PHILADELPHIA — For huge baseball fans, watching the Phils vs. Astros was a treat. This was the longest game in Citizens Bank Park since 2004; five hours and twenty minutes worth of baseball showcasing a bullpen battle, which took us through 16 innings. This landed Roy Oswalt in left field, and Raul Ibanez at first base.
A day after the controversial call by Umpire Greg Gibson, the Phillies and Astro's serve up an epic 16 inning thriller.
This game served a lot of excitement starting in the ninth inning when Jimmy Rollins tied the game at two a piece in the ninth, with a dramatic, towering, home-run to send the game into extra innings.
With an out of character Ryan Howard ejection in the 14th, and the bullpen performing magnificently for eight scoreless innings, the Phils were forced to go to the all-pro starter Roy Oswalt to man left-field for them, clear into Wednesday morning.
With one out in the top of the 16th, Phillies Pitcher, David Herndon, approaching 50 pitches, showed fagitue, hitting a batter and loading the bases for Houston's, Chris Johnson.
Despite a trip to the mound by Dubee, and a tremendous subsequent diving stop by Polanco on a ball drilled to third base, the Phils weren't able to get anyone out. Eventually, the scrambling of the roster finally takes its toll on the Phillies.
A ground ball hit to Jimmy Rollins was thrown to Utley for one out, but the throw to Ibanez, playing a position he doesn't normally play, first base, was bobbled allowing another to score making it 4-2 with two outs in the top of the 16th.
After the Astro's loaded the bases again, Herndon strikes out the sides, leaving the resilient Phillies with two options—score, or lose.
At 12:16am the Phils took bat, looking to do what they do best—make magic.
With one man on base, the Phils could have won the game with a walk off home-run. The Houston Astros, wisely decided to pass on Utley and take a chance pitching to their old ace, Roy Oswalt, putting the game on the line.
In the end, after a battle at the plate between Oswalt and his former team, it just wasn't meant to be. Leaving the fate of another pennant race game in the hands of another sensitive, arrogant, tight-pantied umpire with an ultra contentious disposition, ultimately, costing them the game.
The Phils lose two home games back to back for the first time in a half and a month, but, this isn't all gloom and doom.
What we've seen from the Phillies, nonetheless, is the very resilient quality of fighting until there's no more roster spots left.
Also on the bright side, the Braves have lost too.
Something has got to be done about the Phillies offense and these diva's who are umping the games.
Aside from all of that, the Phillies have two very important series coming up against the division leading Padres, and the wily Los Angeles Dodgers.
It's looking more and more like the Phillies season is going to come down to the last series against those much talked about Atlanta Braves.
Happy September baseball!