ALLENTOWN - Fans headed to Coca-Cola Park this week are getting a real treat.
They saw the second rehab appearance by Philadelphia Phillies reliever J.C. Romero, who is coming back from an elbow injury. They will get to see him throw another inning or two tonight and will see Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has been on the disabled list since April 3 with a neck strain, pitch when the Lehigh Valley IronPigs host the Pawtucket Red Sox at Coca-Cola Park on Wednesday.
Romero, who threw an inning on Friday night before the rain came, gave Phillies fans a scare when he stepped in an indentation in the mound from a previous pitcher and slipped on his follow through as he opened the seventh inning.
He walked around a bit and got right back to work, pitching to Syracuse's Roger Bernadina.
"I landed in the wrong spot. I guess the previous pitcher dug a big hole," he said afterwards. "That threw me off a little bit in my delivery. That's not what I wanted to do. I was all right after I threw a couple of pitches."
Romero gave up the go-ahead run in the inning and wound up the loser of a 3-2 contest that saw the IronPigs fall to 4-7 on the season.
He threw 19 pitches, walked three (one intentional), didn't give up a hit and the run was unearned.
After a walk to Bernadina he got former Phil Eric Bruntlett to fly out to center and struckout Marvin Lowrance. Romero actually should have gotten out of the inning when he had Bernadina picked off second, but the latter kicked the ball out of Neil Sellers' glove at third base and was safe.
"I was throwing mostly sinkers so the ball was moving that's why I was erratic a little bit," Romero added. "But it's something that will come. I know tomorrow is going to be a big day for me so I'm going to be ready."
IronPigs manager Dave Huppert thought Romero did a nice job.
"He held that runner, picked him off second and knew what he was doing out there," said Huppert. "I think he did a nice job."
The two teams go at it again tonight when Nate Bump (1-0, 2.08) goes for the IronPigs against Andrew Kown (0-1, 1.04) of the Chiefs.