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Old 10-03-2019, 11:40 PM   #101
The_Myth
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May 13, 1985

A quick two in Cincinnati begins.


Game 1984-29: Riverfront Stadium - Phillies 3, Reds 2 / 19-10

Back-to-back hits by Juan Samuel and Mike Schmidt put us up 2-0, then Samuel comes back in the fifth with a go-ahead double. It stands, thanks to a solid pitching performance from Kevin Gross (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 2 BB), and sweet relief from Donnie Moore (big bounce back over two innings) and Bill Campbell.

May 14, 1985

This is the last day we can give a major league job to a minor league free agent on a 30-day conditional option. The only player we’re employing under this scenario is 3B/SS Dave Concepcion (.310/.355/.379, 2 XBH), who is blocked by just Luis Aguayo, who is out of options but only has 12 plate appearances to his name.

Essentially Aguayo’s place here is more about having a backup plan if Paul Molitor or UL Washington has to miss time, but I have a solid-hitting Rick Schu (.330/.411/.521, 10 XBH) and Steve Jeltz (.315/.386/.370, 4 XBH) in Portland. Really, Aguayo has hit his ceiling here, and Davey’s veteran leadership and experience could really be nice to have in Philly.

I have a decision to make after the game ends.

Game 1984-30: Riverfront Stadium - Phillies 5, Reds 2 / 20-10

We get the two-game sweep in Cincinnati. Scott Sanderson continues his solid season (7.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 0 BB), lowering his ERA to 2.36. Mike Schmidt hits home run No. 7 (he now has 30 RBI), and multiple Phils have a two-hit game, including Dave Stegman, who doubles and triples.

Later that evening at Dodger Stadium, Fernando-Mania reached a new level as the stud 24-year-old no-hit the Cubs. He came just a walk from achieving a perfect game. His line: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 10 K, 1 BB. Sheesh. It’s Valenzuela’s first no-hitter, and the first in baseball since Mike Warren’s no-no in September 1983.
  • 2B/3B/SS Luis Aguayo placed on irrevocable waivers
  • 3B/SS Dave Concepcion promoted to MLB Philadelphia

I decided we could use just a small injection of veteran-ness. We’ll see what happens to Aguayo. (Also, I just realized I didn’t give Davey a chance to play back at Riverfront.)

May 15, 1985

Well, I wake up to questions as to why I didn’t call up Davey in time for the Cincinnati series. “We liked Aguayo if we needed him against Cincinnati,” I say. Complete lie.

And now, a quick two-gamer in Atlanta before a weekend set back home with the Dodgers.


Game 1985-31: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Phillies 8, Braves 5 / 21-10

One of those wins you’re so glad to get. Lefty gets down 3-1 early, but in the fifth a Mike Schmidt single and two-run Darren Daulton homer turn the tide. Big hits, and we’re up 4-3. The Braves tie it right back up in the sixth, and it stays 4-4 until the ninth. Dave Stegman leads it off with a double, Von Hayes is intentionally walked with one out, Paul Molitor singles home Stegman to grab the lead, then a batter later, Schmidt absolutely buries a three-run home run to put it away. It’s Schmidt’s eighth homer, and he now has 34 RBI.

May 16, 1985

A bunch of lineup changes today, with Bill Lyons at third base, Mike Diaz in right field, and Tommy Thompson behind the plate. Plus, Dave Stegman moves up to the five-hole, as he’s been hot with some extra-base hits lately.

Game 1985-32: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Phillies 7, Braves 2 / 22-10

Our fifth-straight win puts us at 12 over .500. Another doozy, and again Howser makes the right moves. Thompson breaks through with four hits, including a two-run home run, while Lyons and Stegman each add three ribbies. John Denny puts in seven solid innings of work.

May 17, 1985

Steve Braun, Cardinals 3B, will retire at the end of the season. His best days were back in the early 1970s with Minnesota; since, he’s been mainly a bench bat and sometimes starter.

Three coming with the Dodgers. This feels like a measuring-stick series. We start with the white-hot Orel Hershiser and fire back with Charles Hudson.


Game 1985-33: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 2, Dodgers 0 / 23-10

Charles Hudson is having a season. He goes eight, strikes out six, lets on just five baserunners (all singles and walks), and that is it. His ERA is now 0.68. Schmidty hits homer No. 9, while Von Hayes scores a two-out RBI.

Over in the American League, George Bell smacks three home runs in a game as the Blue Jays beat the Twins. He was one of our prospects back in 1980. Sigh.

May 18, 1985

So, Atlanta claimed Luis Aguayo. Tough to see him go, but I get it. Hopefully he thrives with this new opportunity.

Game 1985-34: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 5, Dodgers 0 / 24-10

Sheesh. Kevin Gross goes a solid 7.1 innings (Dick Howser is trying to keep pitch counts down, which is something he’s experimenting with because we’re a transitional team that is placing importance on its rotation), striking out eight and walking one, while allowing just four hits, all singles. Just terrific.

And we score four in the first, capped by a Glenn Wilson home run - he has three hits in the game. Darren Daulton also homers - he’s now up to .145 on the season. Baby steps.

May 19, 1985

Hoping for a sweep, but the Dodgers will pitch Fernando, who had the no-hitter his last time out.

Game 1985-35: Veterans Stadium - Dodgers 2, Phillies 0 / 24-11
  • Johnny Vander Meer, June 11 and 15, 1938.
  • Fernando Valenzuela, May 14 and 19, 1985.

You won't believe it.

Valenzuela throws a no-hitter in consecutive starts, an incredible feat. It’s our first loss in eight games, but we’re not upset.

In fact, toward the end of the game every one of our boys is at the top step of the dugout just watching Fernando in awe. After the game our guys even step out from the dugout and give Fernando a standing ovation, along with the 36,893 in attendance. Just wondrous.

And now the eyes of baseball will be watching as Fernando takes the mound again, likely May 24th or 25th in Shea Stadium. We hear NBC is already making the Saturday game the Game of the Week. Damn right.

The power rankings:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 22-13
2. Detroit Tigers - 23-11
3. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - 24-11
4. Cincinnati Reds - 23-13
5. Milwaukee Brewers - 21-13

Despite a 6-1 week, and having the best record in baseball, we don’t move in the rankings. Odd, but they’re just the rankings. And of course, Fernando wins NL Player of the Week honors. Amazing stuff.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:12 PM   #102
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Gross is stepping up, and nice to see Hudson with that win. Fernando "look to the sky" Valenzuela is tough for sure. Funny Lasorda quote. The only English Fernando knew was million!
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:59 PM   #103
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May 20, 1985

We wash off the stank of being no-hit and welcome the Giants for three.


Game 1985-36: Veterans Stadium - Giants 4, Phillies 2 / 24-12

For a moment there I thought we might get no-hit again. Mike Krukow pitches four no-hit innings before injuring himself, then Vida Blue continues the dominance until he gets hurt. Finally, we get on the board, but not a very inspiring day. Steve Carlton labors, giving up four runs in 5.1 IP.

May 21, 1985

Game 1985-37: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 18, Giants 7 / 25-12

The offense rebounds in a big way, but let's not bury the lead:

Mike Schmidt does something no Phillie has done since Johnny Callison on June 27, 1963: hit for the cycle. Incredible!

He homers first, then triples, then doubles, then singles. A reverse cycle! We score eight in the third and six in the fifth to blow away the Giants. Other hits include a John Denny three-run home run, a Glenn Wilson homer, a Juan Samuel homer, and four hits from Von Hayes. One issue that has to change: Tug McGraw can not pitch multiple innings. He gives up four (but really six) in 2.2 innings of laborious work.

May 22, 1985

Von Hayes needs a rest, so he’ll get one before an off day. Also, Mike Diaz is playing for Glenn Wilson today. Paul Molitor to lead off.

Game 1985-38: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 4, Giants 2 / 26-12

A good win. Molitor gets two hits from the leadoff spot, while we take advantage of three Giant errors. Charles Hudson does his usual thing (5.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB), and the bullpen pitches pretty well in the final three and change.

Meanwhile, the third no-hitter already this season (and this month) has been thrown: Texas’ Mike Mason tossed a no-no against Kansas City.

May 23, 1985

Time for a pre-June look into our farm system.

At AAA Portland - 20-13:
  • RF Jeff Stone - 157 PA, .345/.389/.490, 14 XBH, 29 K, 9 BB, 12 SB, 5 CS, -0.9 ZR, .972 EFF, 1.0 WAR
  • 3B Rick Schu - 147 PA, .318/.388/.512, 13 XBH, 16 K, 4 BB, -0.3 ZR, .969 EFF, 1.1 WAR
  • 2B Steve Kiefer - 135 PA, .264/.319/.376, 9 XBH, 32 K, 9 BB, 5 SB, 1 CS, +2.4 ZR, 1.087 EFF, 0.8 WAR
  • LF Chris James - 130 PA, .342/.408/.470, 10 XBH, 15 K, 13 BB, 5 SB, 5 CS, +4.1 ZR, 1.082 EFF, 1.3 WAR
  • C Mike LaValliere - 125 PA, .330/.408/.470, 12 XBH, 7 K, 14 BB, -0.5 ZR, .892 EFF, 41.7 CS%, 1.3 WAR
  • SP Joe Johnson - 54.2 IP, 4.45 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 24 K, 9 BB (4.0 K/9, 2.7 K/BB), 0.8 WAR
  • SP Mike Maddux - 48 IP, 4.31 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 27 K, 17 BB (5.1 K/9, 1.6 K/BB), 0.6 WAR
  • RP Paul Assenmacher - 17.2 IP, 2.04 ERA, 2.54 FIP, 20 K, 5 BB (10.2 K/9, 4.0 K/BB), 0.8 WAR
  • RP John McLarnan - 8.1 IP, 1.08 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 8 K, 5 BB (8.6 K/9, 1.6 K/BB), 0.2 WAR
  • RP Todd Worrell - 5.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.70 FIP, 6 K, 2 BB (10.1 K/9, 3.0 K/BB), 0.3 WAR

These are all the very positive performances, mind you; major disappointments so far include CF Jim Eisenreich and SP Kelly Downs. Stone is in right so we can increase his defensive flexibility, while James is - for the moment - likely to hang out all season in Portland. Of course, if we wanted to trade prospects, James is among top options, as he’s currently blocked by Von Hayes. Schu is blocked by Molitor at third, and elsewhere he doesn’t rate highly as a defender. He really feels like a bench bat by next season. LaValliere is having a great offensive season, but his defense leaves much to be desired still. We’re still very high on Darren Daulton, so LaValliere is another possible trade chip.

On the mound, starting pitching hasn’t been too great - we’re hoping things turn around in the next quarter. Johnson and Maddux both feel like spot-start guys right now. The bullpen has had a few strong spots, including Assenmacher. Scouts have his movement at 35 - I’d be pleased if it reaches 40, and at that point we’d likely push him to Philly. As of now, that means Kenneth Walker or Don Carman heads back down to the minors. Either way, Worrell needs more appearances.

At AA Reading - 20-21:
  • 1B Pat Adams - 180 PA, .287/.406/.467, 16 XBH, 32 K, 25 BB, +0.4 ZR, 1.009 EFF, 0.2 WAR
  • LF Keith Hughes - 173 PA, .275/.358/.418, 20 XBH, 31 K, 18 BB, +3.1 ZR, .965 EFF, 1.4 WAR
  • DH Jim Olander - 147 PA, .273/.354/.359, 7 XBH, 23 K, 16 BB, 0.0 WAR
  • 3B Kenneth Mahnken - 96 PA, .247/.365/.568, 12 XBH, 19 K, 15 BB, +1.2 ZR, 1.070 EFF, 1.5 WAR
  • SP Jim Olson - 70.1 IP, 3.45 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 37 K, 35 BB (4.7 K/9, 1.1 K.BB), 0.9 WAR
  • SP William Jester - 67 IP, 4.03 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 39 K, 20 BB (5.2 K/9, 1.9 K/BB), 1.6 WAR
  • SP Marvin Freeman - 52.1 IP, 2.06 ERA, 4.39 FIP, 34 K, 26 BB (5.8 K/9, 1.3 K/BB), 0.3 WAR
  • RP Darryl Menard - 19 IP, 2.84 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 12 K, 6 BB (5.7 K/9, 2.0 K/BB), 0.1 WAR
  • RP William Morton - 11.2 IP, 3.09 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 9 K, 6 BB (6.9 K/9, 1.5 BB/9), 0.2 WAR

A middling performance right now in Reading. Adams and Mahnken are a little old for the level now and could move soon, but they’re blocked. Hughes can spend the rest of the season in Reading (he ended last year there and struggled, so this is a great sign). Olander wants to be in the field, so I might get him some reps at LF, giving Hughes some DH games in the second quarter.

On the mound, Jester has had good numbers, but he's just 21 and still needs to develop a lot (a better first pitch, a decent third pitch, better stuff and movement, maybe better control). Freeman must improve control. Meanwhile, higher-up pitching prospect Tim Belcher has 29 walks and 26 strikeouts so far, and Steve Witt was ailing a bit to start the season, so he has barely pitched. Menard, meanwhile, could move quickly, as he’s almost fully developed.

At A Clearwater - 28-8:


CF Luis Polonia - 172 PA, .333/.392/.451, 11 XBH, 17 K, 16 BB, 6 SB, 4 CS, +0.7 ZR, 1.019 EFF, 0.9 WAR
2B Keith Miller - 168 PA, .316/.446/.444, 11 XBH, 15 K, 32 BB, 8 SB, 2 CS, -1.3 ZR, .976 EFF, 1.0 WAR
3B Howard Nichols - 159 PA, .403/.465/.627, 17 XBH, 23 K, 18 BB, 5 SB, 1 CS, +0.8 ZR, 1.017 EFF, 2.5 WAR
SS Ken Jackson - 150 PA, .280/.427/.356, 7 XBH, 19 K, 29 BB, 7 SB, 3 CS, -0.7 ZR, .996 EFF, 1.0 WAR
C Ray Ortega - 89 PA, .289/.382/.434, 7 XBH, 21 K, 15 BB, 3 SB, 0 CS, +1.5 ZR, 1.030 EFF, 44.4 CS%, 0.9 WAR

SP Wayne Stewart - 56.2 IP, 3.49 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 32 K, 23 BB (5.1 K/9, 1.4 BB/9), 1.2 WAR
SP Shawn Barton - 53.1 IP, 3.71 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 39 K, 14 BB (6.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9), 1.7 WAR
SP Damon Dombek - 49.1 IP, 4.74 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 45 K, 30 BB (8.2 K/9, 1.5 K/BB), 1.2 WAR
RP Jeff Gray - 15.2 IP, 4.60 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 10 K, 6 BB (5.7 K/9, 1.7 K/BB), 0.5 WAR
RP Joe Boever - 10 IP, 0.90 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 7 K, 1 BB (6.3 K/9, 7 K/BB), 0.3 WAR
RP Rich Surhoff - 9.2 IP, 3.72 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 9 K, 0 BB (8.4 K/9, INF K/BB), 0.4 WAR

A lot of great hitting performances in Clearwater, which is just running away with the Florida State League regular season crown. Top prospect Polonia will probably head to Reading before the year is out, likely by midseason, as he’s on target for a September 1986 arrival in Philadelphia. Miller has shown quite the eye, but his defense remains an issue. Then there’s Nichols, an absolute breakout who last year was in rookie ball. We’ll see what he does over the next 150-200 plate appearances before making a decision. Jackson and Ortega are developing as they should.

On the mound, mostly good stuff. Stewart and Barton are a touch older and could be in Reading sooner rather than later. Dombek is of age and will continue to develop in Clearwater a bit, but I love the strikeouts. The pen has some quick movers: Gray and Boever should be in Reading by midseason, while Surhoff is getting back to form and should head back to Reading (or even jump to Portland) around the same time.

At A Peninsula - 20-25:

RF Rodney Wheeler - 214 PA, .232/.358/.305, 9 XBH, 29 K, 35 BB, 22 SB, 3 CS, +2.7 ZR, .997 EFF, 1.0 WAR
1B Ronnie Gideon - 208 PA, .278/.365/.556, 24 XBH, 36 K, 24 BB, +0.1 ZR, .988 EFF, 1.4 WAR
LF Keith Ross - 188 PA, .314/.431/.506, 14 XBH, 25 K, 32 BB, 10 SB, 5 CS, +1.0 ZR, 1.018 EFF, 1.8 WAR
C Tom Magrann - 171 PA, .266/.382/.446, 12 XBH, 17 K, 28 BB, +3.7 ZR, 1.031 EFF, 39.6 CS%, 1.8 WAR

SP Mike Miller - 76.2 IP, 3.76 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 32 K, 16 BB (3.8 K/9, 2.0 K/BB), 1.6 WAR
SP Kevin Coker - 69.1 IP, 3.50 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 39 K, 26 BB (5.1 K/9, 1.5 K/BB), 1.1 WAR
SP Pete J Smith - 67.1 IP, 5.35 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 44 K, 34 BB (5.9 K/9, 1.3 K/BB), 1.1 WAR
SP Woodrow Broussard - 43 IP, 3.14 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 27 K, 17 BB (5.7 K/9, 1.6 BB/9), 0.9 WAR
RP Clint Jenkins - 15.1 IP, 4.70 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 10 K, 6 BB (5.9 K/9, 1.7 K/BB), 0.2 WAR

Each of the hitting stars are age 21, so they can hang in Peninsula for the full year or just finish it off in Clearwater. But considering Ricky Jordan, my top 1B prospect, hasn’t yet kicked it in gear in Clearwater (he’s 19), I could move Gideon up to Reading once movement happens up there. Magrann is separating himself as the best of my mid-system catchers, the favorite to start 1986 in Reading.

On the mound, nothing really outstanding here. Our (not my) 1984 first-round pick Smith is 19 and needs to develop his control and movement before I’m comfortable moving him to Reading. Otherwise, everyone is on the full-year plan.

At A Spartanburg - 17-16:

DH Bill Geivett - 155 PA, .268/.396/.378, 10 XBH, 26 K, 27 BB, 4 SB, 2 CS, 0.5 WAR [7th round pick 1984-85]
CF Scott Hufford - 148 PA, .305/.446/.593, 18 XBH, 29 K, 29 BB, 3 SB, 1 CS, +1.0 ZR, 1.012 EFF, 2.1 WAR
2B Billy Bates - 136 PA, .275/.397/.339, 4 XBH, 13 K, 23 BB, 5 SB, 1 CS, -0.9 ZR, .990 EFF, 0.7 WAR [4th round pick 1984-85]
SS Flavio Alfaro - 115 PA, .231/.372/.374, 8 XBH, 15 K, 20 BB, 8 SB, 1 CS, +0.2 ZR, 1.012 EFF, 0.7 WAR [13th round pick 1984-85]

SP Blaise Ilsley - 55.1 IP, 3.74 ERA, 4.45 FIP, 56 K, 16 BB (9.1 K/9, 3.5 K/BB), 1.1 WAR [2nd round pick 1984-85]
SP Bob Scanlan - 44.1 IP, 3.45 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 26 K, 13 BB (5.3 K/9, 2.0 K/BB), 1.2 WAR
SP Jeff Ballard - 43 IP, 3.35 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 45 K, 25 BB (9.4 K/9, 1.8 K/BB), 1.2 WAR [8th round pick 1984-85]
SP Michael Jackson - 33 IP, 4.09 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 31 K, 16 BB (8.5 K/9, 1.9 K/BB), 0.9 WAR
RP Jeff Knox - 12 IP, 2.25 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 9 K, 3 BB (6.8 K/9, 3.0 K/BB), 0.3 WAR

Geivett and Bates, and especially Alfaro, are getting old for the level, so they should move to at least Clearwater by season’s end. At 19, Hufford is showing something. He’ll be on his way soon enough, too.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Ilsley is clearly overpowering the league, though he’s been a little too cute and given up eight home runs (the movement has to improve). That said, he’s heading to A Clearwater, and probably in the next week or two. Ballard is also 21 and should move to Clearwater, or at least Peninsula, soon. Scanlan, Jackson, and Knox are on longer timelines but doing well.

Last edited by The_Myth; 10-08-2019 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:55 PM   #104
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May 24, 1985

The Padres come to town for a four-game, Memorial Day weekend wraparound series.


Game 1985-39: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 5, Padres 1 / 27-12

Kevin Gross throws a complete game with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Game score 85. Absolutely outstanding. Von Hayes knocks his sixth home run, while Darren Daulton puts in a two-hit performance with a double. Juan Samuel adds two hits.

Meanwhile in New York, Fernando Valenzuela took the hill a day early to face the Mets. All eyes watched to see if Fernando could throw a third-consecutive no-hitter. But in the second, Bob Brenly led off with a double, and that wouldn’t be all. Fernando gave up five runs on 12 hits and two walks, losing 5-4 to the Mets.

His next start? Against us, of course.

May 25, 1985

Game 1985-40: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 8, Padres 5 / 28-12

Down 3-0 in the sixth, we score eight straight to put it away. Mike Schmidt slams a big blow, a two-run home run in the seventh to put us ahead. He also doubles, raising his average to .393. Juan Samuel adds a home run and a big eighth-inning double.

Meanwhile in Atlanta, Pirates pitcher Cecilio Guante struck our old friend Luis Aguayo with a pitch. Aguayo responded by charging the mound, taking down the pitcher, and forcing the benches to clear. Aguayo - who is hitting .300 with a home run in 25 plate appearances for the Braves - was suspended four games, as was Guante.

May 26, 1985

A good walk-up crowd on this holiday Sunday - about 43,000, our third largest crowd of the season, most likely.

Game 1985-41: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 6, Padres 3 / 29-12

Glenn Wilson has the big game on this day, finishing 3-for-4 with a home run, his eighth. Wilson is now hitting .305/.359/.580. Mike Schmidt, by the way, hits his 12th homer. He’s at .399/.482/.732, which is just astonishing. Von Hayes adds two hits, both doubles, to move to .371/.415/.547. Steve Carlton surrenders three in 7.2 innings but strikes out six.

In the news, Willie McGee of the Cardinals and Howard Johnson of the Tigers take National League and American League Player of the Week honors, respectively. Also, all-star voting begins - I have to believe Mike Schmidt will be the top vote-getter in the NL once again, while I predict good things for Von Hayes, Glenn Wilson, maybe Juan Samuel, and Charles Hudson.

Also today, we find out that pitcher Tommy John will retire when the season ends. The 42-year-old is playing out the string in California; lifetime, he has a 253-200 record with a 3.25 ERA, 2019 strikeouts and 72.8 WAR. Hopefully he reaches the Hall of Fame, if only because of the groundbreaking ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction procedure he underwent in 1974, which prolonged (and turned around) his career.

Finally, new power rankings:

1. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - 29-12
2. Detroit Tigers - 28-12
3. Toronto Blue Jays - 27-15
4. Montreal Expos - 24-17
5. St. Louis Cardinals - 24-14

We had a great week, so we’re back on top.

May 27, 1985

Last game of the four. Let’s see if we can take a full four games from San Diego.

Game 1985-42: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 4, Padres 1 / 30-12

A four-game sweep! What a season so far.

We score four in the seventh to take this one, led by Darren Daulton’s triple. Mike Schmidt and UL Washington add doubles bookending that strike. Glenn Wilson goes 2-for-3, and John Denny gets in on the fun with an RBI single. He also pitches a complete game.

May 28, 1985

We’re a quarter of the way through the season. Let’s go over some major league stat lines:

LF Von Hayes - 192 PA, .368/.411/.540, 18 XBH, 14 K, 15 BB, 12 SB, 5 CS, +0.2 ZR, 1.022 EFF, 2.4 WAR

Outstanding in all facets of the game. MVP-caliber season so far.

3B Paul Molitor - 184 PA, .244/.313/.329, 12 XBH, 28 K, 16 BB, 8 SB, 5 CS, +1.3 ZR, 1.012 EFF, 0.7 WAR

After a quick start, a slowdown for Molitor with too many strikeouts and not enough base hits, but he still gets on base and plays his position well.

2B Juan Samuel - 179 PA, .243/.274/.396, 13 XBH, 32 K, 7 BB, 20 SB, 3 CS, -1.7 ZR, .962 EFF, 0.8 WAR

Underwhelming at the dish, though - believe it or not - the strikeout rate is down. Also, he’s been going the other way more often, which says to me this could be a transitional time at the plate for him. Defense is meh, but the speed is still elite. Kid is young - not upset here.

1B Mike Schmidt - 168 PA, .394/.476/.725, 22 XBH, 19 K, 24 BB, +0.6 ZR, 1.045 EFF, 3.0 WAR

He’s on pace for one the greatest single seasons in modern baseball history. Not sure if Schmidty can keep it up, but it’ll be fun watching him try.

CF Dave Stegman - 156 PA, .229/.329/.405, 12 XBH, 34 K, 20 BB, +1.8 ZR, 1.006 EFF, 1.1 WAR

I brought in Stegman for defense, and he hasn’t disappointed, proving a rock out in center. The offense has been surprising, as he’s on pace for a career year in every offensive category. Getting 15-20 home runs from him would be wonderful, and I love that the OBP is 100 points higher than the AVG.

SS UL Washington - 149 PA, .300/.342/.407, 11 XBH, 25 K, 9 BB, 9 SB, 0 CS, +3.4 ZR, 1.055 EFF, 1.7 WAR

I didn’t want 30 errors … he has seven, so we’re just a little under pace. Otherwise, can’t be upset. He’s been steady defensively and a revelation at the plate, hitting at levels he hasn’t reached in three seasons. We’ll see how long it lasts.

RF Glenn Wilson - 145 PA, .313/.366/.582, 19 XBH, 17 K, 9 BB, 2 SB, 0 CS, -0.5 ZR, .998 EFF, 1.6 WAR

Speaking of revelations … if Wilson can keep up this kind of offensive pace (32 HR, 100 RBI), we’re talking about an honest-to-goodness middle-of-the-order threat. The biggest leap forward is he’s been good (and not a crutch) against righties (107 PA, .283/.336/.525, 15 XBH, 13 K, 6 BB).

C Darren Daulton - 127 PA, .162/.291/.314, 8 XBH, 30 K, 20 BB, 4 SB, 1 CS, +0.7 ZR, 1.052 EFF, 34.1 CS%, 0.5 WAR

Not the best first quarter for Dutch, but I’m encouraged by two things: The patience seems to be good, if not better than last year, and his ISO is in line with last season’s (.152). My goal for him is to get the AVG over .200 by midseason. The defense has been fine, though not spectacular.

SP Steve Carlton - 63.1 IP, 3.41 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 44 K, 22 BB (6.3 K/9, 2.0 K/BB), 1.2 WAR

Lefty has been as advertised for a 40-year-old. Not necessarily a No. 1 anymore, but at times a No. 2 and more likely a solid rotation arm.

SP John Denny - 61 IP, 2.51 ERA, 2.64 FIP, 29 K, 12 BB (4.3 K/9, 2.4 K/BB), 1.8 WAR

He has the Denny magic this year, throwing 56 percent ground balls and yielding few (actually just one) home runs. Improved defense has certainly helped. Not my one-game shutdown guy, but he can hang with just about anyone.

SP Charles Hudson - 58.2 IP, 0.77 ERA, 2.60 FIP, 33 K, 14 BB (5.1 K/9, 2.4 K/BB), 1.8 WAR

Chuck Hudson is on something else this season. Essentially he has thrown more junk out of the zone, causing some poor fly balls and pop-ups. Or, to put it another way, the kid has serious poise. Not sure if this’ll last all season, but he knows what works, and he’s leaning hard on it to great success.

SP Kevin Gross - 58 IP, 1.86 ERA, 2.57 FIP, 44 K, 13 BB (6.8 K/9, 3.4 K/BB), 1.8 WAR

And yet, Gross might be the best pitcher on staff this year. He has limited big innings and home runs, mixed in ground balls, and gotten huge strikeouts.

SP Scott Sanderson - 56.2 IP, 2.38 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 40 K, 19 BB (6.4 K/9, 2.1 K/BB), 1.0 WAR

Not bad for a fifth starter and a free agent pickup. I’ll take this all the time.

RP Bill Campbell - 21.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 11 K, 5 BB (4.6 K/9, 2.2 K/BB), 0.2 WAR

Miscast as a closer, but he’s doing the job more often than not.

RP Larry Andersen - 17 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.50 FIP, 12 K, 1 BB (6.4 K/9, 12.0 K/BB), 0.6 WAR

Talk about a start. Andersen doesn't have big-time stuff, but he might be the best setup arm in the game.

RP Donnie Moore - 17 IP, 5.29 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 14 K, 7 BB (7.4 K/9, 2.0 K/BB), 0.3 WAR

Moore has pitched a lot (despite the 17 innings). Some of the hits he’s allowed were dinks and dunks, so I’m hoping he brings that ERA down closer to 3.00 by midseason.

The bench guys and other bullpen guys don’t have enough work to really scrutinize, though I really want more Mike Diaz and Don Carman, especially in the second quarter. Also, I imagine Paul Assenmacher is coming, and maybe to replace Kenneth Walker, whose stuff hasn’t shone quite enough yet.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:49 PM   #105
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Note: I'm starting to add a guide to the series at the top of the first post. That way, if you ever want to quickly navigate through the stories, or maybe check out a particularly big day or week, that'll be available to you. Hoping to get through it soon.

***

May 29, 1985

Back at it, and it’s a two-game series at Dodger Stadium. Gotta get at least one, and tonight, it’s Fernando. No repeat of the last time, please.


Game 1984-43: Dodger Stadium - Dodgers 8, Phillies 5 / 30-13

I speak too soon about Larry Andersen. He comes in with a 0.00 ERA and allows three runs in the eighth. We get down 5-0 against Valenzuela, thanks in part to two Paul Molitor errors, but chip away and tie the game in the top of the eighth. That’s thanks in part to a two-run Molitor double. A heck of an effort, and I would’ve been ecstatic with a stolen win. But then, Andersen … sigh.

Meanwhile, the Expos have won 10 straight and are now 3.5 in back of us in the NL East standings. The Cardinals, Mets, and Pirates are hovering behind, while the Cubs are a bit below .500.

May 30, 1985

Tonight, Mike Diaz and Tommy Thompson are in and Dodgers’ lefty Rick Honeycutt is on the hill.

Game 1984-44: Dodger Stadium - Phillies 3, Dodgers 2 / 31-13

The gutsiest win of the season. We get up early thanks to a Mike Schmidt RBI single, extend the lead with a Tommy Thompson single, and go up 3-1 with a Paul Molitor base hit. It stays that way from the third to the ninth, as Kevin Gross hands in eight strong. In the ninth, Bill Campbell allows three consecutive singles. Then an RBI groundout (3-2), strikeout, and groundout to end it. Dancing on a wire.

During the evening, we find out that the Red Sox extended a five-year, $4.2 million contract to LF Jim Rice, which he accepted. Rice, who has 10 HR and 30 RBI this season, is looking to stay a Red Sox for his entire career.

May 31, 1985

Here’s breaking news: My reputation as a GM just went from poor to good. It skipped fair! Also, Dave Concepcion gets a start tonight in San Francisco.


Game 1985-45: Candlestick Park - Phillies 11, Giants 2 / 32-13

We pick up where we left off with the Giants, scoring early and then often. Home runs by Darren Daulton, Glenn Wilson, and Juan Samuel, plus three hits from Mike Schmidt (now at .391) and two each from Paul Molitor and Concepcion. Don Carman threw a big double-play ball to end a threat in the seventh, basically securing this game. Kenneth Walker pitched two strong relief innings.

June 1, 1985

First, awesome news: Mike Schmidt won his second-straight National League Player of the Month award. But that’s not all: Kevin Gross took home NL Pitcher of the Month honors! Schmidt hit .383 with 6 HR and 22 RBI in May; he’s the clear front-runner for National League Most Valuable Player. As for Gross, he went 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. He’s 7-0 with a 1.77 ERA so far. Sheesh.

Game 1985-46: Candlestick Park - Giants 10, Phillies 4 / 32-14

Yuck. We’re down 4-2 in the eighth but tie it up, and then Larry Andersen self-destructs. For the first time this season, the bullpen is really looking like an issue, with Andersen pitching poorly, Donnie Moore holding a 5.68 ERA, and Don Carman standing at 5.79.

Also, Dave Stegman hurts himself throwing a ball midway through the game, and it doesn’t look good. Bill Lyons will play center field until we know something more.

June 2, 1985

First update in all-star voting: Mike Schmidt leads all vote-getters in baseball at 155,072, holding a comfortable lead at first base over Keith Hernandez. Meanwhile, Juan Samuel is third among NL second basemen, Paul Molitor is third among NL third basemen, Von Hayes is second among NL left fielders, and Charles Hudson is fourth among NL starting pitchers.

As for the game, Dick Howser is giving Mike Schmidt the day off.

Game 1985-47: Candlestick Park - Giants 8, Phillies 2 / 32-15

Easily our worst performance of the season. John Denny allowed four earned runs in 6 IP, and Donnie Moore - back in for a second-straight day - gives up another three runs. He now has a 6.00 ERA, and it’s probably time to make a change in a struggling bullpen. Meanwhile, other than Von Hayes’ three hits, a lifeless performance from the offense.
  • RP Paul Assenmacher promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • RP Don Carman optioned to AAA Portland
  • RF Joe Lefebvre placed on waivers

I decided to option Carman, who was carrying a 5.79 ERA, but more, is a lefty. Assenmacher is also a lefty. Plus, I believe in Kenneth Walker’s stuff, and I can’t do anything with Donnie Moore, obviously.

As for Lefebvre, I just want to keep some room on the 40-man roster.

Also today, we learn that Dave Stegman has a strained ankle that should keep him out a few weeks.
  • CF Dave Stegman placed on 15-day injured list
  • LF/RF Jeff Stone promoted to MLB Philadelphia

No center fielder in the system right now is a better upgrade than just moving Von Hayes back to center for two weeks, then letting Jeff Stone get a run.

Here are the power rankings:

1. Detroit Tigers - 32-14
2. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - 32-15
3. Toronto Blue Jays - 31-18
4. St. Louis Cardinals - 27-17
5. Montreal Expos - 29-19
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:17 PM   #106
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Except for Stegman, you've been fortunate on the injury front. Great start for the Fightins!!
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:46 PM   #107
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June 3, 1985
  • SP Jeff Ballard promoted to A Clearwater
  • SP Blaise Ilsley promoted to A Clearwater
  • SP Jeff Norwood demoted to A Peninsula
  • RP Steve Labay demoted to A Peninsula
  • RP Brant Weatherford demoted to A Spartanburg
  • RP John Hill demoted to A Spartanburg

Ilsley and Ballard deserve the promotions, so there they go. In Ilsley’s case, his ERA was over 4.00, but the strikeout-to-walk ratio was outstanding. We need to see him against better hitting.


Game 1985-48: Jack Murphy Stadium - Phillies 4, Padres 1 / 33-15

A really good win. Charles Hudson continues to dazzle, going eight and giving up one run (unearned) to lower his ERA to 0.88. Offensively, Jeff Stone played igniter with two hits, a stolen base, and an RBI. Also, Mike Schmidt has yet another three-hit night.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Mets’ Bruce Ruffin - a first-round draft pick this season - threw a one-hit shutout. Plenty of young guys making an impact already.

June 4, 1985

Early phone call from my manager out in Clearwater, Tim Terzic. Blaise Ilsley started his first game there last night against the Vero Beach Dodgers, and here’s his line: 9 IP (CG), 0 ER, 2 H, 11 K, 0 BB. That’s it. The best start for any pitcher at any level. He accumulated 0.7 WAR in one night. I start cracking up.

As for the game, Jeff Stone goes to the eight-hole as UL Washington bats second against a lefty.

Game 1985-49: Jack Murphy Stadium - Phillies 5, Padres 0 / 34-15

The reigning Pitcher of the Month turns in a three-hit shutout (all singles), striking out four and walking two. But that’s not all! First, from that eight-hole, Stone absolutely fuels the offense. He doubles in the fifth to score Darren Daulton, then triples in the seventh. Both times on base he scores, via Mr. Pitcher of the Month. Gross goes 1-for-4 with 3 RBI!
  • RP Rob Hicks promoted to A Clearwater

Jeff Gray went down with a tired arm, so Hicks comes from Peninsula to keep the bullpen staffed.

Around the league, Dwight Gooden threw a one-hitter to beat the Dodgers 7-0. Two young Mets pitchers with consecutive one-hit starts.

June 5, 1985

Joe Lefebvre wasn’t claimed, so he’ll take up space in Portland. I feel bad for the guy but don’t want to let him go just yet; maybe after Dave Stegman returns.

Mike Diaz in right field tonight, spelling Glennbo for a start.

Game 1985-50: Jack Murphy Stadium - Padres 4, Phillies 3 (10) / 34-16

Rarely, Dick Howser has made a bad call this season, but tonight he does that. Down 3-1 in the sixth, we rally to tie the game thanks to a one-out Mike Diaz double. UL Washington is intentionally walked, and then Howser has a choice to make, but decides to stick with pitcher Scott Sanderson. Obviously, Sanderson strikes out, then Von Hayes makes the final out to end what could’ve been a heck of an inning. It stays 3-3 until Luis Salazar hits a game-winning single in the 10th off Bill Campbell. We finish the West Coast road trip a somewhat disappointing 4-4.

June 6, 1985

Here’s where my guys stand on the National League leaderboards:

Batting

Batting Average
1. Mike Schmidt - .384
3. Von Hayes - .354

Home Runs
T2. Mike Schmidt - 12
T4. Glenn Wilson - 9

Runs Batted In
1. Mike Schmidt - 49
T5. Von Hayes - 32
T7. Juan Samuel - 31

On-Base Percentage
1. Mike Schmidt - .460
3. Von Hayes - .398

Slugging Percentage
1. Mike Schmidt - .669
4. Glenn Wilson - .541
5. Von Hayes - .531

WAR
1. Mike Schmidt - 3.1
4. Von Hayes - 2.6

Hits
1. Von Hayes - 74
3. Mike Schmidt - 66

Runs
2. Von Hayes - 38
T3. Juan Samuel - 36

Doubles
3. Von Hayes - 16

Triples
T2. Juan Samuel - 2

Total Bases
2. Mike Schmidt - 115
3. Von Hayes - 111

Stolen Bases
3. Juan Samuel - 24
6. Von Hayes - 15

Walks
T4. Mike Schmidt - 26
6. Darren Daulton - 25

Isolated Power
1. Mike Schmidt - .285
2. Glenn Wilson - .255

Pitching

Earned Run Average
1. Charles Hudson - 0.88
5. Kevin Gross - 1.56

Wins
T1. Kevin Gross - 8
T5. Charles Hudson - 7

Saves
T7. Bill Campbell - 9

Walks / 9 IP
T7. Charles Hudson - 1.8

WHIP
3. Kevin Gross - 0.88
4. Charles Hudson - 0.91

Fielding Independent Pitching
7. John Denny - 2.55

Holds
1. Larry Andersen - 5
T2. Donnie Moore - 4

Quality Starts
T2. Kevin Gross - 10

So, Schmidt is still front-running for MVP, but the gap is smaller, with Ryne Sandberg, Willie McGee, and Hayes trailing. On the mound, I can’t quite see Hudson taking Cy Young, as both Dwight Gooden and Orel Hershiser look more dominant right now.

June 7, 1985

First thing today is Bill Campbell wants to talk extension. Not so sure about that. Gonna hold on those words.

As for tonight, huge three-game set with Montreal starting up. The Expos are just 2.5 games behind us in the standings.


Game 1985-51: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 6, Expos 5 / 35-16

A signature win. Steve Carlton suffers a hamstring injury and is pulled right away. Kenneth Walker comes in and allows five runs in the second, putting us in a lousy spot. But Paul Assenmacher debuts with a scoreless 3.1 innings, and Tug McGraw follows it up with two shutout innings of his own. Along the way, we get a run back.

Then, with one out in the seventh, Von Hayes walks, Jeff Stone walks, and Juan Samuel rips a two-run single. Next is Mike Schmidt, and yup, he tattoos one to tie the game. Darren Daulton follows up with a shot of his own, the back-to-back homer deciding the game.

As for Carlton, he’s fine.

June 8, 1985

Tough news from Reading: RP William Morton is out with a torn UCL. He’s done for a year.

And in somewhat sad news, California places Tommy John on waivers. The guy is retiring after this season; that said, the Angels are in first place. I get it.

Game 1985-52: Veterans Stadium - Expos 8, Phillies 2 / 35-17

Yuck. John Denny gives up four, then Tug McGraw makes sure it’s out of reach by giving up four more. Andre Dawson and Gary Carter have good nights for the ‘spos, who are back to 2.5 behind us.

June 9, 1985

Blaise Ilsley alert: 9 IP (CG), 1 ER, 6 H, 13 K, 1 BB. Cackle city.

In NL all-star voting, Mike Schmidt remains the top vote-getter, leading Leon Durham in first base ballots by 100,000 (which is incredible). Elsewhere, Juan Samuel is third among second basemen, Von Hayes leads left fielders, and Charles Hudson is fourth among starting pitchers.

Game 1985-53: Veterans Stadium - Expos 4, Phillies 2 / 35-18

Damn. More early runs for the Expos. We tie it, but Charles Hudson allows a tough two-out hit to break it in the sixth. Meanwhile, we can’t get the big hit. After such a blazing start, and such a great record, we’re just 1.5 up on Montreal now. It also snaps Hudson’s 12-game win streak, dating back to last season.

Meantime, power rankings:

1. Detroit Tigers - 37-16
2. Montreal Expos - 34-20
3. Toronto Blue Jays - 35-20
4. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - 35-18
5. Cincinnati Reds - 33-21

Last edited by The_Myth; 10-15-2019 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:52 PM   #108
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June 10, 1985

We find out that Dave Stegman is slow to recover; it’ll be another week, at least. I figured this anyway. No need to rush him.

As for the team, it’s a four-game set against the Mets. No Dwight Gooden, however. Tonight, Mike Diaz and Dave Concepcion get starts over Darren Daulton and UL Washington.


Game 1985-54: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 7, Mets 4 / 36-18

Kevin Gross stops the bleeding a bit with a 6.2-inning, two-run performance. The offense finally gets going too, with Glenn Wilson going 3-for-4 with a home run and 2 RBI. Mike Schmidt adds homer No. 14 and drives in two. Juan Samuel has three hits and three stolen bases, upping his total to 28.

June 11, 1985

Game 1985-55: Veterans Stadium - Mets 8, Phillies 5 / 36-19

This is not our best stretch of baseball. More poor starting pitching - this time Scott Sanderson gives up six in 3.2 innings - and Wally Backman torches us with five hits. Paul Molitor hits his first home run as a Phillie, and Mike Schmidt triples, but otherwise we’re scuffling.

June 12, 1985

Jeff Stone isn’t hitting too well, so Dick is sitting him for a game. Maybe two. Kid is young.

Game 1985-56: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 10, Mets 6 / 37-19

Von Hayes homers and notches four hits in this win. Paul Molitor adds two hits, as does Bruce Fields, including a second-inning double. Dave Concepcion brings home two with a late double. Steve Carlton pitches well (6 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 2 BB), but Tug McGraw makes it too close too late (4 ER in 1.2 IP).

At this point McGraw (17.2 IP, 7.64 ERA) and Kenneth Walker (16 IP, 7.31) are the obvious underperformers in our bullpen. The latter has an option (OK, so does McGraw, but he won’t accept a demotion), and we have a few candidates for a callup: the recently sent-down Don Carman (1 IP, 0 ER in AAA), Todd Worrell (7.1 IP, 0.00 ERA in AAA) and lefty Chuck Cary (17 IP, 1.59 ERA). John McLarnan (9.2 IP, 2.79 ERA) has also been effective. Carman is the most developed to this point. We’re debating what to do, possibly making a move before heading out to Pittsburgh after tomorrow’s game.

June 13, 1985

Would love to get three of four against the Mets here. Jeff Stone is back in the lineup, while Mike Diaz starts for Glenn-bo.

Game 1985-57: Veterans Stadium - Mets 7, Phillies 3 / 37-20

Ugh. We tie it 2-2, then tie it 3-3, then Larry Andersen of all people gives up four in the eighth. Just not getting much from our pitching these days. Paul Molitor continues something of a hot swing, going 2-for-4.

And with the Expos finishing off a four-game sweep of the lowly Cubs, we’re now in second place for the first time all season.

(By the way, the Expos are currently on a 21-3 run. Yes, that’s right: 21-3.)

So, anyway, time to change things up in the bullpen:
  • RP Todd Worrell promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • RP Kenneth Walker demoted to AAA Portland

We decide it’s time to give Worrell a chance. Why not?

June 14, 1985

Your third Blaise Ilsley start in Clearwater: 9 IP (CG), 1 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 2 BB.

This is absurd, right? His current season in the Florida State League: 27 IP (3 GS), 2 ER, 12 H, 32 K, 3 BB. I’m not quite ready to just push him to Reading, but I notice Ilsley has one, possibly two starts left before the Florida State League midseason break. I decide to head down to Clearwater to catch the next start (planned for June 18 against the Tampa Tarpons). Heck. I want to check in on this 43-13 team anyway, but if Ilsley dazzles me, he might be heading to Reading after the midseason break.

Back with the MLB squad, and we could use a complete game from Charles Hudson tonight in Pittsburgh.


Game 1985-58: Three Rivers Stadium - Phillies 7, Pirates 6 (10) / 38-20

A roller coaster. We get up 3-0, then fall behind 5-3, as Charles Hudson has his worst start of the season (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 1 K, 1 BB). We tie it after a UL Washington home run and Glenn Wilson single, then in the 10th, load the bases for Jeff Stone, who deposits a go-ahead double. Big smack. Good win.

Meantime, the Expos lose 2-0 to the Mets, putting us back up a half-game.

June 15, 1985

Game 1985-59: Three Rivers Stadium - Phillies 6, Pirates 2 / 39-20

One we needed. Both teams no-hit for the first few innings until we break through in the fifth (single, walk, error, sacrifice fly). Then Mike Schmidt hits a home run, a Von Hayes RBI single, a Paul Molitor RBI single, and a Glenn Wilson two-run home run. Kevin Gross (8.1 IP, 2.ER, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB) improves to 10-0.

June 16, 1985

New all-star update: Mike Schmidt continues to lap the field in the voting (602,167 votes; second place overall in the NL is Willie Mcgee at 509,398). Juan Samuel stays in second among second basemen, while Von Hayes keeps his lead among left fielders. Charles Hudson hangs onto fifth among starting pitchers.

Also this morning, Billy Sample’s agent calls to say his client would love an extension for 1986. Sample has 28 plate appearances this season, and while he’s been good (.333/.429/.458), it doesn’t necessarily warrant an extension.

Game 1985-60: Three Rivers Stadium - Phillies 7, Pirates 2 / 40-20

A refreshing sweep of the defending champions getting us to 40 wins and to the elite .667 winning percentage. It’s a Schmidty day, with our MVP slamming his 16th home run. Juan Samuel adds his eighth. Glennbo contributes two hits and 3 RBI to stay in the conversation. So far, good returns from Todd Worrell, who pitches in a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

And with Montreal losing another to the Mets, we’re up 1.5 games.

The power rankings:

1. Detroit Tigers - 41-18
2. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - 40-20
3. Montreal Expos - 39-22
4. St. Louis Cardinals - 36-23
5. Cincinnati Reds - 37-24

In the AL East, it’s the Tigers who hold the big lead, up 5.5 on Toronto, 6.5 on Boston, 8.5 on Milwaukee, and 9.5 on the Yankees. Meanwhile in the AL West, California (who would be in sixth place in the AL East) is up four on Kansas City and Minnesota, with Texas at 4.5 behind. Defending American League champion Seattle is struggling at 6.5 back, victimized by a slew of pitching injuries.

In the NL West, Cincinnati holds a five-game lead on Los Angeles. And back at home, we’re up 1.5 on Montreal, while St. Louis sits 3.5 back, and the Mets are six back.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:40 PM   #109
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So far, so good!! Still a long way to go!!
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June 17, 1985
  • CF Luis Polonia promoted to AA Reading
  • CF/RF/LF Dion Lowe assigned to extended spring training
  • CF Bryan Hoppie promoted to A Clearwater

Polonia time in Reading. He kept up his great numbers over the last 25-30 games, hitting .339/.406/.453 in 277 plate appearances with very good defense in Clearwater. Lowe will be asked to get some work in before we figure out what to do with him (we’re close to releasing him).

Hoppie, who was lost in the shuffle in Peninsula, moves on over to the Gulf.

June 18, 1985

The first trade of the 1985 regular season has been made: The Cubs sent 3B Tom Lombarski to the Dodgers for prospects Brian Williams and Jonathan Pequinot. Seems Lombarski is a flier for Los Angeles, as they’re not getting any production out of third base right now.

The team is heading to St. Louis for a three-game set with the Cardinals, but I’m flying out to Clearwater to catch Blaise Ilsley’s start tonight. My plan is to watch him tonight, then stay for Wednesday’s game, both against Tampa. I’ll spend the morning Thursday with manager Tim Terzic before flying back.


Game 1985-61: Busch Stadium - Phillies 5, Cardinals 1 / 41-20

Steve Carlton goes a strong eight, striking out five and walking two. Glenn Wilson hits a big RBI double, while UL Washington adds three hits. A good, good win.

With the win, Carlton ties Gaylord Perry for 10th place on the all-time wins list (314).

June 19, 1985

Let’s talk about last night. I get to Tampa International Airport by late morning, then drive over to Clearwater in time to catch lunch with manager Tim Terzic. He has the new Clearwater Phillies at 45-14, a full 11.5 games better than anyone else in the Florida State League. They lead in nearly every hitting and pitching category, and right now are led on the mound by 1985 second-round pick Blaise Ilsley. After an introductory stint in A Spartanburg, Ilsley has taken off, throwing complete games in each of his first three starts. He has 32 strikeouts in 27 innings. He’s a man among boys out there.

Terzic and I talk a lot about Ilsley (he thinks he’s ready for Reading now and could be in the majors by September), but we also go over the roster a bit. Terzic says reliever Joe Boever looks ready for AA as well, and that 22-year-old Jeff Gray could use a push upwards. Offensively he loves 1984 16th rounder Keith Miller and catcher Ray Ortega, and he also hails shortstop Ken Jackson’s leadership abilities. What’s more, I’m a big fan of Terzic, who seems to know how to win with any group.

After lunch and some time meeting with the Clearwater staff, it’s game time. And folks, Blaise Ilsley is the real thing. The first few innings are easy - a few fly outs, no-doubt grounders, and a couple singles, but they’re wasted on the basepaths (twice Ortega caught runners stealing). Then he ramps it up, striking out five in his final three innings. Yes, he goes all nine. Yes, he gives up zero runs. His line: 9 IP (CG), 0 ER, 3 H, 8 K, 0 BB.

Ilsley’s current Clearwater stint: 36 IP, 0.50 ERA, 2 ER, 15 H, 40 K, 3 BB, 2.1 WAR

That’s 2.1 WAR in four starts.

After the game I head to the clubhouse and meet the guys. Ilsley is soft spoken and wants to learn, and he has a golden arm. He’s appreciative of everything. Later, I have drinks with Terzic, and we’re beaming about the stuff. There are still a few kinks he needs to work on (mostly movement of his secondary pitches), but his fastball and changeup are already plus, and his cutter is near plus. He also is working on a forkball that’s probably average. This kid could be an ace. Over the moon about Ilsley.

Game 1985-62: Busch Stadium - Phillies 5, Cardinals 3 / 42-20

The Paul Molitor game! Our big free-agent signing breaks out with a four-hit game, including his second home run and third triple of the season. Jeff Stone adds an RBI triple (also his third). Charles Hudson, who gets pushed above John Denny in the rotation, rebounds from a rough first inning to turn in six solid frames (3 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 1 BB).

Meanwhile, there was a brawl tonight in Detroit between the Tigers and Red Sox. Detroit’s Willie Hernandez and Boston’s Rey Quinones were suspended.

June 20, 1985

Dave Stegman, who traveled with the team to St. Louis, is ready to return. Now, Von Hayes has played a solid-enough center field (-0.3 ZR, .974 EFF), but probably not good enough to stick there. That means Stegman needs to be starting in center, which also means someone else needs to head back to AAA Portland.

The candidates:
  • LF/RF Jeff Stone - 62 PA, .231/.355/.385, 5 XBH, 4 SB, 1 CS, 0.3 WAR
  • LF Bruce Fields - 32 PA, .321/.367/.393, 2 XBH, 5 SB, 1 CS, 0.2 WAR
  • LF/RF Billy Sample - 28 PA, .333/.429/.458, 2 XBH, 0 SB, 2 CS, 0.0 WAR

This isn’t very hard; it has to be Stone, who needs to play every day still. He didn’t hit so well, but his plate work remains solid.
  • CF Dave Stegman recalled from 15-day injured list
  • LF/RF Jeff Stone optioned to AAA Portland
  • RF Joe Lefebvre released

Tough to let Lefebvre go, but he was doing nothing this season. Hoping he can latch on somewhere else.

As for the team tonight, Dick Howser is going with B squad, getting Mike Diaz, Bill Lyons, Tommy Thompson, and Dave Concepcion into the lineup.

Game 1985-63: Busch Stadium - Cardinals 5, Phillies 2 / 42-21

Paul Assenmacher gives up three in the eighth, capped by a Steve Balboni home run, as the Cards take one. Not very upset at the offense today, as Tommy Thompson delivers an RBI double (as did Mike Schmidt).

Meantime, those Expos are back at it, sweeping Pittsburgh in four to virtually tie things up in the East (we’re better one in the loss column).

On my second night in Clearwater, the Phils lost game No. 15 with a 10-4 thud. Not a good performance by 20-year-old John Powell, who has as many walks as strikeouts (45). Keith Miller impresses me, though (3-for-5, 2B, R), as does Ken Jackson (2-for-3, 2 BB, RBI).

June 21, 1985

Back home to Philly, as we start a three-gamer with Pittsburgh. And tough news out of Reading: SP Steve Witt has to have rotator cuff surgery and will miss up to a year. No transactions for the moment, as I may use his spot for Blaise Ilsley soon.


Game 1985-64: Veterans Stadium - Pirates 1, Phillies 0 (11) / 42-22

A tough one to lose. John Candelaria is up to his old tricks (7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 8 K, 2 BB), but Kevin Gross matches him (8.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 1 BB). Then against Todd Worrell, Lee Lacy strikes an 11th-inning homer. We come back in the bottom half, with Darren Daulton singling to potentially score UL Washington … but Washington is thrown out at the plate for the final out of the game. Crushing.

Meanwhile, another season-ending elbow injury, this time to the Cardinals’ Dennis Lamp. Those UCL injuries are trending big-time this year.

June 22, 1985

Game 1985-65: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 2, Pirates 1 / 43-22

A nail biter. We get up 2-1 thanks to some timely … plate appearances: First, a Glenn Wilson sacrifice fly in the fourth, and second, a fielder’s choice off a Wilson grounder in the sixth.

In the eighth, Larry Andersen works out of a no-out, two-runner jam with a strikeout, strikeout, and ground out; then, in the ninth, Bill Campbell comes in with a man on first, gets a fly out, gives up a double, intentionally walks the bases loaded … then a ground out that forces the run out at home, and a full-count strikeout of Tony Pena. Phew.

June 23, 1985

NL all-star voting update: Mike Schmidt still has a commanding lead on everyone, while Von Hayes stays in first at left field, Juan Samuel hangs onto third place at second base, and Charles Hudson keeps fifth place among starting pitchers.

Sunday afternoon at the Vet, and Steve Carlton is on the hill. Let’s get it.

Game 1985-66: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 7, Pirates 0 / 44-22

Lefty turns it on today, going all nine while striking out six and giving up just three hits (all singles) and walking two. Offensively, big games from Juan Samuel (3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI) and UL Washington (3-for-5, 2B, 3 R).

Power rankings time:

1. Detroit Tigers - 46-20
2. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - 44-22
3. Montreal Expos - 45-23
4. St. Louis Cardinals - 39-26
5. Toronto Blue Jays - 41-28

Also, just a note: The Bend Phillies start up today, which means draftees Gregg Jefferies, Aubrey Waggoner, and Steve Gasser, among others, get their pro careers going.
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