Astros and Replacement Umps Have Phillies Looking Like Chumps
After losing to former Phillies pitcher Brett Myers on Monday night, The Phillies lost again on Tuesday night in a (less than sweet) sixteen inning game against the Astros which saw Ryan Howard get tossed in the 14th inning by replacement umpire Scott Barry (the normal umpires are on vacation). Howard (who went 0-7 with five K’s) got angry at a bad call by Barry on a check-swing and Barry who felt he had been shown up by the former MVP and World Champion, was eager to toss him. With no position players left the Phillies were forced to move left fielder Raul Ibanez to first base and use pitcher Roy Oswalt in left field. Ibanez would later drop a ball at first allowing an extra run to score and Oswalt would make the final out of the game when the Astros walked Chase Utley to bring him to the plate.
On Wednesday night Independent Philly was at Citizen’s Bank Park to see if the Phillies could bounce back after two straight losses to the Astros. Roy Halladay took the mound for the Phillies to face off against J.A. Happ (whom the Phillies sent to the Astros in the Roy Oswalt trade). When the umpires were announced, Scott Barry was greeted with loud “boo”s as only Philadelphians can deliver.
Halladay surrendered home-runs to both Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn but the Phillies kept battling and tied the game at two. The Astros then scored a third run but it looked like the Phillies again had a good chance to tie the game with runners on the corners and Jimmy Rollins at the plate. Rollins never got the chance to try to tie the game. Ben Francisco, who was on third base, was picked off by Houston’s catcher for the third out of the inning in yet another blunder on the base-path by the Phillies (Monday night, Jayson Werth was picked off second base after ball four of an intentional walk when he became distracted by Astros pitcher Brett Myers sticking his tongue out and Tuesday night, Jimmy Rollins was thrown out at third base as he and Placido Polanco attempted a double steal).
It was not clear in the stadium if Francisco was actually out at third and after the call by Scott Barry the night before and a questionable call on Monday night by the umpires (when Michael Bourn clearly ran out of the base-path on his way to first but was called safe) the Phillies faithful again filled the stadium with loud disdain for the umps.
The Phillies went on to drop a third straight game to the Astros. The Phillies could have made up valuable ground of the Braves who have lost three in a row to the Rockies. The good news is, they did not lose any ground and remain 2.5 games back in the division. The Cardinals and Giants also lost on Wednesday leaving the Phillies tied with San Francisco for the Wild Card lead (one game in front of St. Louis).
The Phillies wrapped up the four game series with the Astros today in a day game at Citizen’s Bank Park. Kyle Kendrick was on the mound for the Phillies and gave up a run in each of the first four innings. Again in a base-running blunder, Jayson Werth was thrown out at home-plate for the third out of the inning after the Phillies had runners on second and third and no outs. Scott Barry served as today’s first-base umpire. The Phillies next head out west for a six game road trip against the NL West leading Padres followed by the Dodgers. They now trail the Braves (who were off today) by three games and train the Giants by half a game in the Wild Card.
Before today’s game, the Phillies honored Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz for Halladay’s perfect game against the Marlins earlier this season.
Our photographer put together a Facebook group to protest the use of Scott Barry as an umpire so please sign up: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=151048864922209&ref=ts