tuesday, he would not say.
Howard declined to discuss his controversial ejection in the 14th inning of a 4-2 loss in 16 innings to the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park.
"Nope," Howard said. "No need."
Barry, a Triple-A umpire filling in for Gerry Davis, ejected Howard after he chucked his bat after Davis ruled Howard did not check his swing for a third strike. But it is what led to that moment that might have upset Howard even more.
Barry said Howard did not check his swing on a 0-1 pitch. Howard put his hands on his hips and looked toward Barry, who mimicked Howard's exact gestures, putting his hands on his hips, cocking his head and looking back at Howard. That upset Howard, who appeared to tell home-plate umpire Greg Gibson that he was not showing up Barry, but expressing anger at himself for not checking his swing.
But after Barry ejected him, Howard flipped out and charged Barry.
He never reached Barry, partly because teammate Placido Polanco and others restrained him.
So did Barry, who controversially ejected Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman last week, escalate the situation by mimicking Howard?
"I think that sometimes maybe from my arguments, umpires don't realize what they're doing," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I'm not saying he didn't. You've got a call to make. You've got to make a decision real quick, and you make the one you think is right.
"I don't know. If I was an umpire [Howard's first reaction] wouldn't bother me. Really. But I could see where it might bother Howard, though. Because he's up there trying and he's really wanting to bear down and get a hit and hit the ball hard and things."
Manuel said he does not think Howard, who has been ejected just twice in his career, should receive a suspension.
"Ryan was very upset. I've never seen him that upset before," Howard said. "He usually keeps his cool pretty much. He controls his temper and stuff. I'd be surprised if he gets suspended."
Manuel held Howard out of the lineup Wednesday, but not because of Tuesday's incident. He said he held out Howard because he is coming back from a sprained left ankle, and needed a day off his feet. He also has been struggling at the plate since he rejoined the team Saturday, and with left-hander J.A. Happ on the mound he figured it would be a good time to rest him.
Halladay's perfecto honored Thursday
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies will honor Roy Halladay's perfect game before Thursday's series finale against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park.
Hall of Famer pitcher Jim Bunning, who threw a perfect game for the Phillies in 1964, will be on the field during the ceremonies. Phillies president David Montgomery, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., manager Charlie Manuel, catcher Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and Halladay's wife, Brandy, and two sons also will attend.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on phillies.com.
Phillies look to rest busy Madson
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Madson has pitched eight times in 11 days, so there was a good chance he would not pitch Wednesday.
Madson has a 2.25 ERA in that span.
They also would like to stay away from closer Brad Lidge, who has pitched on consecutive days.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.