How Sweep It Is! – Phillies Nation

How Sweep It Is!

It took 10 innings, some instant replay, some strange baserunning, bad fielding and even worse relief pitching. But the Phillies completed a sweep of division rival Florida, winning 5-4 in an event that more closely resembled a Lewis Carroll story than a baseball game. This was the Phillies’ seventh straight win in extra inning games.

It started innocently enough, with some quality pitching from both Roy Oswalt and Marlins starter Chris Volstad (who, at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, is still only 1/3 the height and 1/8 the weight of an actual full-grown Atlantic blue marlin, a fact that I learned earlier this week and has not allowed me to sleep since). Oswalt, after a tough first outing for the Phillies last Friday, was much improved, leaving after 6 1/3 innings with a 2-0 lead, having allowed only three hits (he did walk four batters, but let’s try to be optimistic).

Upon entering the game in relief of Oswalt, J.C. Romero made like the Prodigal Son and squandered his inheritance. Romero entered the game in the seventh with two men on, both of whom scored, along with two of Romero’s own. All told, four men scored with the most famous patron of the Cherry Hill CVS on the bump.

Then came what may be the single strangest inning of baseball I’ve ever seen live. With Marlin closer Leo Nunez on the hill, Hanley Ramirez failed to make a routine throw to first, allowing Placdio Polanco to reach. This was followed by a Ross Gload single, a Raul Ibanez double that missed leaving the yard by a few feet, and a truly awful Jayson Werth at-bat…that ended with The Beard sneaking a seeing-eye single up the middle as Ramirez, who was playing in, misjudged his dive and the path of the ball. The first four batters of the ninth inning raised the Phillies’ win expectancy from 16.1 percent to 80.3 percent. Then Dom Brown hit a bullet right at Gaby Sanchez and Raul Ibanez, running on contact, got caught in a rundown between third and home. Then Jayson Werth got picked off second. Then Brown, who had reached on the fielder’s choice, was thrown out trying to steal on a pitchout. Three outs, all on the bases, in rapid succession.

Against Ryan Madson in the bottom of the ninth, Ramirez led off with a walk, stole second, and watched two straight Marlins strike out. After an intentional walk to Dan Uggla, Cody Ross hit a scorching ball down the third base line that was obviously fair and should have been the game-winning double. At least, it was obvious to everyone except Chris Wheeler and third base umpire Bob Davidson, who called it foul. Ross himself struck out later in the at-bat.

In the top of the next inning, Carlos Ruiz (who has an OPS over 1.000 in the past 14 days and is quietly hitting .291 with a .391 OBP this season, by the way) squeaked a ball over the wall in left to put the Phillies up 5-4. Ben Francisco nearly hit another, which was ruled foul by instant replay. Ironically enough, the Brad Lidge-pitched bottom of the inning went relatively smoothly.

Madson picks up the win, Florida lefty Will Ohman the loss. The Phils come home for tomorrow night’s tilt against the Mets, which will feature Chris Jones of The Fightins wearing a Danys Baez shirzey in the stands, thanks in no small part to those of you who responded to our call on Twitter last Friday. Be sure not to miss it.



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  2. Manny

    August 5, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I was there!!! Pretty good Phillies crowd in South Florida!

    And it was awesome! What a game. JC Romero almost killed us, and ruined Roy 2´s great outing (little shaky at first, then he was on cruise control).

    Lidge was pretty solid! Sliders left and right, swings and misses… CHOOCH IS A HERO.


  3. Chuck

    August 5, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Uhhhh….that ball was fair.

    We caught a HUGE break!!

    Wow. What a game!!

  4. Chuck

    August 5, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Manny, where were you sitting? Could you tell if that ball was fair or foul? On TV it sure looked like it crossed OVER the bag and then landed fair.

  5. Bart Shart

    August 6, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Polanco and Ruiz and Ibanez. Hot hitters, clutch players. Keep it up.

  6. Manny

    August 6, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Chuck, I was sitting behind 3rd base, a few rows back.. and I definitely thought that ball was fair… my whole section was up in arms. LOL. Of course, I also thought that Frisco hit a bomb but that one was foul… so that´s about as reliable as I can get.

    CHOOCH, what a stud!!

  7. ActuallyChilled

    August 6, 2010 at 12:22 am

    why no article mention on the blown call?…..

  8. bacardipr05

    August 6, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I use to be a big JC fan but the guy just walks too many batters. He occasionally makes good pitches but is too wild…every time a reliever comes in for the Phils with the exception of Chad I cringe…

  9. bacardipr05

    August 6, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Im sure he will not be a Phil next year unless he gets a dramatic paycut…any thoughts?

  10. Adrian

    August 6, 2010 at 12:57 am

    The Phillies are 12 games above .500 for the first time this year! They achieved it in the quirkiest possible way, but at least any win from here on out will be easier.

  11. MikeB.

    August 6, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I was watching on and they had the Marlin’s announcers and telecast on. The ball hit the ground right off the line, foul, a short distance before heading over the 3rd base bag. Because of the angle at which the video was taken at third base, I could not conclude whether the ball skipped over the bag fair or foul; it looked fair but is impossible to be conclusive because of the video angle. The ball landed again fair beyond or in back of third base. Have to go along with the umpire’s decision to call the ball fair as he was closest to view the ball and had the best non-angled view realizing, of course, that I am a biased Phillies fan. Hard to understand how everyone concludes that the ball was fair, for sure.

  12. MikeB.

    August 6, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Sorry; made a mistake in last post. Meant to say that I have to go along with the umpire’s decision to call the ball foul, not fair.

  13. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 6, 2010 at 3:38 am

    A call is a call. Like the Phils have never been on the other side. to me it wasnt definate. If they had instant replay in MLB and they changed the call. Id have been pissed.
    They mighty Mess are coming to town. Dont over look them.
    There is no rivalry the Phillies are a model franchise and the Mutts are probably the worst in any sport. But dont let the losers sneak up on you.

  14. Brooks

    August 6, 2010 at 5:03 am

    This all has to mean something. I mean, 12 out of 14 at this point in the season, decimated by injuries, an away sweep vs one of the teams that gives us fits all the time – and for the most part, playing small ball to win it.

    It’s all great stuff but it’s not your typical Phillies type wins either.

    I read an article on Utley’s progress, is there an update for Vic? Even though we are all happy and contented with this current streak, Jayson is in dire need of a blow. A resurgent Victorino (we can hope!) would be a welcome sight.

    One more question, in reading this post as well as Corey’s post – I heard nothing significant on Roy Oswalts performance. Being handicapped with only the MLB gameday updates, I can only imagine this curve ball of his buzzing in at a Moyeresque 70 mph must be pretty nasty stuff. Can anyone comment please?

    Thanks and go Phils!!!!

  15. Dave

    August 6, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I would say that Romero and Dobbs would be the 2 obvious cuts after this season. I saw Oswalt strangling Romero in the dugout in the 8th inning.

  16. Chuck

    August 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

    54 games left. 1/3 of the season.

    If you assume that the Phillies can win 2 of 3 the rest of the way….that’s 36 more wins….for a total of 96!! That pretty much seals up a playoff berth, I would think.

    Let’s be more conservative and say they play .600 ball the rest of the way. That’s 32 more wins…for a total of 92. Not sure if that get’s it done.

    Since the AS break, the Phillies are 13-8 (.619) and since the beginning of July they are 19-13 (.594)…..

    …….All without Chase Utley (and now Ryan Howard).

    32 of the remaining 54 games are at home where they have a better record.

    I would have to think that with Utley, Howard and Vic all returning by the end of August….and with the way the Phils are playing now…..that they are poised to charge into the postseason.

    Of course….the games have to be played.

    Go Phillies!!!!

  17. Ed

    August 6, 2010 at 8:52 am

    re: suspect call by third base ump bob davidson in the 9th.

    ok, maybe the ball was fair over 3rd base, however, about 10 feet out of the batter’s box, the ball hits in foul territory. why isn’t anyone noticing this?? (so it was the right call for the wrong reason).

    see replay here from (we need super-slo-mo to be sure)

  18. George

    August 6, 2010 at 9:15 am

    The third base ump definitely has the best view of anything hit down the line. He’s basically right on top of the play, whereas cameras, fans, and opposing managers are seeing it from a distorted angle. If Davidson thought the ball was foul as it crossed the bag, no one else really has an argument. It doesn’t matter where a bouncing ball lands; it’s where it is when it passes third.

    It’s possible the ump missed it, but given his viewing position, I doubt it.

  19. Chuck

    August 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Yeah, he was basically right on top of it. My guess is that as it passed the bag it did just that….it PASSED it slightly foul.

    Boy, it sure did look fair though…

    And, it’s a call that very easily could have gone the other way, depending on who the umpire is and where he is standing, etc.

    The Phillies definitely caught a HUGE break and took advantage of it right away, scoring in the top of the 10th.


  20. Scott in D.C.

    August 6, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Am I on a different planet, or do I not understand the rules? They’re talking about it on the MLB satellite radio channel this morning just like they were last night: as if it were a definitine, no-doubt-about-it, QED blown call. I just don’t see it: from the camera angle, it looks wide of the bag.

  21. The Original Chuck P

    August 6, 2010 at 10:48 am

    On a ground ball (a ball that has already bounced… not a line drive or a scorcher down the line), it’s where the ball is at (fair or foul) as it crosses the bag… think of it like this; there’s an invisible foul pole on the outside edge of third base and if the ball crosses on the foul side of that pole, it’s foul. If it crosses on the fair side of the pole, it’s fair.

    Where the ball lands beyond Davidson is irrelevant to the call that he has to make… he saw a ball that had hit in foul territory halfway up the line (with some wicked English) coming right at him and called it foul. In all likelihood, given where it landed (a good 6 inches in fair territory), there’s a good chance that it was fair but like everyone else said, he has the best angle on that ball (better than any camera angle that I’ve seen). The Marlins broadcasters (whom I was listening to last night and commented about on the quasi gameday thread) were whining like two year olds in a grocery store. I’m glad that Reynolds called them out… it was laughable.

  22. Scott in D.C.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Thanks, Chuck … I’m entirely open to the possibility that it went over the bag fair, but judging from the broadcasters’ reaction, I’m not sure they even understand the rules. They were angry that Davidson made the call before it landed. But that’s not the part that he got wrong — if indeed he got anything wrong!

  23. Dave

    August 6, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Lidge, Madson and Romero are making a combined $21 million this year…just think how we could spend that money elsewhere in the pen. If Amaro can get the bullpen fixed for next year, this team will be stacked pitching wise.

  24. Pat Gallen

    August 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Guys, should have better knowledge of Victorino’s injury when I get to the park today. Heard he was the closest to being ready.

  25. Paul

    August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Give Ruiz a little more credit, he’s hitting .298!

  26. Chuck

    August 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Lidge and Madson pitched well last night. Some of Madson’t stuff was really nasty.

    In fact, Madson really isn’t having that bad a year. The ERA is a liittle higher than the last 3 years, but his WHIP is about the same and his K/BB ratio is better and his K/9 innings is better than last year by 2 and better than 2008 by almost 4.

    I’ll take my chances with Madson in his role.

    Lidge IS better than last year.

    Romero is another story.

  27. Greg F.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I watched on as well, and the Marlins announcers blew a gasket when the replays rolled on the Ross grounder over third. Here’s what they misunderstood:

    Davidson’s eye line was clearly down and toward the bag, as it should have been because fair/foul depends on the position of the ball relative to the bag when the ball passes over it, not where it lands past the bag. To my eye, it appeared the ball skirted the outside edge of the bag on the way past and spun back fair. That folks makes it a foul ball.

  28. Phan in the outfield

    August 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    WOW, what a strange game. Losing the 4 run lead (nice job bullpen); 3 runners tagged out in one inning (2 of them good runners); Chooch had the game winning HR; and that bizarre foul/not foul/maybe, but who knows ball. Madson is an interesting dude.

    I’m with Andrew, hey a call is a call. It’s baseball, you go with it. Take it for what it’s worth and move on.

    My co-workers-Muts buddies started in on me earlier this week. So let’s just hope this series turns out exactly opposite of the last one. I’d love nothing better than for these folks to get a swift kick in the butt. They are just torture in human form.

  29. George

    August 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    If Lidge, Madson and Romero were all cut today, they’d still be making $21 million. Trading them for others now is not a realistic option.

    Maybe something could happen in the offseason, but I’m not certain anyone would want to pay Lidge’s remaining money, Madson’s still too good to get rid of, and that only leaves Romero, who’s going to be off the books anyhow.

  30. SJHaack

    August 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I take umbrage at the thought that Carlos Ruiz “squeaked” his home run over the way. He demolished that sucker.

    Why did this comments section suddenly turn into MadsonChat? Ryan Madson is the Phillies best relief pitcher and it’s not particularly close.

  31. Dave

    August 6, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I brought it up because Romero blew the lead last night and the trio (Romero, Madson, Lidge) have not been good this year. I think Durbin is their best reliever. The man has no defined role and many times he pitches 2 innings. He also has great movement on his pitches…something Madson doesn’t have. Romero doesn’t count because he never throws the ball over the plate.

  32. Chuck

    August 6, 2010 at 1:57 pm


    Go to and check Madson’s stats. His ERA is higher, but otherwise he’s on par or better than the last 3 years.

  33. psujoe

    August 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Huge win. The Phils are taking advantage of blown calls and the poor defensive play of other teams. That’s what winners do. They take advantage of opportunites.

    If I thought Bastardo would stay healthy I’d put Romero on waivers. He has zero control this year.

    Nice AB by Sweeney. Finally, someone with patience.

    Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul! What a gerat time for him to get hot. Ditto for Chooch.

    If the Phils sit Werth who would play Center? Until they get Vic back they need his glove in CF.

  34. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    The call wasnt blown. I heard the ump speak about it today.He was standing right there. He said the ball was foul when it went over the bag. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. Where it landed after that is irrelevant. The Marlins announcers are turds.
    Now lets kill the Mets. To bad we wont get to face Pelfrey. Hows Oli Perez at 12 mil a year working out? Worst franchise in America. to have all that pay roll and the biggest market in the world and suck that bad is a disgrace.

  35. Chuck

    August 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    You know…let’s be careful with all the trash talk. The Mets can VERY EASILY win 2 games this weekend. Not saying they will. But anything can happen when these two teams link up.

  36. George

    August 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Madson’s ERA looks bad due to his awful start this year. Relief ERAs are always skewed by a bad outing. It takes a lot innings to bring that average that bad one out.

  37. George

    August 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Messed up my editing. The last sentence should read, “It takes a lot of innings to average that bad one out.”

  38. George

    August 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Oliver Perez is working out maybe a tiny bit worse than Adam Eaton did at $7 plus million. Eaton didn’t even have to pitch his third year to make that money, and he shouldn’t have been ALLOWED to pitch for the first two years of his contract.

    In other words, watch the trash talk.

  39. Andrew from Waldorf

    August 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Its not trash talk to point out how bad of an orginazation the Mets are. The worst in baseball easily. The Mets winning 2 games I wouldnt be shocked at all. But they arent a factor in the division as long as Ricky Ricardo is GM and Jerry is manager. Not really trash talking. I dont give 2 craps about mets fans and think they shouldnt be reading this. I dont read thier fan sites.
    For the record Eaton was 8 million dollar joke Oli is a 12 million per year joke.

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