Macho Row Phlashback: 1980 World Series, Game 1

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

Macho Row Phlashback is a series that takes  a look back at some of the great moments in Philadelphia Phillies history. This particular series looks back at the 1980 World Series between the Phillies and Kansas City Royals.

How They Got Here

To this day the 1980 National League Championship Series is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, playoff series in baseball history. The Phillies and Houston Astros colliding in a series filled with future Hall of Fame players with all but one game being decided in the winning team's final at-bat. Philadelphia advanced to their first World Series since 1950 after edging the Astros in five games.

The Kansas City Royals made history by becoming the first American League expansion team to reach the World Series. They did so by sweeping one of the most historic franchises in baseball history, the New York Yankees, in three games in the American League Championship Series. The Yankees had defeated the Royals in the ALCS in 1976, 1977 and 1978, so getting past them in 1980 was a tough mountain to climb against the Bronx Bombers.

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This day in 1993: Phillies 3, Astros 1

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies going from worst to first and winning the National League pennant. All season long we will take a look back at each game of the 1993 season.

Phillies 3
Astros 1

WP: Terry Mulholland
LP: Doug Drabek

Terry Mulholland opened the 1993 season with a gem in the Astrodome before 44,560 fans. The Phillies opening day starter pitched a complete game, throwing 104 pitches and allowing just one unearned run in the first inning as the Phillies picked up a 3-1 victory against the Houston Astros.

The Astros took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Historical Phillies killer Craig Biggio led off with a single through the hole between third base and short stop and Jeff Bagwell drew a one-out walk. Biggio advanced to third base on a fly out to deep right center to get in to scoring position. Ken Caminiti then picked up the two-out RBI after reaching first base on an error from Phillies Opening Day shortstop Juan Bell to keep the inning alive.

The Phillies had some quiet bats the first time through the lineup against Astros starer Doug Drabek, but tings clicked in the fourth inning. John Kruk started it off with a one-out walk (his second walk of the game). Kruk advanced to third base on a single by third baseman Dave Hollins and would come around to score when catcher Darren Daulton doubled to center field. Hollins would be a victim of a fielder's choice at home when Milt Thompson chopped one back to the mound, but Daulton would come around to score from third base when Jim Eiseinreich singled to left field with two outs.

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Phillies 2, Braves 0: Cliff Lee not playing waiting game

Written by Kevin McGuire on .


W: Lee (1-0, 0.00 ERA) L: Medlen (0-1, 3.60 ERA) SV: Papelbon (1)

Cliff Lee had to wait until July 4, 2012 to pick up his first elusive victory of the 2012 season. This year Lee had to wait under three hours. The Phillies starter was impressive in his first outing of the 2013 season and made sure the team left Atlanta on a positive note after dropping the first two games of the season. Lee pitched eight shutout innings and Jonathan Papelbon picked up the save as the Phillies avoided a three-game sweep with a 2-0 victory.

The Phillies even gave Lee an early lead to work with by scoring both of their runs in the second inning. Atlanta had not lost a game started by Kris Medlen in 26 games dating back to last season, but the Phillies offense made Medlen work in the second inning. The bottom of the line-up fueled the charge with Laynce Nix and Erik Kratz each reaching base and Lee drawing a walk to load the bases. Ben Revere grounded in to what should have been a double play but Braves second baseman Dan Uggla was unable to make a throw to first base with Lee sliding in to second. Nix scored on the play and Kratz would score on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley for the 2-0 lead.

Game over for Atlanta.

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Mitch Williams is on Twitter

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

One of the key members of the 1993 Phillies, Mitch Williams, is on Twitter. Give him a follow.

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Braves 9, Phillies 2: Halladay struggles early

Written by Kevin McGuire on .


W: Maholm (1-0, 0.00 ERA) L: Halladay (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

For the second game in a row to start the year the Phillies were down two runs after one inning and unable to dig out from an early hole. Roy Halladay allowed two home runs and failed to pitch past the fourth inning as the Phillies lost to the Braves 9-2 on a rainy evening.

Halladay struck out nine batters but struggled all night, allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits and walking three batters on 95 pitches in 3,1 innings pitched. Halladay looked visibly frustrated when leaving the mound last night, and after the game he apparently was still upset with his performance.

As quoted by Todd Zolecki for MLB.com:

"I'm frustrated. I should have gotten deeper than that. Not aggressive enough early in the count and went deep counts, and that's the most frustrating part, really. I'm going to clean that up and be more aggressive. I've got to be more aggressive getting ahead of guys and putting guys away. I can't take three or four pitches to put guys away. We can take ground balls earlier in the count and do something to be more efficient and go deeper. I'd rather get beat 20-0 and pitch eight innings than pitch 3 1/3. So that's got to change. But I felt good, felt good in the bullpen and felt good on the mound."

Halladay struggled all spring and was hit around often throughout the 2012 season. Is there something physically wrong with Halladay or he is just on the decline of his illustrious career? Honestly, I do not know for sure but I lean towards believing he is indeed  just not the same pitcher he was when he arrived in Philadelphia. That said, I still believe he can have the ability to be a dependable pitcher this season, but something absolutely needs to change. What that is though is beyond me.

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Mets giving away free tickets this weekend

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

Despite a smashing Opening Day against the San Diego Padres, the New York Mets are still struggling to get fans to come out to the ballpark up north. This weekend the Mets will be giving away free tickets to fans just for following the team and TV partner SNY on Twitter. That's right, you can get a free ticket to a Mets-Marlins game this weekend for any of the three Mets home games.

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Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard determine Who's On First

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

To this day one of my favorite comedy routines is Abbot and Costello's Who's on First bit. I have watched it many times since first seeing it on a VHS tape in elementary school and to this day I personally cannot help but crack a smile any time I watch it. This year marks the 75th anniversary of one of comedy's timeless classics, and stars of Major League Baseball and ESPN are honoring it with their own twist.

Our own favorite duo of Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, who previously offered their take on Take Me Out to the Ballgame to honor that baseball theme song's anniversary last year (by the way, how about Jonathan Papelbon with the intro), chipped in by trying to re-enact the sketch while down in Florida for spring training.

"I get to about 30 seconds and then I start to get confused myself," Rollins says in a short video clip shared by ESPN (shown below). I don't blame him. Not only is this a funny skit, but it is especially tricky for anyone who attempts to perform it, as Rollins and a number of other major leaguers show.

You can watch the original bit on YouTube.

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Braves 7, Phillies 5: Utley shines in Opening Day loss

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

W: Avilan (1-0, 0.00 ERA) L: Hamels (0-1, 9.00 ERA) SV: Kimbrel (1)

Chase Utley hit his 200th career home run and was a double shy of baseball's first Opening Day cycle since 1950, but his impressive 2013 debut was not enough to get the Phillies started on the right foot in Atlanta. Cole Hamels allowed three home runs in a 7-5 Opening Day loss to the Braves.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman launched a two-run home run in to right field with two outs in the first inning to give the Braves a quick 2-0 lead. Dan Uggla led off the second inning with a massive shot to left field and Freeman again struck with two outs in the third inning with an RBI single. Justin Upton later added a solo home run in his Braves debut in the fifth inning, after the Phillies had cut the Braves lead to 4-3. For Hamels, getting out of an inning and the critical shutdown innings were a struggle in the ace's 2013 season debut. Hamels said after the game that he was unable to establish his fastball.

"You have to be able to establish the fastball down in the zone, and I wasn't able to do that as much as I'd like," Hamels said in postgame interviews (MLB.com). "Most of the pitches that were hit out were fastballs up in the zone. I want to claim that's uncharacteristic, but there are times when you have to be able to make the adjustment and I wasn't able to make the adjustment fast enough."

I'm not worried about Hamels. You should not be either. Not after one game of course.

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Erik Kratz goes HAM, er bacon

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

Pic via @dhm

With Carlos Ruiz started to serve his 25-game suspension to start the 2013 season, it seems as though back-up catcher Erik Kratz is already starting to enjoy the extra face time behind the plate for the Phillies. Kratz will be the Phillies top catcher for the start of the season until Ruiz comes back, and now he is starring in his own advertising campaign for bacon.

Godshall's Quality Meats has already thrown Kratz in to the mix as the latest Phillies player to pick up some sort of food product. Kratz stars in two different commercials, one with an umpire questioning the eating habits of the big league catcher. The other commercial is with a cartoon turkey dressed as pig, a disguise Kratz has no problem seeing right through.

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Phillies milestone watch for 2013

Written by Kevin McGuire on .

With the new season upon us, it is time to take a look at some career and franchise milestones that may be within reach for some key players this season. As you probably already know, Jimmy Rollins has a chance to reallt etch his name in franchise history this season.

All-Time Hits, currently held by Mike Schmidt (2,234 hits)

Jimmy Rollins will open the 2013 season with a career total of 2,024 hits, all of which have come with the Phillies of course. That places Rollins fourth on the franchise's all-time list and 210 hits behind Mike Schmidt's franchise record (2,234 hits). Of course, Rollins has had just one season with over 200 hits. In 2007 Rollins had a career high 212 hits in his MVP season. If Rollins puts up that kind of number again and is able to tie or break the Phillies franchise hit record, then we should be in store for a great 2013. In all likelihood, this mark will have to wait for 2014. Rollins could have an outside chance of moving in to third on the franchise hits list though, needing 189 hits to tie Ed Delanaty for third.

  1. 2,234 - Mike Schmidt
  2. 2,217 - Richie Ashburn
  3. 2,213 - Ed Delahanty
  4. 2,024 - Jimmy Rollins

All-Time Doubles, currently held by Ed Delahanty (442 doubles)

Rollins could very well pass Delanhanty on another franchise list this season. Rollins will start the season with 421 career doubles, placing him second on the Phillies all-time list behind Delahanty. Rollins needs 21 doubles to tie the franchise record. Rollins has had at least 29 doubles in a season all but one year of his career. Rollins had 33 doubles last season.

  1. 442 - Ed Delahanty
  2. 421 - Jimmy Rollins

Chase Utley (273) is ninth on the franchise doubles list. He could become the eighth player to hit at least 300 doubles as a member of the Phillies with 27 doubles this season. If he stays healthey, that is a realistc number to reach for Utley.

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