Towssin' and turnin' with Phils

This is pretty much all you need to know about last night’s Phillies game.

It ended with Roy Oswalt playing left field for the Phils. And Raul Ibanez at first base.

The marathon, bizarre evening ended with another bitter loss, another bitter call by an umpire that led to a Phils’ ejection, and the Phils continuing to tread water two and a half games behind the Braves, who also lost. But the 4-2, 16-inning loss to the Astros did cost 6he Phils their one-game lead over the Giants, who pulled even by beating up on the Reds.

Oswalt was in left field because Ryan Howard was in the clubhouse. The slugger went ballistic after he got a quick hook from a Triple-A umpire who had been called up to fill in. Scott Barry ruled Howard went around on what certainly looked like a check swing in the 14th inning.

Howard tossed his bat, and Barry tossed him. An enraged Howard started making his way toward third base when a lot of players and other umps got in front of him.

It was the second straight night the Phils came out on the losing end of a tough call, and the second straight night they blew a chance to gain on the Braves.

After the ejection, Ibanez moved to first, and that left Charlie Manuel looking down his depleted bench to see who he was going to put in left field. Enter Roy Oswalt.

There’s a couple of things here. Howard has to know better than to get tossed when he knows full well that the team has no one else to play first base.

And rookie umpire Barry also has to know the situation and not have such a short fuse.

Howard had a right to be upset. It appeared he did indeed check his swing.

The bottom line is that the Phils continue to look up at the Braves, two and a half games back. And they’re now even with the Giants in the wild card race.

The only question is who will get tossed in tonight’s finale.