ALLENTOWN - Less than an hour before Thursday night's contest against the Pawtucket PawSox, Lehigh Valley IronPigs manager Ryne Sandberg had to enter the clubhouse and tell Vance Worley, his scheduled Friday night starter, to pack his bags and head for Philadelphia.
The Phillies had just put starting pitcher Joe Blanton on the disabled list with a medial impingement of the right elbow.
Not only did Worley get the message to head to Citizen's Bank Park, he was also told he would get the nod from manager Charlie Manuel to start tonight's contest against the New York Mets and Mike Pelfrey. Worley is 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA in four starts this year with the IronPigs.
Replacing Worley on the mound tonight in the finale of a four-game series will be Brian Gordon.
After watching his team fall behind by 10 runs and stage a comeback to lose 11-8 to the PawSox, Sandberg received more news when he walked in to his office that catcher Dane Sardinha, batting just .105, was also being sent to Philadelphia and Joel Naughton was being called up from the Clearwater Threshers.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruis underwent an MRI on Thursday after leaving Wednesday's game in Arizona because of a back injury. Ruiz won't go on the DL and instead the Phillies called up Sardinha as a backup while he rests for a couple of days.
Just last week, Michael Stutes was called up when Jose Contreras, the Phillies closer was put on the DL. He was at Coca-Cola Park prior to yesterday's game to collect some of his things that he'll need while he's up with the big club.
The PawSox jumped on the IronPigs early using the long ball (five home runs) and pounding IronPigs starter Ryan Feierabend who was making his fourth start in the Phillies organization. Feierabend lasted just 3.2 innings and gave up 10 of the 11 runs, nine earned, while striking out one and walking two.The Pigs battled back to score eight runs over the final five innings while its bullpen (Scott Mathieson and Jason Grilli) cooled off the Boston Triple-A affiliate.
With the loss, the Pigs fell to 10-11, but with all of the roster changes, a win tonight would give them a split in the series.
"He (Feierabend) came up a little short for us," said Sandberg of his starter. "He was out there battling, but they were on him. We were hoping to get five or six (innings) out of him because we're a little strapped over this two-day period.
"We needed innings, but the bright spot was that the team battled back and Mathieson stepped up and gave us multiple innings and a big lift and Grilli getting through two (innings) was another big lift which still sets us up okay for Friday."
Even during the rough first four innings, Sandberg was happy with the way the outfielders were hustling and then the Pigs showed some life with the bats late.
After being no-hit for the first four innings, they finished the night with 11 hits on the night.
"It got a little bit contagious there," said Sandberg as he watched some of the guys who have been struggling at the plate do some damage. "The guys were pulling for each other in the dugout, rallying around. I think when guys start hitting like that you can see a whole lineup catch fire so that was a good thing to see."
After tonight's Fireworks Night against the PawSox, the Buffalo Bisons (New York Mets affiliate) come to town for games Saturday through Tuesday.