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Roy Oswalt Plays Left Field During Astros-Phillies Game, Makes History

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A brief-as-possible summary, for those of you not fortunate enough to see the spectacle unfold during Tuesday night's Astros-Phillies game: tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 14th inning, the Phillies had runners on first and second with two out and Ryan Howard at the plate. Howard tried to check his swing, but third base umpire Scott Barry said he went around. Howard threw a minor fit, then appeared to gesture to Barry that he was mad at himself.

A couple of pitches later, Barry called a strike three on Howard, saying that he went around. Howard (understandably) disagreed, but unfortunately, he registered his displeasure by discarding his helmet, charging toward Barry, and shouting all sorts of terrible things. He was ejected.

The problem was this: the Phillies had no position players left.

So, low on options, manager Charlie Manuel made the decision to trot out Roy Oswalt in the 15th inning... to play left field.

Oswalt fielded the fly ball smoothly and without incident, having taken a moment to skim through the universal "how to play outfield" guide book. It's just a picture of a baseball, an arrow pointing to a glove, another arrow pointing to a cutoff man. The rest of the book describes in great detail how not to play outfield, and contains crossed-out illustrations of a pitcher's mound, a player throwing a baseball into the overhead lights, a frying pan, a man doing bench presses with improper form, and a man doing bench presses with proper form.

UPDATE: A previous version of this post stated that Oswalt was the first pitcher to record a putout as a position player since 1942. Contrary evidence has been found; to take two examples, Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell on the 1986 Mets.