1-Man Spoiler

The Phillies spoiled the home openers of the Rangers and Cubs last week. Braun almost single-handily spoiled yesterday’s Citizens Bank Park opener. He became the 6th enemy player to hit 3 homers in a game and 4th to drive in 7 runs in the 11-year history of the park. Defensively in right field, he made a diving catch of a sinking liner that saved 2 runs in the 2nd inning.

He came to town with 3 singles in 20 at-bats. He had gone 98 times at-bat without a homer. Braun feasts on Phillies pitching. In 44 career games, 17 homers, 37 RBI and a .392 average. At CBP, 10 homers, 21 RBI in 20 games. Maybe we should roll the ball toward him.

Going into the game, Phillies pitchers had allowed 2 homers, fewest in the league. In their first 5 games, the Phillies played good defense, not allowing any unearned runs. Yesterday 3 errors paved the way for 3 unearned runs. The previous game, they gave up 4. 7 is an NL high.

Game 2 tonight. According to broadandpattison.com, the Phillies are 18-17 on this date, including a 7-3 decision over the visiting Mets a year ago.

Tweet of The day
Roy Halladay yesterday: From my 1st day wear’n a Phils uniform to my last, was an amazing experience!!! Enjoy the game! Best fans on earth!!

Minor League Report
Lehigh Valley lost, 7-2, to Buffalo. C Cameron Rupp, 4th HR in 4 games. In 53 games at LV last year, he hit 6 HR. 3B-1B Maikel Franco continues to struggle, 2-20. LP: Mike Nesseth (0-1). No decision: David Buchanan, 2 R, 7 H, 5 IP.

Reading scored 2 in the last of the 9th to pull out a 6-5 win over New Hampshire. Walk-off single by DH Anthony Hewitt. 1B Brock Stassi, 3-4, including a run-scoring double to tie the game in the 9th. LF Cam Perkins, 2-4; hitting .389. C Tommy Joseph, 1st HR. WP Ryan O’Sullivan (1-1). No decision, Jesse Biddle, 4 R, 6 H, 7 IP. Fightin Phils have won 3 in a row.

Clearwater scored 2 in the last of the 9th but fell short, 7-6, to Tampa, the Threshers 3rd straight loss. 2B KC Serna, 2-5, including a 2-run double in the 9th. DH Art Charles, 1st HR. 3B Freddy Galvis was Clearwater’s lead-off hitter, 1-4, a triple. LP Colin Kleven (0-2). RHP Michael Adams, 1 IP, 1 SO.

Lakewood dropped a 4-2 decision at Greensboro. DH Samuel Hiciano, 2-3. C Jose Mayorga, 2-3, 2 RBI. LP: Shane Martin (0-1).

My Top Ten
Almost 43,000 fans voted for their favorite top 10 moments in the first 10 years of Citizens Bank Park. No one asked, but here are my top 10:

Winning the World Series. That was a real no brainer.

Winning the 2007 NL East crown. First post season since 1993. Say enough?

Doc’s postseason no-hitter. Only the second one in MLB postseason history. Plus, the first ever in CBP.

Shane’s grand slam. Most dramatic grand slam in my memory bank. Brett Myers’ long at-bat set up the slam.

J-Roll’s NLCS walk-off double against the Dodgers. Revenge for the 1979 Black Friday loss to LA. Finally!

2008 WS walk-off win in game 3. Chooch’s swinging bunt has to be the shortest game-ending hit in WS history.

First game in 2004. Sitting in the press box that afternoon and thinking, “Wow, this place is beautiful.”

Thome’s 400th HR. A great moment for a great man.

Harry Kalas statue. A real icon in our history whose bronze statue is about a Ryan Howard home run from Harry’s friend, Richie Ashburn’s statue. Very fitting.

Rowand’s catch. Memorable for us, pain-full for Aaron.

No. 11 is a personal one. After 33 years of working in a window-less office at Veterans Stadium, the new office had windows! There was a world out there.

My New Book
“If These Walls Could Talk” will be available May 1. Publisher is Triumph Books. Forward by Larry Bowa.

Chapter 5: Managers, from Gene Mauch through Charlie Manuel.

5 Comments

Your number 5 makes reference to revenge for Black Friday 1979… I think Mr T and Sarge took care of that for us about 31 years ago in the ’83 NLCS. But still JRolls walk-off was nonetheless a good pick for #5.

Follow up question for Larry (anyone else he knows with first-hand knowledge… I was doing some quick research on the 1983 NLCS, and noticed a peculiar fact about attendance AS RECORDED IN BASEBALL ALMANAC and other linked references (all seem to be using the same data source/point.) Attendance at Game 3, which was the first of the series at the Vet, was “only” 53,400, while the listed capacity was over 62,000. The next night’s game 4, the clincher, had over 64,000. And in my brief scan of all Phillies playoff games at the Vet’s history, NONE were under 62,000… so, my question is WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 9-10 thousand fans that night of October 7, 1983? I note that Dodger Stadium’s capacity is about 53,400, and they filled Dodger Stadium to it for both games there… is there a possibility that the almanac box scores were recorded well after the fact and are simply in error? Was there something going on at the stadium or in Philly that made 15% of the fans unable to attend? I found an article that mentioned a large oil refinery fire in South Philly that day that may have been a contributor??

Karl: Thanks for your 2 comments. You are right about Sarge in 1982, LA revenge. I thought J-Roll’s was bigger because it came in the 9th inning as did the Black Friday loss. Either way, we’re both right.

As far as the 1983 attendance figures, the Phillies 2014 Media Guide has the same numbers you mentioned so Baseball Almanac is correct. I really can’t remember why there is such a big gap. Don’t have information with me in FLA to check. Can check when I’m back in the Philly office later tthis month.

Thanks, maybe someone you know who remembers what was going on that week in Oct 83 can fill the info gap… I suspect your 2014 media guide probably pulled that info from the same baseball almanac data, so it could be just as wrong as everything else… I was trying to find some local news articles from that week, but the websites want $$ to access, and my curiosity isn’t worth a credit card number…

Certainly JRoll’s game winner was a watershed moment in CBP history… especially since the 07 playoff games the year before (CBP’s first) were such a let down,,,

Correcton, Sarge in 1983.

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