30th Win is a L-O-N-G One

Wednesday night’s marathon win gave the Phillies 30 wins for the season. They earned their 30th win in less than 50 games (49th game) for just the 5th time in the last 50 years.  The four other times were 2001 (30th win in 47th game), 1995 (30th win in 47th game), 1993 (30th win in 43rd game) and 1976 (30th win in 41st game).

The 19-inning game fell two innings short of the longest game in club history, 21, a 2-1 loss in Chicago, 7/17/18.  There have been 4 20-inning games and now 3 19-inning games. Oddly, the only road game in that list is the 21-inning one.

Valdez became the Phillies 19th position player to take the mound.  Tomas Perez was the previous one, .1 of an inning in 2002.

The 6 hour, 11-minute game ended at 1:19 a.m.  That’s not even close to the club record, 4:40 a.m., 7/2/93, against San Diego at the Vet. 

Anyway, the players had to hustle home, pack and get back to Citizens Bank Park for a 1:05 p.m. game on Thursday.

On The Road
Following Thursday’s game, the Phillies head for a nine-game road trip over the next 10 days.  All nine games are against teams with losing records, three in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh.  Thursday’s game ended 20 straight against clubs with a winning record.

Saturday’s game is another prime time national telecast on FOX, 7:10 p.m.

While Memorial Day is the official start of summer and picnics, it doesn’t mean the road trip will be a picnic for the Phillies.  In their first four games at Citi Field last season, the Phillies didn’t score a run, losing 8-0, 5-0, 3-0, 1-0.

Nationals Park in DC is a different story as the Phillies are 20-10 there, including 2-1 last month. But, PNC Park in Pittsburgh has been a real nightmare, 12-20.

Phillies will use three different modes of transportation on the trip.  Two buses will take the team to New York following Thursday’s game.  An AMTRAK charter train will take them from New York to DC on Sunday.  Then, the usual Delta charter flights will take the team to Pittsburgh and back to Philly.

Wall of Fame Finalists
The five finalists in the Phillies Wall of Fame are (alphabetical order) first baseman John Kruk, catcher Mike Lieberthal, pitcher Curt Schilling, catcher Jimmie Wilson and pitcher Rick Wise.  Fan voting on phillies.com was during a four-week period of spring training.

Now, a special Wall of Fame Selection Committee consisting of baseball writers, broadcasters and team executives will decide the 2011 inductee.

Winner will be inducted on Friday night, August 12, the start of the annual Alumni weekend. Ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m.

Minor Leagues
While the Phillies are out of town for the Memorial Day weekend, fans can catch future Phillies in Lehigh Valley and LakewoodReading will be in Erie, PA, if fans want to take a long road trip.  For a longer trip, you can drive to Ft. Myers to see Clearwater play.

Answer E-Mails
From Bill: “How many baseballs does the team go through during the course of a major league season? When a pitched ball goes in the dirt and is removed from play, what happens to it? When did this practice of putting a new ball in play begin and why?”

While I don’t have the figure for last season, in 2009 the Phillies used 49,536 baseballs, a cost of $346,752.  When a ball goes in the dirt and is removed from play, it sometimes will sneak back in the game or most likely used for batting practice.  Unfortunately, don’t know when this practice began or why.

From Dennis: “I enjoyed last year’s Alumni Luncheon immensely; will there be one this year?”

We’ve tentatively scheduled one for Thursday noon, August 11.  When the details have been finalized it will be posted on phillies.com.

From Paul: “I purchased an autograph book that has an autograph of Max “Lefty” Wilson who played for the Phillies in 1940.  Is there any value to this autograph?”

Unfortunately, I don’t believe it has much value.  Max pitched in four games with the Phillies in 1940 and nine with the Washington Senators six years later. His career record: 0-1.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

1 Comment

Larry, I’m not sure how one emails you, so let me post my question here. My kids got that nice Chooch t-shirt last weekend, which made me think of the great Chooch chest protector-shaped backpack of a couple years ago (which they didn’t get because the game was a SUnday night and they couldn’t stay up that late–boo to ESPN for “flex”ing that game).

Anyway, what do you think are the five greatest Phillies giveaway items ever? For me, five of the best (not necessarily in order, and certainly I am forgetting some) are:
– Whitey and Harry bobblehead (this may be #1)
– 2008 World Champs pennant
– 1980 replica ring (a bit cheap-looking, but pretty cool)
– Phil & Phillis bobblehead
– Chooch chest protector backpack

Honorable mentions:
– Harry Kalas memorial service photo package
– Wall of Fame postcard set

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Thanks.


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