We knew the Philadelphia Phillies were going to pull out all of the stops against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night in order to even the NLCS. But for a moment it seemed as though pitcher Roy Oswalt(notes) had taken that philosophy 90 feet too far.
After leading off the seventh inning with a solid single to center, Oswalt found himself at second base after a sacrifice bunt and a walk. Placido Polanco(notes) then softly lined one to center that landed just in front of center fielder Andres Torres(notes).
Bases loaded for the Phillies!
Or, maybe not.
"I didn't see [the stop sign] until I got halfway down the line," Oswalt said. "As soon as Polanco hit it, I read it pretty well off the bat and I thought I was scoring straight out. So I had the intention of scoring when I took off, and I wasn't even looking for a stop sign, so I was halfway down the line and I was hoping I'd get in there from there."
It worked out for Roy. The throw to the plate was on line, but it also was bound to strike the mound. Aubrey Huff(notes) cut it off, but didn't have a play as Oswalt slid home to make it 3-1 Phillies.
Forget the triple or the inside-the-park home run. A slow guy in a jacket — otherwise known as a pitcher — running the bases without any regard for health or well-being; That, my friends, is the most exciting play in baseball.
It's also heart-stopping and cringe-worthy for the fans and teammates of said pitcher.
Do you think manager Charlie Manuel worried as the play unfolded?
"I said 'Go for it,' " Manuel said. "What are we going to do, rope him? I'm not a cowboy, even though I might look like one, talk like one..."
Thankfully, Perlozzo didn't have a lasso, or we may have been robbed from a classic "only in the National League" moment.