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Archive for May, 2006

Mike Schmidt’s 4 Home Run Day Against the Chicago Cubs …

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

After writing about that famous, wild 23-22 Phils, Cubs game won by the Phils, I received a comment from a reader asking me about another Phils, Cubs wild game, the one where Mike Schmidt hit 4 homers in a game for the one time in his career.

                                    Mike Schmidt

Well, the game referred to took place in Wrigley Field on April 17th, 1976.  It was only the 5th game of 1976 season, a season which would see the Phillies win the NL East Division Championship going away with a 101-61 mark.

                                   Steve Carlton                  Rick Reuschel

The game day pitchers, Lefty Steve Carlton and Rick Reuschel looked on paper like a possible pitchers dual.  Lefty was destined to go 20-7 for the 1976 season.

It was another game where the wind was blowing out and balls flew out of Wrigley Field, 6 homers by the Phillies, 3 by the Cubs.  4 of the Phils homers were by Schmitty (5 HRs for the season who went 5 for 6 — 4 HRs and a base hit) with 8 RBIs.  This was before Dave “King Kong” Kingman came to the Cubs in 1978 and would play home run derby with Schmitty before (and sometimes during Phils, Cubs games. Schmidt was destined to club 38 HRs for the 1976 season and 548 HRs for his career.

                    Rick Monday             Gary Maddox            Bob Boone

And yes, the Phils got down early in this game by a 12-1 and 13-2 scores as the Cubs scored 7 runs in the 2nd inning as Steve Swisher and Rick Monday homered off of Lefty and 5 in the 3rd and 1 in the 4th on Monday’s solo shot, his 2nd homer of the game.  But then the Phils pecked their way back; Gary Maddox solo homered off of Rick Reuschel in the 2nd inning.  Then the Phils scored 2 runs in the 5th inning on Schmitty’s 2 run shot, also of Reuschel, 3 in the 7th off of Reuschel including Schmidt’s solo blast, 5 in the 8th featuring Schmidt’s 3 run shot and 3 in the 9th including Bob Boone’s solo homer as the Phils rallied to take over the lead 15-13 as the Cubs came to bat in the bottom of the 9th against closer Tug McGraw.  But Tug blew his save opportunity as the Cubs got 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game.

                                   Tug McGraw                Paul Reuschel

In the 10th, Schmidt led a 3 run uprising with his 4th homer, a 2 run shot off of Paul Reuschel, as the Phils jumped to an 18-15 lead.   In the bottom of the 10th, the Cubs didn’t go down easy.  They scored 1 more run off of Tom Underwood, but it wasn’t enough; Phils 18, Cubs 16 as Tug Mcgraw was credited with the win although he had blown a save opportunity in the 9th.

                 Jay Johnstone          Bill Matlock          Manny Trillo

The game saw 34 runs scored on 43 hits as Jay Johnstone augmented Schmitty’s 5 for 6 day with a 4 for 5 performance while Rick Monday (4 for 6 with 4 RBIs), Bill Madlock (3 for 7 with 3 RBIs), Swisher (3 for 6 with 4 RBIs) and Manny Trillo, destined to be traded to the Phillies, went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs.

After Losing the First Two, Nationals Salvage Get-Away Game With Phils

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

The Phillies defeated the Nationals on Tuesday by a 4-2 score behind a fine 8 inning pitching performance by starter and winner Brett Myers (4-2), a 3 run homer by Bobby Abreu (6 HRs) in the 4th inning and Tom Gordon’s (2-2, S15) 15th save.  Starter Tony Armas (5-3) was charged with the loss for Washington as the Phils won the 2nd game in the series.

                  Brett Myers       Bobby Abreu        Tom Gordon

However, on Wednesday, Washington salvaged the final game by a 3-2 score despite a respectable 3 run, 6 1/3 inning performance by starter and losing pitcher, Cory Lidle (4-5), solo homers by Aaron Rowand (7 HRs, .306) in the 2nd inning and David Dellucci (2 HRs) in the 5th inning and 2 2/3 air-tight shutout relief pitching by the Phils bullpen which hasn’t been scored upon in 11 1/3 innings (not including the 1 run allowed by Clay Condrey in game one when he took over for Jon Lieber who went down with a groin injury).  Starter Livan Hernandez (4-5) picked up the win for the Nationals pitching 7 innings and giving up the 2 Phillies’ homers while   Alfonso Sariano took care of all of Washington’s scoring with a 2 run homer in the 3rd inning and an RBI single in the 7th.

     Aaron Rowand      David Dellucci      Livan Hernandez     Alfonso Soriano 

The Phils now head out west for an 11 game road trip beginning with a 4 game series in LA with the Dodgers on Thursday through Sunday.

Washington heads next to Milwaukee for 3 games followed by a series with the Atlanta Braves.

For previews, scores, box scores and recaps of Wednesday’s through Friday’s games, click here, here and here.

Phillies Show Some Good Signs …

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

The Phillies are on a two game win streak and hoping for a sweep of their series with the Washington Nationals.   

A two game winning streak is nothing special unto itself.  But in those two games, the bullpen has shutout their opposition, the Milwaukee Brewers on  Sunday and the Nationals on Monday; a span of 7 innings over the 2 games.

In addition, while it is sad to see Phils starter Jon Lieber (3-5) go down and on to the DL for 15 games with a groin pull, it was great to see new call-up righthander Clay Condrey (1-0) take over for Lieber and pitch 4 innings of 3 hit, 1 run ball and record his first Major League victory since April 4, 2003 as the Phils clubbed the Nationals 11-2.  Washington starter Mike O’Conner (2-3) took the loss.

                                                     Ryan Howard

And it was great to see Ryan Howard (18 HR, .304 BA) lace his 13th May homer, another opposite field shot with 2 on as the Phils broke a 2-2 game wide open with 9 runs over the 6th, 7th and 8th innings.

                                  Brett Myers              Tony Armas

In Tuesday’s game, Brett Myers (3-2, 2.86 ERA) goes for the Phillies against Tony Armas (5-2) for the Nationals.
For all of the scores, box scores and recaps of Tuesday’s games,
click here.


Curt Schilling Wins #200

Monday, May 29th, 2006

As a Phillies fan of over 50 years, congratulations to Curt Schilling on his MLB victory #200 this past Sunday. 

                                                  Curt Schilling

I have been rooting for the BoSox in the AL for years hoping for the dream match-up of the Phils and the Red Sox in the World Series.

                                  Curt Schilling                Curt Schilling

Schilling, who came to the Phils in a trade for the often-erratic Jason Grimsley provided Phils fans with a lot of thrills and memories over his 8 1/2 years in Philadelphia.  Among those thrills was his sterling year in 1993 as he propelled the the Phillies to the NL championship as he was named the NLCS MVP despite no victories (he gave up just 3 earned runs and struck out 19 in 16 innings in the LCS) and into the World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays, the series where closer Mitch Williams self-destructed his pitching career as the Phils fell to Toronto in a wild 15-14 4th game and fell behind in the series 3-1 and ultimately lost in 6 games.

Schilling came on in the 5th game to duel Juan Guzman and to win a 2-0 complete game shutout over the Jays.

After a number of fine, but sometimes injury plagued years in Philadelphia, Schilling was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and later went,  under free agency, to Boston.  He helped both teams to World Championships; the Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Red Sox in 2004. 

In addition to winning 200 games thus far in his career, The Schill is knocking on the door of 3,000 career strikeouts with 2,897 as of Sunday’s game.

                                                 Curt Schilling

Who can forget the Bloody-Sock game in the 2nd game of the 2004 World Series where Schilling pitched a heroic 6 innings giving up 1 run and 4 hits on an ankle due for surgery in the off-season.  That sock, by the way, is now enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

To Curt Schilling, hopefully enough injury-free years to get to 300 plus victories, more excitement, more World Series appearances and victories, maybe even a return to the Phillies before his career wanes.

Finally, #715 for Barry Bonds; Albert Pujols Hits #24, Continues Record HR Pace …

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

                     Barry Bonds 715

Barry Bonds finally connected for his 715th career homer, passing Babe Ruth (714 career homers) with a titanic 445 foot blast to center field in AT&T Park.  The San Francisco Giants, however, lost today’s game to the Colorado Rockies by a 6-3 score.

For Bonds, the scenario played out like he had wanted;  #715 came in front of the hometown fans, although it took a bit longer than expected to accomplish.

“If you keep playing long enough anything is possible,” Bonds said, wearing a new 715 shirt and cap. “I’d like to win a World Series and be home run king. I’d like to do both. I would take a World Series first.”

                Barry Bonds          Hank Aaron

But does Bonds have the staying power and enough left to challenge the coveted Career homer record of 755 by Hank Aaron?  Bonds has been slowed by injuries, including three operations on his right knee last year, as well as bone chips in his left elbow.

Bonds connected off of a Colorado righthander Byung-Hyun Kim 90 mph fastball on a full-count at 2:14 PM PCT as Kim became the 421st pitcher to fall victim to a homer by Bonds. 

                            Babe Ruth

Yahoo Sports reports that “This is the first time in nearly 85 years that Ruth hasn’t been in the top two on the career home run list, according to David Vincent of the Society for American Baseball Research. He passed Sam Thompson to move into second on June 20, 1921, when he hit his 127th home run.”

I recall that for the first 28 years of my life, I never thought that Ruth’s career home run record was approachable.  Aaron hit #755 at the close of his career in 1976.

                         Albert Pujols

Meanwhile, in San Diego, Albert Pujols continued on a record-breaking clip hitting his 24th homer in game 51 for the St Louis Cardinals.  Pujols’ homer, as well as homers by  Juan Encarnacion (6 HR) and Scott Rolen (5 HR) were not enough as San Diego also connected for 3 homers in defeating St. Louis by a 10-8 score.

Pujol’s pace, 24 homers in 51 games, projects him through the season at a 72 plus homerun pace.  As asked earlier on this blog, is Pujols’ power surge sustainable?


Phils Again Lose 2 of 3 Again at Home, Salvage 1 Against Milwaukee, Stay Above .500

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

After losing the first 2 games of their 3 game set with the  Milwaukee Brewers by scores of 6-5 in extra innings and 9-6, due to lapses in relief pitching following offensive rallies to tie both games, the Phils fell behind again, this time 2-0 early, but rallied back for a series-salvaging 6-2 win. This time the offense battled back to tie thanks to starter Ryan Madison (5-3) helping his own cause with a 2 run double in the 4th, to go along with 5 steady innings of pitching, plus a 2 run 5th inning homer for Ryan Howard (17 HR, .307 BA) and parlaying 2 Brewer fielding miscues, 2 base hits and a walk into 2 insurance runs in the 6th inning.  This time, the Phils bullpen was flawless in shutting down the Brewers over the last 4 innings to hold the win for Madison.

           Ryan Madison        Cory Koskie        Ryan Howard

Former reliever turned starter Dana Eveland (0-2) took the loss for Milwaukee giving up 4 runs in his 5 innings of work with reliever Joe Winkelsas coughing up the Phils’ 2 insurance runs in the 6th.  Corey Koskie (6 HR, .291 BA) homered in the 2nd inning for the Brewers to drive in their 2 runs.

The Phils must now rally it’s pitching forces and offense into consistency as they now entertain the suddenly warmed up (7 wins in last 10 games) Washington Nationals for 3 games to close out May before beginning June with a trip out West with 4 games with the (8 wins in last 10 games)  L.A. Dodgers followed by 3 games with NL West leading Arizona.

For all of the scores, box scores and recaps of today games as wll as previews of Monday’s games, click here and here.