Sunday, July 12, 2020

1985 Game 84 - 1985 Donruss #66 Dale Murphy

Braves 7Phillies 4
Game 84 - Friday Night, July 12th in Atlanta
Record - 37-47, 5th Place, 13 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The Braves scored five times in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a painful 7-5 win over the free-falling Phillies.

What It Means:  If you thought the prior day's walk-off win from the Braves was tough to take, this one was even worse.

What Happened:  Manager John Felske must have had little to no faith in any of his relievers other than Kent Tekulve, Don Carman and Larry Andersen.  Andersen was the victim for the second night in a row, surrendering the winning three-run home run to Dale Murphy as the Braves walked it off.  Felske used all three of his top relievers in the inning in an attempt to record three outs.  Tekulve, who had recorded the final two outs of the eighth inning, departed in the ninth with one out and runners on second and third.  Carman entered and induced a ground out that scored a run, but then walked the next batter to put Braves runners at the corners with two outs.

Andersen entered and Ramirez, who had singled off him in the prior game, singled again to tie this game at 4-4.  Murphy then hit his blast for the win.

Shane Rawley pitched well in his start, allowing two runs (one earned) and four hits in 7 1/3 innings. The Phillies scored their four runs off Braves starter Steve Bedrosian, with Ozzie Virgil connecting for a two-run single in the fourth that would give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

Featured Card:  Murphy would join the Phillies five years and a few weeks after this game when he was acquired with Tommy Greene for Jeff Parrett, Jim Vatcher and Victor Rosario on August 3, 1990.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Saturday, July 11, 2020

1985 Game 83 - 1985 Fleer #244 Larry Andersen

Braves 3Phillies 2
Game 83 - Thursday Night, July 11th in Atlanta
Record - 37-46, 5th Place, 13 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The Braves scored a run in each of the final three innings, ultimately walking off with the 3-2 win when Rafael Ramirez singled home the winning run off Larry Andersen.

What It Means:  This was another tough loss and it handed John Denny another no decision.

What Happened:  Denny went 7 2/3 innings, and left with the Phillies holding a slim 2-1 lead.  Don Carman relieved him and the reliever's troubles continued as he allowed a single to Ken Oberkfell to tie the game.  Andersen came on in the ninth and allowed a lead-off double to Rick Cerone.  Milt Thompson ran for Cerone and ultimately came around to score on Ramirez's winning hit.  Both Ramirez and Oberkfell had three hits a piece for the Braves.

The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the third when Juan Samuel led off with a home run off Braves' starter Zane Smith.  Their second run came home when Glenn Wilson singled in Von Hayes in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie.

Featured Card:  Andersen had been one of the Phillies' top relievers in 1984, and he struggled at times throughout the 1985 season.  His next successful year with the team would come in 1993 during his second stint in Philadelphia, as he was part of the crew that inexplicably won the National League pennant against the Braves.  Thompson, who scored the winning run in this game, and Andersen would go on to be teammates on that '93 squad.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Friday, July 10, 2020

1985 Game 82 - 1985 Fleer #364 Dickie Thon

Astros 10Phillies 0
Game 82 - Wednesday Night, July 10th in Houston
Record - 37-45, 5th Place, 12 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  Avoiding the sweep, the Astros unloaded on the Phillies both at the plate and with a complete game shutout from Mike Scott in this 10-0 drubbing.

What It Means:  The Phillies limped out of Houston and flew to Atlanta following this game for a four-game set with the Braves to conclude the first half of the season.  The wheels were about to come off for the team as they headed into the second half of the 1985 season on a low note.

What Happened:  Yikes.  Koosman didn't retire a batter in the first inning, facing six batters and leaving with his team trailing 4-0.  Reliever Rocky Childress wouldn't fare much better, giving up an inherited runner tagged to Koosman and then four more runs of his own in his four innings of work.  Koosman's ERA went from 2.73 to 3.45 following this outing.  Scott allowed four hits and struck out seven on the way to improving his record to 8-4.  (USA Today apparently had a misprint in this boxscore, showing Scott's record at 7-4.)

Jose Cruz sealed the win with a bases clearing triple in the first inning.  Bill Doran also had a pair of RBIs along with a pair of doubles.

Featured Card:  Future Phillie Dickie Thon added an RBI-double in the fifth, greeting new reliever Dave Rucker.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Thursday, July 9, 2020

1985 Game 81 - 1985 Topps Stickers #369 Juan Samuel

Phillies 5Astros 3
Game 81 - Tuesday Night, July 9th in Houston
Record - 37-44, 5th Place, 11 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies rode a five-run fourth inning to an eventual 5-3 win over Bob Knepper and the Astros.

What It Means:  As discussed in yesterday's game summary post, my family would have completely missed watching these games as we were enjoying our vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I remained focused on collecting boxscores for each Phillies game, dutifully clipping this one from The Virginia Pilot.

What Happened:  There was no score after three innings when the Phillies offense came to life.  In quick succession - Rich Schu led off with a double, Glenn Wilson singled, Mike Schmidt singled scoring Schu, Garry Maddox singled scoring Wilson, Bo Diaz doubled scoring Schmidt, Luis Aguayo was intentionally walked to load the bases, Juan Samuel singled scoring Diaz and Aguayo after pitcher Kevin Gross had grounded into a fielder's choice, forcing Maddox at home.

Gross earned the win, lasting 6 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on six hits.  He was pulled in the seventh after walking Jose Cruz with the bases loaded.  Don Carman continued his struggles, allowing another Astros run, before Kent Tekulve was called upon to record the game's final out and record his eighth save.

Featured Card:  Samuel had the big hit in the fourth, plating two runs.  He also stole his 29th base following his hit as a rattled Knepper probably wasn't paying much attention to him.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

1985 Game 80 - 1985 Topps #454 Glenn Wilson

Phillies 7Astros 4
Game 80 - Monday Night, July 8th in Houston
Record - 36-44, 5th Place, 11 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies unloaded for 20 hits inside the Astrodome, defeating the Astros, 7-4.

What It Means:  The source of this game's box score in my 1985 Phillies Scrapbook caught my interest as I indicate I clipped it from The Richmond Times.  Enlisting the help of my Mom, and asking her to go back through old family photo albums, we confirmed our family was on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia while the Phillies were taking on the Astros in Houston.  My parents worked hard so that we could have one vacation a summer, and I have great memories of the few trips we took down to Virginia to visit Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.

What Happened:  This was more of a blow-out than the final score indicates, as the Phillies led 7-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth.  Don Carman had a rare rough outing, allowing three Astros runs to score before Kent Tekulve came on to lock down the save.  Charles Hudson had another effective start, allowing a run on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings while striking out seven.  Mark Knudson was the sacrificial pitching lamb for the Astros, giving up 14 hits and seven runs in his seven-inning outing.

Other than an RBI-triple from Mike Schmidt in the third, every other Phillies run came from a single or a force out.  Von Hayes, Glenn Wilson and Ozzie Virgil all had three hits, with Wilson also driving in three runs.

Featured Card:  I seem to remember Wilson usually doing well against the Astros, his home state team.  With the All-Star Game coming up, Wilson would be a late addition to the National League roster, replacing the injured Pedro Guerrero.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

1985 Game 79 - 1985 Fleer #535 Tom Foley

Reds 3Phillies 2 (10 Innings)
Game 79 - Sunday Afternoon, July 7th in Philadelphia
Record - 35-44, 5th Place, 11 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The bullpen duo of Don Carman and Kent Tekulve faltered as the Reds came from behind to win this game in extra innings, 3-2.

What It Means:  It was free family cooler day at The Vet, and over 32,000 fans went home with a new Phillies cooler after this loss.

What Happened:  Shane Rawley left the game after seven innings with the Phillies holding a slim 2-1 lead.  He had allowed a run on seven hits while striking out six, and unfortunately he was on his way to a no decision.  The Phillies had pushed across their two runs on an RBI-single from Greg Gross in the fifth, and in the seventh on an RBI-single from Juan Samuel.

Don Carman allowed the Reds to tie the game in the eighth after Dave Parker tripled and came home on a Tony Perez single.  Kent Tekulve surrendered a solo home run to Cesar Cedeno in the 10th sending the Reds to the victory.

Featured Card:  Researching the Phillies' 1985 season, I was very surprised to see the team made zero roster moves that July.  That's unheard of in today's game, where roster moves happen seemingly every week.  The Phillies placed Steve Carlton on the disabled list on June 21st and recalled reliever Rocky Childress.  For the next 40 games, the roster was set with the players shown below, and the transaction-less streak was broken when the club traded Bo Diaz to the Reds on August 7th for Tom Foley, Alan Knicely and (eventually) Fred Toliver.

Also unheard of today, the Phillies carried only 10 pitchers, but three catchers, throughout the month of July.  And the most surprising factoid of all?  14 of the team's opening day roster of 25 made it through the entire season, on the active roster for all 162 games.  I've shown those 14 players below in red.

Starting pitchers (5) - John Denny, Kevin Gross, Charles Hudson, Jerry Koosman, Shane Rawley
Relief pitchers (5) - Larry Andersen, Don Carman, Rocky Childress, Dave Rucker, Kent Tekulve
Catchers (3) - Bo Diaz, Ozzie Virgil, John Wockenfuss
Infielders (7) - Luis Aguayo, Tim Corcoran, Steve Jeltz, Juan Samuel, Mike Schmidt, Rick Schu, Derrel Thomas
Outfielders (5) - Greg Gross, Von Hayes, Garry Maddox, John Russell, Glenn Wilson
Disabled List (3) - Steve Carlton, Darren Daulton, Joe Lefebvre

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Monday, July 6, 2020

1985 Game 78 - 1985 Donruss #641 Pete Rose

Reds 4Phillies 2
Game 78 - Saturday Night, July 6th in Philadelphia
Record - 35-43, 5th Place, 10 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  Pete Rose and Dave Parker keyed a two-run rally for the Reds in the third ultimately leading to a 4-2 win over the Phillies.

What It Means:  I'm reminded here of a feature in the box scores from The Sporting News that I really appreciated.  I remember noticing for the first time these box scores included multiple position listings if a player had moved positions during the game.  It's a small thing, but if not for these box scores I wouldn't have known Steve Jeltz pinch ran and then stayed in the game to play shortstop.  Similarly, I wouldn't have known Max Venable started for the Reds in center field but at some point moved over to left.  Again, not major stuff here, but I remember thinking at 11 years old this was pretty cool.

What Happened:  With the game tied at one entering the third, Venable doubled and came home on a Rose single.  Rose went to second on the throw home and scored when Parker singled him home.  John Denny pitched well, allowing three runs on five hits over seven innings, but he was saddled with the loss dropping him to 5-7.  Only Garry Maddox had multiple hits for the Phillies, as their offense went 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

I found the highlights from the game on YouTube from ESPN's Sports Center broadcast, embedded below.  (I'm not sure why the screen shot uses the Phillies logo introduced in 1992.)

Featured Card:  As shown in the clip below, Rose still had a habit of losing his helmet when rounding third and heading home.  His baseball cards were still a fairly hot collectible back in 1985.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1985 Game 77 - 1985 Tastykake Phillies #15 Don Carman

Phillies 5Reds 2
Game 77 - Friday Night, July 5th in Philadelphia
Record - 35-42, 5th Place, 10 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  A four-run 7th inning, capped by a two-run home run from John Russell gave the Phillies a 5-2 come from behind win against the Reds.

What It Means:  The Phillies continued to play good baseball and they were now only seven games below an even .500.  However, the team would continue to take almost equal steps forward and backward throughout July, ultimately finishing the month nine games below .500 and 15 1/2 games behind the top spot in the division.

What Happened:  Trailing 2-1, the Phillies mounted a four-run rally following the 7th inning stretch.  Mike Schmidt started the seventh with a single off Reds' starter Tom Browning and came home to score and tie the game when Glenn Wilson doubled.  Ozzie Virgil reached on an error by third baseman Nick Esasky, with Wilson scoring in the process.  Russell followed that a few batters later with his two-run home run.  Schmidt had two hits in this game, including a solo home run in the first, and improved his average to .240.

Jerry Koosman pitched well (6 2/3 innings, two runs) but came away with a no decision.  Larry Andersen was the beneficiary of the win with Don Carman recording his third save after two scoreless innings of relief to close out the game.  Carman got pinch-hitter Pete Rose to fly out to right for the final out.

Featured Card:  I feel Carman's performance this season has been often overlooked, so I'll give him the card here.  Following this outing, Carman's ERA was down to 1.76 for the season and he was clearly one of manager John Felske's most reliable relievers.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Saturday, July 4, 2020

1985 Game 76 - 1985 Cigna Phillies #14 Kevin Gross

Phillies 3Reds 1
Game 76 - Thursday Afternoon, July 4th in Philadelphia
Record - 34-42, 5th Place, 11 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  Kevin Gross limited the Reds to three hits in his complete game, as the Phillies won on Independence Day, 3-1.

What It Means:  The Phils were playing pretty good baseball, and at almost the mid-point of the season they were only eight games under .500.  Unfortunately, they continued to look up at the much better Mets, Cubs, Expos and Cardinals in the N.L. East.

What Happened:  Gross evened his record at 7-7 and lowered his ERA below three at 2.99 with this performance.  He allowed one run on three hits while striking out four.  The Phillies scored quickly off Reds starter Mario Soto with two solo home runs in the first from Juan Samuel and Von Hayes.  Ozzie Virgil completed the scoring with another solo home run off Soto in the sixth.

Pete Rose went 0 for 3, and recounts the game in the summary below from his Countdown to Cobb book.

Featured Card:  After some inconsistent starts, Gross was emerging as one of the stronger pitchers in the Phillies starting rotation.  This was his second complete game in a row and he was 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA over his last three starts.  In the book excerpt below, after Rose recounts his visit to the racetrack for a little innocent betting (ahem), the Reds manager lumps Gross in the same category with the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index


Friday, July 3, 2020

1985 Game 75 - 2010 Topps National Chicle #253 Ryne Sandberg

Cubs 4Phillies 3
Game 75 - Wednesday Night, July 3rd in Philadelphia
Record - 33-42, 5th Place, 11 1/2 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  Phillies closer Kent Tekulve disappointed a huge fireworks crowd, letting a game against the Cubs get away in a 4-3 loss.

What It Means:  Over 56,000 fans were on hand to see this late inning loss, but hopefully an amazing postgame fireworks show made up for their disappointment.

What Happened:  The Phillies held a 2-1 lead heading to the eighth, with both their runs coming in the fourth.  Von Hayes led off that inning with a solo home run off Cubs' starter Dennis Eckersley and Derrel Thomas later singled home Mike Schmidt.  The usually reliable Kent Tekulve faltered for the Phils, allowing the Cubs to tie the game in the eighth.  Ryne Sandberg walked and went to third on a Davey Lopes single.  Sandberg came home on a Keith Moreland sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies retook the lead when Ozzie Virgil singled home Hayes.  But Tekulve couldn't get the final three outs in the ninth, allowing singles to Thad Bosley and Billy Hatcher before Sandberg's double scored the tying and eventual winning runs.

Charles Hudson's efforts were for naught, as he had pitched seven innings allowing a run on eight hits.  This was Tekulve's fifth blown save of the season.

Featured Card:  Sandberg was coming off his 1984 N.L. MVP campaign, and he continued to haunt his former team.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Summer Camp Opens Today; Play Ball?

2020 Topps Now Road to
Opening Day #OD-276
Today is the day the Phillies open Spring Training II, or Summer Camp as it's being officially marketed by MLB.  The team will train at Citizens Bank Park and nearby FDR Park in Philadelphia over the next several weeks, with the possibility of up to three exhibition games.  There's already some drama surrounding the club's return, as they placed four players mysteriously on the injured list yesterday with no explanation and apparently the list was made public accidentally.  Matt Gelb recounts the transaction snafu in an article for The Athletic.  To sum up the situation, the players have landed on the new COVID-19 injured list but that list was intended to stay private.  Someone input the transactions into MLB's database and the team's official website was updated showing the moves.  As of this writing, the moves are still publicly disclosed here.

2019 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #22
Camp Head Count:  53 + 3 - 4 = 52.  Tommy Hunter (rhp), Hector Neris (rhp), Ranger Suarez (lhp) and Scott Kingery (2b) were subtracted from the official camp head count, landing on the COVID-19 list.  This doesn't mean they necessarily have contracted the virus, but that they've been exposed to it or they are exhibiting symptoms.  In any event, the Phillies could be without their closer (Neris) and everyday second baseman (Kingery) if the season actually begins at the end of July.

Gelb also reported the Phillies had released and then re-signed pitcher Anthony Swarwak, who had been a non-roster invitee in Clearwater. Swarwak increased the Player Pool to 54 before the removal of the four players yesterday.

Finally, on Friday afternoon, it was announced catchers Henri Lartigue and Logan O'Hoppe had been added to the Player Pool, bringing the official count to 52 players in camp.  Lartigue had been a non-roster invitee earlier in the spring and O'Hoppe was a 23rd round pick by the Phillies in the 2018 draft.  He played for the Williamsport Crosscutters last season.  Up until adding these two catchers, the Phillies had only three catchers in camp.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

1985 Game 74 - 1985 Fleer #263 Shane Rawley

Phillies 11Cubs 2
Game 74 - Tuesday Night, July 2nd in Philadelphia
Record - 33-41, 5th Place, 11 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  After a quiet game the day before, the Phillies offense exploded for 11 runs on 12 hits in this 11-2 walloping of Rick Sutcliffe and the Cubs.

What It Means:  Sutcliffe came back down to earth following his 1984 Cy Young Award winning performance.  Still, it's impressive he was able to battle through five innings after the Phillies had quickly scored four in the first.  He departed having allowed seven runs on eight hits, including a pair of home runs.

What Happened:  The home runs allowed came from Glenn Wilson in the first with three on (not surprising) and Derrel Thomas in the fifth with one on (surprising).  Greg Gross kept the scoring going after Sutcliffe departed, with an RBI-triple in the sixth off former teammate Warren Brusstar.  Steve Jeltz added a two-run triple in the eighth.  I'm curious as to why Jeltz was in the game at that point.  The official record shows he entered the game as a defensive replacement for Thomas in the sixth right after Thomas had hit his home run.  Was Jeltz really that much of a defensive upgrade over Thomas, or had Thomas perhaps hurt himself rounding the bases?

Ozzie Virgil quietly scored twice and added two hits to improve his average to .282.

Featured Card:  Shane Rawley pitched his first complete game of the season, giving up two runs on eight hits.  As the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, Rawley evened his record at 6-6.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

1985 Game 73 - 1985 Fleer #630 Mike Schmidt & Ryne Sandberg

Cubs 3Phillies 1
Game 73 - Monday Night, July 1st in Philadelphia
Record - 32-41, 5th Place, 11 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies offense went quiet against Cubs pitchers Ray Fontenot and Lee Smith as the Cubs prevailed, 3-1.

What It Means:  This was the game Mike Schmidt took the field pre-game wearing his disguise of a long wig and sunglasses.  Schmidt had made very unflattering comments about the Phillies' fanbase during the team's trip to Montreal.

What Happened:  The Phillies line-up had eight singles and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.  Only Schmidt had multiple hits and the lone run came in the second on a Steve Jeltz ground-out back to the pitcher.  Ozzie Virgil broke for home as Fontenot threw to second for the force, and the Phillies' scoring was over for the day.

John Denny pitched well for the Phillies, lasting seven innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits.  The Cubs line-up was once again littered with former Phillies, with Ryne Sandberg (2b), Gary Matthews (lf), Richie Hebner (3b) and Larry Bowa (ss).  Bob Dernier was on the disabled list and missed this series.

Featured Card:  Schmidt would pick it up in the second half, after he had attempted to clear the air with the Phillies' fans.  The first half MVPs for the club were Virgil, Glenn Wilson and Juan Samuel on the offensive side with Von Hayes also having a steady, but not great, year.  The Phillies received surprisingly consistent starting pitching in the first half from Kevin Gross, Denny, Steve Carlton and Jerry Koosman.  Don Carman and Kent Tekulve were the club's top relievers through June.

June 1985 Leaders
Games:  Juan Samuel, Mike Schmidt and Glenn Wilson - 27
Average:  Greg Gross - .324
Runs:  Juan Samuel - 19
Home Runs:  Ozzie Virgil - 4
RBIs:  Glenn Wilson - 24
Stolen Bases:  Juan Samuel - 9

Games:  Larry Andersen and Don Carman - 13
Wins:  John Denny and Kevin Gross - 3
Innings Pitched:  Kevin Gross 39 1/3
ERA:  Jerry Koosman - 1.48
Strikeouts:  John Denny - 29
Saves:  Kent Tekulve - 4
Cumulative Season Leaders - 1st Half
Games:  Juan Samuel and Glenn Wilson - 86
Average:  Ozzie Virgil - .285
Runs:  Juan Samuel - 55
Home Runs:  Mike Schmidt and Ozzie Virgil - 11
RBIs:  Glenn Wilson - 61
Stolen Bases:  Juan Samuel - 30

Games:  Don Carman - 42
Wins:  Kevin Gross - 8
Innings Pitched:  John Denny - 129 2/3
ERA:  Steve Carlton - 2.43
Strikeouts:  Kevin Gross - 83
Saves:  Kent Tekulve - 8

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

1985 Game 72 - 1985 Topps #302 Tim Corcoran

Phillies 3Expos 2
Game 72 - Sunday Afternoon, June 30th in Montreal
Record - 32-40, 5th Place, 11 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  The unlikely duo of Tim Corcoran and Derrel Thomas had back-to-back pinch-hit singles in the ninth, sending the Phillies to a 3-2 win over the Expos.

What It Means:  Top fireman Jeff Reardon started the ninth for the Expos holding a slim 1-0 lead and was pulled for Randy St. Claire after allowing three singles, including Corcoran's game-tying hit.  Following the game, the Phillies headed home for seven games against the Cubs and Reds.

What Happened:  Jerry Koosman had another solid start, giving up two runs on a Mitch Webster solo home run in the first and a Tim Wallach sacrifice fly in the seventh.  He allowed only five hits.  Kent Tekulve pitched the final two scoreless innings for the Phillies and was the beneficiary of the win.

In the ninth, Glenn Wilson and Garry Maddox singled and Greg Gross was intentionally walked to load the bases for Steve Jeltz.  Corcoran pinch-hit for Jeltz, singling home the tying run.  Apparently after that Maddox tried to come home on a ball that got away from catcher Steve Nicosia, but was tagged out by St. Claire.  Gross moved to third on the play and came home with the eventual winning run on Thomas' hit.

Featured Card:  I'm fresh out of Thomas cards, mostly used in games in which he had a crucial error, so here's one of the other pinch-hitting hero, Corcoran.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index


Monday, June 29, 2020

Phillies Announce Initial Player Pool

2020 Chachi Almost #2
 
2020 Chachi Almost #3
 
2020 Topps Total #155
 
2019 Grandstand Reading
Fightin Phils Update #4
Where were we?

On March 13th, I posted the final spring training game summary post from the game played on Thursday afternoon, March 12th.  The Phillies won, 8-4 against the Rays in Port Charlotte.  Following that game, baseball went on indefinite hiatus as the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.  A few weeks later, on March 26th, I posted on what would have been Opening Day with the mundane news that the Phillies had optioned six players to Lehigh Valley and the active roster (including non-roster invitees) stood at 52.

While live baseball was paused, I started going through my 1985 Phillies Scrapbook, posting game summary posts 35 years after the fact.  My plan is to keep doing those posts from 1985 through July 16th and that year's All-Star Game.  I'll then (hopefully) return to live baseball posts as the Phillies are set to open their 2020 season on either July 23rd or July 24th.  I've read reports that up to three exhibition games will be played prior to the start of the regular season.

Which brings us to today.  On Sunday, the Phillies released their initial Player Pool with 53 players, out of a potential 60, that will be eligible for play during the shortened 60-game season.  For the first time since March 26th, here's the updated math for the Camp Head Count, and it's a bit convoluted how we got here.


Camp Head Count:  This is best explained in steps, and keep in mind we were at 52 back on March 26th.
  • Minus 2 - Non-roster invitees Drew Storen (rhp) and Matt Szczur (of) were released.
  • Minus 1 - The injured Seranthony Dominguez (rhp) was placed on the 60-day injured list with a right elbow strain.  He's headed for Tommy John surgery and will miss significant time.
  • Minus 7 - Seven players who had been non-roster invitees were not included on the initial Player Pool list, including Christian Bethancourt (c), JD Hammer (rhp), Henri Lartigue (c), Nick Maton (inf), Mickey Moniak (of), Anthony Swarzak (rhp) and Luke Williams (inf).
  • Plus 10 - Ten players who had been optioned or re-assigned earlier in the year were brought back and added to the Player Pool list - Garrett Cleavinger (lhp), Edgar Garcia (rhp), Kyle Garlick (of), Deivy Grullon (c), Cole Irvin (lhp), Damon Jones (lhp), Mauricio Llovera (rhp), Reggie McClain (rhp), JoJo Romero (lhp) and Nick Williams (of).
  • Plus 1 - Pitching prospect Connor Seabold, not included as a non-roster invitee back in February/March was added to the list.
If you're keeping score at home, that's 52 - 2 - 1 - 7 + 10 + 1 = 53.

Notable omissions include Austin Davis (lhp) and Odubel Herrera (of).  The Phillies currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster, with four players left off this initial Player Pool list - Davis, Adonis Medina (rhp), Cristopher Sanchez (lhp) and Arquimedes Gamboa (inf).  Two veterans from the original non-roster invitee list who could eventually be added to the Player Pool are Bethancourt and Swarzak.

Play ball?

2020 Virtual Phillies Wall / 2020 Chachi Checklist

1985 Game 71 - 1985 O-Pee-Chee #235 Garry Maddox

Phillies 6Expos 2
Game 71 - Saturday Afternoon, June 29th in Montreal
Record - 31-40, 5th Place, 11 games behind the Cardinals

One Sentence Summary:  Garry Maddox paced the Phillies offense with a three-hit, three-RBI performance in this 6-2 win against the Expos.

What It Means:  The loss knocked the Expos out of first place for good in the East, and sent the Cardinals back to the top of the division.  The Expos wouldn't lead the division again in 1985, ultimately finishing 16 1/2 games back and in third place behind the Mets and the division-winning Cardinals.

What Happened:  Maddox had a two-run double in the first off Expos' starter Mickey Mahler and it could have been a three-run double had Ozzie Virgil not been thrown out at home by right fielder Terry Francona.  Maddox added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to pad the Phillies lead at 6-1.  Kevin Gross went the distance for the Phillies, earning the win and allowing a pair of runs on four hits while striking out five.  It was his first complete game of the season, and the first of two in a row.

Featured Card:  Von Hayes must have been missing some time with a minor injury, as Maddox was in the midst of 10 games in a row in which he started in center.  The Secretary of Defense saw his playing time continue to increase into early July as Hayes got some starts in left in place of the Greg Gross/John Russell tandem.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Sunday, June 28, 2020

1985 Game 70 - 1985 O-Pee-Chee #67 Mike Schmidt

Expos 5Phillies 3
Game 70 - Friday Night, June 28th in Montreal
Record - 30-40, 5th Place, 11 1/2 games behind the Expos

One Sentence Summary:  The first place Expos chipped away at the Phillies on their way to a 5-3 win.

What It Means:  This game took a little over two hours to play inside Olympic Stadium in front of a little over 15,000 paying customers.  We visited Olympic Stadium during the final year of the Expos in 2004, and I remember the lighting inside the stadium was fairly dim.  Everything sounded strange too.  There weren't many fans in attendance, and you could hear muffled shouts from the dugouts or from the opposite side of the field.  It would be nice to see Montreal get a second chance at a franchise, and hopefully they'd get a nice outdoor ballpark or at least something with a retractable roof.

What Happened:  Charles Hudson was in trouble or had runners on base in every inning of his seven-inning outing.  He departed with the Expos leading 4-2, having allowed 10 hits, a pair of walks and a wild pitch for good measure.  Larry Andersen surrendered a solo home run to Mike Fitzgerald, the catcher's second of the game, to put the game out of reach.

For the Phillies, Juan Samuel had three hits including a double.  Mike Schmidt had a double and a home run, his 9th of the season.  Schmidt's average continued to steadily climb upward and he was now hitting .232.

Featured Card:  This is the infamous trip when Schmidt decided to let loose on the Philadelphia fans, calling the collective group "beyond help" in a scathing interview he gave to the Montreal Gazette.  Schmidt's quotes would be printed in a story that ran the day after this, on June 29th, so I'm assuming he vented to the reporter either before or after this Friday night loss.  Here's the crux of the comments:


Upon returning to Philadelphia following the Expos' series, Schmidt took the field in sunglasses and a long-haired wig borrowed from reliever Larry Andersen.  The Phillies fans, recognizing that the disguise was Schmidt's way of indirectly apologizing, gave him a standing ovation when he took the field with his new look.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Saturday, June 27, 2020

1985 Game 69 - 1986 Topps #158 Derrel Thomas

Cardinals 4Phillies 3
Game 69 - Thursday Afternoon, June 27th in Philadelphia
Record - 30-39, 5th Place, 10 1/2 games behind the Expos

One Sentence Summary:  Shane Rawley pitched well in his return to the starting rotation, but the offense fell short in this 4-3 loss to the Cardinals.

What It Means:  The loss ended the Phillies' modest five-game win streak, and they'd travel to Montreal following this matinee for a quick road trip and a weekend series against the Expos.

What Happened:  This was Rawley's first start since his June 8th outing when he lasted only two innings.  He took over the disabled Steve Carlton's spot in the rotation, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits over six innings.  The unearned run scored by the Cardinals proved to be costly, and resulted from another error committed by shortstop Derrel Thomas.  Between Thomas and Steve Jeltz, manager John Felske was having a tough time finding shortstop for his line-up.

The Phillies tried mounting a comeback late in the game with solo home runs from Ozzie Virgil in the fifth and Von Hayes in the seventh.  In the eighth, with Greg Gross on second and Mike Schmidt on first, Glenn Wilson doubled to center scoring Gross.  Third base coach Dave Bristol waved Schmidt home as the potential tying run, but Schmidt was gunned down on relay throws from center fielder Willie McGee to shortstop Ozzie Smith to catcher Tom Nieto.  Smith had hit a solo home run off Rawley in the seventh for the deciding fourth run.

Featured Card:  This game represented Thomas' fourth start in a row at short.  After this game, Thomas was batting .185 with three costly errors while Jeltz was also batting .185 with eight errors.  What was a manager to do?

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Friday, June 26, 2020

1985 Game 68 - 1985 Topps #143 Ossie Virgil / Ozzie Virgil

Phillies 6Cardinals 4
Game 68 - Wednesday Night, June 26th in Philadelphia
Record - 30-38, 5th Place, 9 1/2 games behind the Expos

One Sentence Summary:  Garry Maddox, Mike Schmidt and Ozzie Virgil all homered in this 6-4 win over the Cardinals.

What It Means:  The Phillies apparently figured out Cardinals' starter Danny Cox since they had last faced him in St. Louis the week before.  Cox shut out the Phillies in that June 20th game, but here he allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings of work.  All but one of his runs allowed came from home runs.  The Phillies had an impressive five-game winning streak going here, but it wouldn't last.

What Happened:  Juan Samuel hit a lead-off triple in the bottom of the first and scored the first run of the game on a Greg Gross sacrifice fly.  Maddox hit a solo home run in the second, followed by Schmidt's solo home run in the fourth.  Virgil's home run came in the sixth with Glenn Wilson aboard.  Virgil also gave the Phillies an insurance run with an RBI-single in the eighth, again scoring Wilson.

John Denny benefitted from the power surge and got the win to even his record at 5-5.  Don Carman and Kent Tekulve succeeded in their respective roles as set-up man and closer, pitching three scoreless innings.

Featured Card:  With Father's Day celebrated recently, I thought this would be an appropriate card for Virgil's three-RBI game.  Virgil's father, Ossie, played in parts of nine seasons between 1956 and 1969 for the Giants, Tigers, Athletics, Orioles and Pirates.  I'll be featuring his 1965 Topps card over on my 1965 Topps blog in a few days.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index