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MLB notes: Buddies could battle in Phillies-Yankees series

Sun., Oct. 17, 2010

Roy Oswalt joked that he always told Lance Berkman what pitch was coming during those old Houston spring training BP sessions.

If they face each other again, Oswalt won’t be so friendly.

The former Astros teammates and good friends could be on opposing sides of a Phillies-Yankees World Series. Oswalt was traded to the Phillies in July and Berkman was sent to the Yankees only weeks later.

“We talked about this when we both got traded, if we face each other in the last game, it would be a little weird,” said Oswalt, today’s Game 2 starter in the NLCS.

Oswalt has been sensational for the Phillies and is a key reason why they’re in the NLCS for the third straight season. Oswalt had a no-trade clause in his contract, but decided the time was right to move from the rebuilding Astros to perennial contender Philadelphia.

“It worked out perfect for both of us,” Oswalt said. “Houston got a few young players to try to rebuild and I got to go where I wanted to. Philly was my No. 1 choice on my teams I wanted to go to.”

Oswalt just may see Berkman again.

“This time I won’t tell him what’s coming,” he said.

Never before had the Yankees rallied from such a big deficit to win a postseason game.

New York trailed 5-0 after six innings in Game 1 of the A.L. championship series game against Texas, before rallying to win 6-5 with a five-run outburst in the eighth inning Friday night off five pitchers.

Only one other time in major league history had a team overcome a deficit of at least four runs in the eighth inning or later to win a nine-inning postseason game. The Toronto Blue Jays beat Philadelphia 15-14 in Game 4 of the 1993 World Series after scoring six runs in the eighth inning.

Straight to the hall

History was in the house before Game 1 of Saturday’s N.L. championship series, with Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson on hand at Citizens Bank Park to pick up a jersey and game-used ball from Roy Halladay’s no-hitter last week.

The Phillies set aside the items after Halladay’s gem against Cincinnati. The mementoes will be on display within a week at the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The Texas Rangers are finding out just how much they miss setup reliever Frank Francisco.

The injured Francisco’s absence was never more evident than the eighth inning of Game 1 in the A.L. championship series, when the New York Yankees rallied against five pitchers for five runs.

“I made the statement constantly throughout the year, that it’s going to be tough to try to get this done without him,” manager Ron Washington said before the Rangers’ win in Game 2. “It’s a shame. He’s a big piece.”

Francisco, the Rangers’ primary eighth-inning reliever setting up closer Neftali Feliz, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 28 because of a muscle strain in his right side.

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