The Phillies would begin their seventh year of existance trying to rebound from the previous season drop in the standings, as their manager, Harry Wright, would begin his sixth season as the Phillies’ skipper.
As the Phillies continue to play their home games in their home ballpark, the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, change is in the air in the National League as the league would be in a constant state of flux that will last the next several years. Early in the 1888 off-season, the Detroit Wolverine franchise would fold, it place in the National League to be taken by the American Association Cleveland Blues, who would soon change their name to the Cleveland Spiders. The league would then adopt a five-tier salary structure which would help to determine how much each player is paid. This move by the owners would have repercussions within two years, as it would lead to the Players’ revolt of 1890. Early in 1889, the National League would take control of the debt-ridden Indianapolis Hoosiers before an ownership group would finally take contol of the franchise. The Phillies’ opponents for the new season, besides the new Spiders and the Hoosiers, under new management, would be the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Nationals, the Alleghenys, and the White Stockings.
The Phillies would begin the 1889 regular season on Wednesday, April 24, against the Nationals in Washington, which the Phillies would win, 8-4, putting them in a tie for first place with the Beaneaters, the Hoosiers and the Alleghenys. The Phillies would then go home for a twenty-eight games home stand against all of their rivals, where they would play four straight four-games series with the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Nationals, the White Stockings, a two-games series with the Hoosiers, two straight four-games series with the Spiders and the Alleghenys and finally a second two-games series with the Hoosiers, which would last through the entire month of May. The Phillies would end April by splitting the first two games of their four-games series with the Beaneaters, losing 8-3, and then winning 7-6, ending April with a 2-1 record, in third place, trailing both the Giants and the Alleghenys by half a game.
The Phillies would begin May the same way they had ended April, by splitting the last two games of their four-games series with Boston, ending the series with a 2-2 record, while staying in third place as they now trailed the first place Giants by a game and a half. In their four-game series with their rival, the Giants, the Phillies would take three of the four games, including 9-4 and 11-2 victories in the first two games of the series, before being clobbered 13-9 in the series’ third game, putting them in a first place tie with the Beaneaters, half a game ahead of both the now third place Giants and the fourth place Alleghenys. The Phils would then proceed to split their series with the Nationals, which would keep them tied with Boston for first and still half a game ahead of the Giants. The Phils would then win their four-games series with their main western rival, the White Stockings, 3-1, as they fall into second place in the standings, a full game behind the first place Beaneaters. They would then sweep their two games with the Hoosiers, which keep them a game behind Boston in the standings. They would then win the first game of their four-games with the Spiders, giving them a five-games winning streak, before they would lose the next three games, thus losing the series to Cleveland, 1-3, as they fall three and a half games behind Boston, while staying in second place. The Phillies would then rebound, winning the first three games in their four-games series with the Alleghenys, including a doubleheader split on May 30, winning the opener by the score of 13-6, before losing the ‘nightcap’ by the score of 10-6. They would then sweep their second straight doubleheader, this one against the Hoosiers on May 31, by the scores of 11-8 and 11-4, thus ending the home stand with a record of 18-10 and the month with a 17-9 record. Their overall record of 19-10 would keep them in second place, now two and a half games behind the first place Beaneaters.
The Phillies would start off June by playing a four-games series with first place Beaneaters in Boston. The series would be a disaster, as they would lose the first three games in the series by scores of 7-2, 10-6 and 4-2, before leaving Boston with a 5-4 win, which would put the still second place Phils behind Boston by four and a half games. The Phillies would next play two straight three-games series with the Nationals, with the first three to be played in Philadelphia, and then the latter three in Washington, as part of a six-cities, twenty-two-games road trip to New York (2), Chicago (4), Cleveland (4), Pittsburgh (5) and Indianapolis (4), that would take the balance of June and the start of July to complete. The Phillies would win both of their series against the Nationals, going 2-1 both at home and in Washington, which would include a split of their third doubleheader of the season, losing the first game 6-3, and then winning the ‘nightcap’ 7-5. The Phillies would drop down to third place as they head for New York, a game behind the third place Spiders and three and a half games behind league leading Boston. The Phils would end up being swept in New York, which would drop them five and a half games behind the Beaneaters. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would split their four-games series with the White Stockings, as they would now trail Boston by eight games, as the Beaneaters would appear to be running away from the rest of the league. The Phillies would next go to Cleveland, visiting the city for the first time since the collapse of the original Cleveland Blues franchise in 1884. The Phillies would end up losing the series to the Spiders, 1-3, which would dropped the Phils into fourth place, still trailing the Beaneaters by eight games, as the Giants would jump over them into third place. The Phils would then go to Pittsburgh, where their losing streak would increase to four games, including a doubleheader lost on June 29 by the score of 3-2 and 8-0. The Phillies would end June with an 8-15 losing record, and an overall record of 27-25, eight and a half games behind Boston in fourth place.
The Phillies would start July by losing the last two games of their series with Pittsburgh, losing the five-games series as their losing streak rises to six games, as they now trail Boston by nine and a half games. The Phillies would finally break their losing streak by winning the first game of their July 4th doubleheader with the Hoosiers, winning by the score of 5-4, before losing the ‘nightcap’ 6-0. They would then split the last two games in Indianapolis, splitting the series, as they would end the road trip with a losing record of 7-15, as they now trailed Boston by nine games, as they stayed a half game ahead of fifth place Chicago. The Phillies would then go back home to begin a seventeen-games home stand with the Hoosiers (3), White Stockings (2), the Spiders (3), the Alleghenys (3), the Giants (3) and the first place Beaneaters (3). The Phillies would start the home stand off with a seven-games winning streak as they would sweep first the Hoosiers, then the White Stockings, before the Spiders would finally end the winning streak by beating the Phils in the final game of their three-games series, 9-4. Their seven games winning streak would place the Phillies six games behind the Beaneaters, before their lost and Boston’s doubleheader sweep of the Hoosiers the next day would push them back to seven and a half games behind. The Phillies would then sweep their series with Pittsburgh and New York, which would put them four and a half game behind Boston as the Beaneaters came to town. The Phillies would proceed to lose the first two games with Boston, thus losing the series, 1-2, as they now trail the first place Beaneaters by five and a half games, as they moved into third place, a half game ahead of the Spiders and two games behind New York, as they end the home stand with a record of 14-3. The Phillies would then go back onto the road for a six-cities, thirteen-games road trip to Boston (2), New York (2), Pittsburgh (2), Cleveland (2), Chicago (3) and Indianapolis (2). The Phillies would start their road trip in Boston, where they would be swept by the Beaneaters, ending the month with a 16-9 record and with an overall record of 43-34, seven and a half games behind Boston, and tied for third place with Cleveland (who have played one game more than the Phils, which ended up as a tie.).
The Phillies would begin August still on the road as they visit rival New York, where they would be swept by the Giants as their losing streak rises to four games, as they fall to eight games behind, technically in third place as they lead the Spiders by .001. The Phillies would then sweep their series with the Alleghenys, before splitting their series with the Spiders, as they now trailed the Beaneaters by six and a half games, while in third place by themselves. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would win the series with their western rival, 2-1, before heading on to Indianapolis, where they would split the series with the Hoosiers, ending the road trip with a respectible 6-7 record, seven games behind the Beaneaters, who were now trying to fight off a challenge for first from the Giants. The Phillies then went home for a short three-games series with the Nationals, which the Phillies would win, 2-1, as they now trailed Boston by seven and a half games. The Phillies then went back onto the road for a five-games series in New York, which they would lose to the Giants, 1-4, as they played two straight doubleheaders with them, splitting the first one on August 23, losing the first game, 7-3, before winning the ‘nightcap’ 11-2. They would then be swept in the doubleheader played on the 24, by the scores of 10-8 and 8-3. The Phils would stay in third place, but now trailing Boston by nine and a half games. They would then go home to face the Beaneaters for three games, seeing their losing streak go up to four games, before finally winning the series’ final game, as they lose the series, 1-2, as the Phillies now trailed the Beaneaters by ten and a half games. The Phillies then go back onto the road for three games with the Nationals, where they would lose the series, 0-1-1, tying the series’ middle game by the score of 2-2, as they would end the month with a record of 10-14-1, while having an overall record of 53-48-1, eleven and a half game behind Boston, and a half-game ahead of fourth place Chicago.
In September, the Phils would play a ten-games home stand with the White Stockings (4), the Spiders (3), the Alleghenys (1) and the Hoosiers (2). The Phillies would lose the series with their western rival, the White Stockings, 1-3, which would include a doubleheader split on the 2, losing the first game, 2-1, before winning the ‘nightcap’ 3-2. The series would see the Phillies drop back into fourth place, now twelve and a half games behind both Boston and New York, who were in a mathematical tie for first place, and a game and a half behind now third place Chicago. The Phils would then go on a five-games winning streak, sweeping their series with the Spiders, and then winning their one-game series with the Alleghenys, before splitting their doubleheader with the Hoosiers on the 14, winning the opener, 11-3, then losing the second game, 10-7, thus ending their home stand with a 6-4 record, as they regained third place, now twelve games behind Boston and three and a half games ahead of the fourth place White Stockings. The Phillies would then go to Boston for a three games series, which they would lose to the Beaneaters, 1-2, leaving them still twelve games behind the Beaneaters and the Giants, with the Giants leading by .003. The Phillies then went back home for a five-games series with the Giants, which they would lose 0-4-1, which would include a doubleheader split on the 20, as they would lose the first game, 5-1, then would be tied in the ‘nightcap’, 4-4. The Phillies were now sixteen and a half games behind the Giants, who were now a game ahead of Boston in the pennant race. The Phillies would now go onto the road for the rest of the season, to play eleven games in four cities, with three games in Cleveland, three in Pittsburgh, two in Indianapolis and the final three games of the season in Chicago. The Phillies would win the series in Cleveland, going 2-1, as they now trailed the Giants by seventeen and a half games. The Phils would then go to Pittsburgh, where they would be swept by the Alleghenys, ending the month of September with an 8-14-1 record, while their overall record went to 61-62-2, placing them in a mathematical tie with the White Stockings for third place.
In October, the Phillies would start the month off with a sweep of the Hoosiers, placing them a half game ahead of Chicago as the two teams now fought over third place, while the Phils now trailed both New York and Boston by eighteen games, as those two teams fought for the league’s crown. The Phillies would go to Chicago, and would end the first game in their three-games series in a 5-5 tie. They would then lose the final two games of the season to the White Stockings, ending the month with a record of 2-2-1, while their road trip would end with a record of 4-6-1, as they end the season in fourth place with a record of 63-64-3, a winning percentage of .496, a game and a half behind third place Chicago and twenty and a half games behind the league’s winner, the New York Giants, who would win the pennant on the last day of the regualr season.
The Phillies would play 130 games, with a home-road record of 43-24-1 at home and 20-40-2 on the road. They would play in front of 281,869 fans at home. They would have winning records with only three teams, with their best record being 13-4 against the Hoosiers, while also having losing records against three teams, with their worst being against the Beaneaters at 6-13. They would also have a 9-9 record with the Alleghenys. The Phillies would be 4-10 in shut outs, 17-13 in one-run games, and 21-24 in blowouts.
Offensively, they would end up being around the middle of the pack, ending up second in 2Bs (215), third in stolen bases (269), fourth in at-bats (4695), home runs (44) and batting average (.266), fifth in runs scored (742), hits (1248), on-base percentage (.323) and slugging percentage (.362), seventh in triples (52) and walks (393) and eighth in strike outs (353), as well as knocking in 605 RBIs, while 35 batters were hit by the pitch. Among pitching staffs, the Phils would also be near the middle of the league, as they would lead the league in home runs given up with 33, be third in saves (2) and strikeouts (443), fourth in runs allowed (748), fifth in ERA (4.00), innings pitched (1153), hits allowed (1288) and walks (428), sixth in shut outs (4), and eighth in complete games (106), while finishing twenty-four other games, giving up 512 earned runs, forty-seven wild pitches, and hitting twenty-seven batters.
Among the batters, Sam Thompson would lead the team in batting average (.296), slugging percentage (.492), total plate appearances (575), hits (158), total bases (262), doubles (36), home runs (20), where he was the league leader and RBIs (111), while Jim Fogarty would lead in on-base percentage (.352), runs scored (107), triples (17), walks (65), strikeouts (60), stolen bases (99), also leading the league in that category and hit by the pitch (7), Sid Farrar in games played (130), and Joe Mulvey in at-bats (544) and singles (121). Among the pitchers, Charlie Buffington would lead the pitching staff in ERA (3.24), wins (28), winning percentage (.636), games pitched (47), games started (43), complete games (37), shutouts (2), innings pitched (280), home runs allowed (10), walks (121), wild pitches (15) and batters faced (1661), while Kid Gleason and Ben Sanders would be tied for first with one save each, Sanders would also lead in hits allowed (406), losses (18) and earned runs allowed (138), and Gleason would lead in hit batters (9) and games finished (7). The Phillies would have only one twenty-game winner in 1889, Charlie Buffington, who would go 28-16, as Ben Sanders would just miss it, as he would go 19-18.
With the 1889 season over, the Phillies would have their first losing season since 1884, although staying in the first division for the fifth straight season under Harry Wright’s tenure. As the Phillies once again try to figure out what they would need to do to finally win a pennant, the Giants would face the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association in a post-season playoff, which the Giants would win 6-3, beginning what would become a long standing rivalry between the two clubs, as Brooklyn would join the National League for the following season, along with the Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, respectively), as they would replace the just folded Nationals and Hoosiers franchises. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players, the players’ union, still upset over the restructuring of the players’ salary structure, would formally revolt against the owners with the formation of the Players’ League on December 16. The players’ revolt would within two years have an outcome not expected by any of the players who would join any of the teams in the new league or those who would remain in either the NL or AA, or among the teams’ owners.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org, Baseball-reference.com
With Harry Wright now entering his third year as the Phillies’ manager, and with two 20 games winners in Charlie Ferguson and Ed Daily (although both pitchers were also 20 games losers), the Phillies would be positioned to improve on their third place finish of 1885.
The National League of 1886 would be a very much different league compared to the league at the end of 1885, as two franchises, the Providence Grays and the Buffalo Bisons, would both collapse during the off-season, leaving the league with only six teams for the ’86 season, including the Phillies: the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Wolverines, the White Stockings and the Maroons being the other five. That situation would be corrected by the league early in 1886 by first admitting into the fold the Washington Nationals (aka Senators, the first NL team to play in the Nation’s Capital) in January, and then in February by allowing the Kansas City Cowboys (the first NL team to play beyond the Mississippi River) into the league for a one-year trial. The Phillies would still play their home games at Recreation Park, although a new ballpark, the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, later known as Baker Bowl, would be built for them in 1887.
The Phillies’ season would start on April 29, with a three-games series against the new Nationals in Washington. The Phillies would spilt the two games that they would play with the Nationals in April, losing the first game 6-3, then winning the second game on April 30, 12-3, before losing the first game played in May, 9-2, starting May off on a losing note, while going home with a 1-2 record. The Phillies would then play a short four-games home stand, with three games being against the Giants and one game against the Beaneaters. The Phillies would win two of their three games with their rivals from New York, before defeating the Beaneaters, ending their short home stand with a 3-1 record and leaving Philadelphia with an overall record of 4-3, as they would begin a nine-games western road trip against St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago. In St. Louis, after dropping the first game, they would win the next two games with the Maroons, but they would then end the road trip mired in a six games losing streak, being swept first by the Wolverines, than by their nemesis the White Stockings, ending the road trip with a record of 2-7. They would then come home for a fifteen-games home stand for the rest of May and the first days of June, facing the Cowboys for the first time for four games, including a doubleheader on the 29, two games with Chicago, three games with the Maroons, three with the Wolverines and three with the Nationals. The Phillies would begin the home stand by winning three of four games from Kansas City, including a sweep of the twinbill, winning the two games by the scores of 1-0 and 9-3. They would then lose the last game of May to the White Stockings by the score of 4-3, thus ending the month of May with a record of 8-11, with an overall record for the season of 9-12.
The Phillies would then win their first game in June, defeating Chicago 3-0, thus splitting the two games of the series. The Phillies would then proceed to sweep their series with the Maroons, lose their series with the Wolverines, going 1-2, and then sweep their series with the Nationals, ending their fifteen-games home stand with a record of 11-4. The Phillies would then conduct a sixteen-games road trip for the rest of June and the beginning of July, which would see them visit New York City for two, the Beaneaters for three, Detroit for a game, Chicago for three, visit Kansas City for the first time for three games, St. Louis for three, then visit Detroit again for another game, before going back home. The Phils would start the trip off by splitting their two-games series with New York, then sweeping the Beaneaters in Boston. The Phillies would then lose their game in Detroit, then the first two games in Chicago before defeating the White Stockings in the third game of the series, thus ending June with a winning record of 13-6 and an overall season record of 22-18. The Phillies would then begin July with a sweep of their next two series with the Cowboys and the Maroons, including their second doubleheader win of the year, this time over the Maroons on July 5 by the scores of 6-1 and 3-2, before leaving St. Louis with a seven-games winning streak. The streak would be broken in Detroit as they would lose to the Wolverines by the score of 2-0, ending their road trip with an 11-5 record. The Phillies would then return to Philadelphia to face their east coast rivals the Giants and the Beaneaters for a five-games home stand, three games with New York and two with Boston. The Phils would lose the first game of the home stand to New York, before winning the next four games against New York and Boston, ending the home stand with a 4-1 record. They would then conduct a three cities, eight-games, east coast road trip to Washington (3), New York (3) and Boston (2). In Washington, they would increase their winning streak to six games by winning their first two meetings with the Nationals, before losing the final game in the series. They would then go on to New York, where they would lose their first two meetings with the Giants, before winning the going away game. The Phillies would then split their two-games series with the Beaneaters, thus ending their east coast trip with a 4-4 record.
The Phils would then come back home for a twenty-games home stand for the rest of July and the balance of August, facing the Cowboys for three games, the Wolverines for three, St. Louis for three, Chicago for two, the Nationals for three, Boston for three and the Giants for three. The Phillies would start the home stand off by sweeping the Cowboys and then losing the first of three games to Detroit, ending July with a record of 17-7 and with an overall record of 39-25. The Phillies would then begin August on a winning note by sweeping their next two games with the Wolverines. They would then lose their three-games series with the Maroons, 1-2. They would then split their series with the White Stockings before sweeping their series with the Nationals, and then winnings both of their series with the Beaneaters and the Giants, both 2-1, thus ending their twenty-games home stand with a record of 14-6. The Phillies would then go back onto the road for the rest of August and most of September, going to Detroit (3), Chicago (3), Kansas City (4), St. Louis (3), Washington (3), Boston (2) and New York (3) for eighteen games. They would win their series with the Wolverines, winning it by going 2-1, before being swept by the White Stockings, ending August with a record of 13-9 and an overall record of 52-34.
The Phillies would start off September by winning their series in Kansas City, 3-1. They would then lose their series in St. Louis 1-2, thus ending the western half of their road trip with a 6-7 record. They would then start the eastern half of their long road trip by winning the first game of their series with the Nationals, then losing the second game, which would be the debut game of future hall of fame manager Connie Mack, before ending up in a 3-3 tie in the series’ final game. The Phillies would then go on to Boston, where they would split the series, before heading on to New York, where they would end their road trip by losing the series 0-2-1, with the middle game of the series ending up as a 3-3 tie. The Phillies would end the eastern part of their road trip with a 2-4-2 record, ending the entire road trip with a somewhat respectible 10-11-2 record. The Phillies would then come home, where they would end their season with an eighteen-games home stand for the rest of September and October against the Nationals (3), the White Stockings (5), the Maroons (3), the Cowboys (3) and the Wolverines (4). The Phillies would start the home stand off by sweeping the Nationals, before defeating their western nemesis, the White Stockings in four of the five games they would play, with the other game, the third game in the five-games series, ending up as a 3-3 tie. The Phillies would then have their seven-games winning streak snapped by the Maroons in the first games of their three-games series, ending the month of September with a 13-8-3 record and with an overall season record of 65-42-3. The Phillies would then start off the month of October by winning the next two games with St. Louis, winning the series 2-1. They would then win their series with the Cowboys, going 2-0-1, with the final game of the series ending in a 6-6 tie. They would then start off their final series of the season with an 1-1 tie against the Wolverines, before losing the next game, and then ending the season with a two-games winning streak, ending the series with a 2-1-1 record, ending the home stand with a record of 13-1-2, ending October with a 6-1-2 record and ending the season with a combine record of 71-43-5, for a winning percentage of .623, finishing the 1886 season in fourth place, two and a half games behind the third place Giants and fourteen games behind the first place White Stockings.
In 1886, the Phillies would play 119 games, having winning records against all but three of their opponents, with their best record being a record of 14-2-1 against the Cowboys, followed by a record of 13-4-1 with the Nationals and a record of 10-3 against Boston. Their worst records would be against the second place Detroit Wolverines and the league winner Chicago White Stockings, both being records of 7-10-1. During the season, the Phillies would play 18 games apiece against four fellow NL teams (Nationals, Wolverines, White Stockings and Maroons), meet the Cowboys and the Giants for 17 games each and battle the Beaneaters only 13 times. The Phillies record in shut outs would be 10-5, 17-8 in 1-run games and 27-12 in blowouts. The Phillies home record would be 45-14-3, while their road record would be 26-29-2. Home Attendence for 1886 would be 175,623.
The Phillies’ batters would go to bat 4072 times (8th) getting 976 hits (6th) for a team batting average of .240 (5th), a team slugging percentage of .327 (5th) and a team on-base percentage of .289 (5th). The batters would knock in 621 runs (5th) on 424 RBIs, while hitting 145 2Bs (7th), 66 3Bs (4th) and 26 HRs (4th), while receiving 282 walks (3rd) while striking out 516 times (5th). The team would lead the league in stolen bases with 226. The Phillies’ pitchers would lead the league in team ERA with a 2.45 mark, as they would pitch a total of 1045 innings (6th), pitching 110 complete games (1st), while finishing 9 other games, having 10 shut outs (1st) and 2 saves (2nd). The pitchers would give up 498 runs (1st) of which 284 would be earned on 923 hits (1st). They would give up 29 home runs (4th), 264 walks (3rd) and 60 wild pitches, while striking out 540 batters (4th).
Among the team’s batting leaders, Jim Fogarty would lead the team in batting average with a .293 mark, on-base percentage with .385, and 42 walks, while being tied with George Wood for the team lead in slugging percentage with a .407 mark. Wood would also lead the team in at-bats (450), total plate appearances (473), hits (123), total bases (183), triples (15) and strikeouts (75). Sid Farrar would lead the team in games played with 118, as well as in doubles (19) and home runs (5). Ed Andrews would lead in runs scored with 93, singles (88) and stolen bases (56), also being the league leader in that category in 1886. Joe Mulvey would be the team’s RBI leader with 53. Among the pitchers, Charlie Ferguson would lead the team in most pitching categories. He would be the leader in ERA with a 1.98 mark, in wins with 30, becoming the team’s first 30-games winner, win-lost percentage with .769, games pitched with 48, games started with 45, games completed with 43, games saved with 2, while also being the league leader in that category, innings pitched with 395.7, strikeouts with 212, batters faced with 1582 and home runs allowed with 11, while being tied with Dan Casey for the team lead in shut outs with 4. Casey, who would win 24 games that season for the team, would also be the team leader in walks with 104, hits allowed with 326, losses with 18, earned runs allowed with 99 and wild pitches with 25. Ed Daily would lead the team in games finished with 4.
The Phillies, while still in the first division, and having improved on their previous season record, are still looking for their first division title, while watching the American Association’s St. Louis Browns defeat the National League winner, the White Stockings, in a seven-games post season contest, 4 games to 2.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.com
With Harry Wright still the team’s manager and with second-year pitcher Charlie Ferguson becoming a rising star, the Quakers/Phillies would begin 1885 attempting its first serious run at the National League pennant, with a chance to meet the winner of the other recognized major league, the American Association, in a post season playoff system, which would be a precusor to today’s World Series, which was first established in 1884, where the National League Champions Providence Grays would end up defeating the American Association Champions New York Metropolitans, 3-0, in a best of three games series.
The Phillies would face a National League that would be slightly different from the one that they had joined in 1883, as the Cleveland Blues franchise would fold early in the year, while the New York Gothams would change their name to the Giants, based on a comment that was suppose to have been said by their player/manager Jim Mutrie, after a victory over the Phillies in the previous season: “My big fellows! My giants!” The franchise that would replace the Blues in the NL would be the best team from the failed third major league of the previous season, the Union Association Champions, the St. Louis Maroons. Along with the Maroons, the Giants and the ‘World Champions’ Grays, the Phillies in 1885 would face the Beaneaters, the Bisons, the Wolverines and the White Stockings.
The Phillies would begin the 1885 season with a twenty-three games home stand that would cover all of May and their first game in June. During this long home stand, they would play a game with the league champs Grays, followed by two with the Beaneaters, another game with the Grays, then two more with the Beaneaters, before playing eight straight two-games series with the Wolverines, the White Stockings, the Wolverines again, the White Stockings again, the Maroons, the Bisons, the Maroons again, the Bisons again, and then a single game with the Giants. The Phillies would start the season off on a sour note as they would lose their first three home games by scores of 8-2, 2-0 and 9-8, before going on a six-games winning streak, which would include a 15-5 crushing of Boston, followed by 10-3 and 17-8 drubbings of the Wolverines. After dropping two straight games to their western nemesis, the White Stockings, they would then win two straight games against the Maroons, winning the second game by the lop-sided score of 12-1, before losing the first game in their two-games series with the Bisons. The Phils would then go on a five-games winning streak, thus ending May with a winning record of 14-8, the team’s best start in its short history.
The Phillies would start off June, and end their home stand, with a lost to the Giants, giving them a 14-9 home stand. This game would be the start of a four-game, Philadelphia to New York and back again series between the two clubs. After defeating the Giants in New York, the Phillies would drop their second home game with New York, before dropping the second game in NY. The Phils would then go on an eight-games road trip to the east coast, meeting the Grays for two-games, the Beaneaters for two, and then going to Providence, Boston, Providence and then Boston again for the last four games of the trip. The Phillies would lose both of their games with the Grays, before finally breaking their four-games losing streak with a victory over Boston. After losing their second game with Boston, they would defeat the Grays, before losing the next two games in Boston and Providence. They would then end their nine-games road trip with a victory over the Beaneaters, thus ending their Eastern trip with a 3-7 record. After splitting another Philadelphia to New York series with the Giants, losing at home and winning in New York, the Phillies would go on their first trip to the west, planning to meet the White Stockings, the Maroons, the Bisons and the Wolverines for several four-games series, for the rest of June and the start of July. After losing the first two games, the Phillies would end their visit to Chicago with a series split, as they would win the last two games. Going to St. Louis for the first time in the organization’s existance, their would lose the first three games of the series, thus ending the month with a sour record of 7-14, while having an overall record of 21-22 for the season.
July would begin with the Phillies winning the final game of their first road series in St. Louis. After losing the first game of their series with the Bisons, the Phillies would sweep a July 4th doubleheader from them by the scores of 10-5 and 7-2, the first doubleheader sweep in the franchise’s history. The Phils would then lose the last game of their series with the Bisons, then lose their first two games with the Wolverines, before splitting the last two games, thus ending the road trip with a 6-10 record. The Phillies would then come home to play a twenty-games home stand for the rest of July and early August, in which they would play seven straight two-games series with the Beaneaters, the Grays, the Wolverines, the Maroons, the Wolverines again, the Maroons again, and the White Stockings, before playing a single game with the Bisons, followed by two more games with the White Stockings and then three more games with the Bisons, before they would go on another east coast road trip. The Phillies would start the home stand by splitting their series with Boston, before being swept by Providence. After splitting the next two series, they would sweep their second two-games series with Detriot, including a 19-2 rout, before being swept themselves by both the Maroons and the White Stockings, with the later two games being 2-0 and 9-0 shut outs. The Phillies would thus end July just as badly as they had ended June, with a 9-14 record, while their overall record would now be a somewhat respectible 30-36.
After starting August by defeating the Bisons, the Phillies would be swept once again by the White Stockings, before ending the home stand by winning two of their three games with the Bisons, thus ending the home stand with an 8-12 record. The Phils would then visit Boston, Providence and New York for three straight two-games series on the road. The Phils would sweep the Grays, then spilt their series with the Beaneaters, before being swept by the Giants, to end up with a 3-3 road trip. They would then participate in a six-games home stand with the Beaneaters for two games, the Grays for three and the Giants for one. After splitting the series with Boston, the Phillies would then proceed to sweep the Grays, starting it with a 2-0 blanking in the series’ first game, and ending it with Charlie Ferguson pitching a 1-0 no-hitter against the Grays on August 29, the first no-hitter in the franchise’s history. The Phils would then end their home stand by losing to the Giants for a 4-2 home stand and ending the month with an 11-11 record. The team’s overall record would now be at 41-47.
The Phillies would start off September by visiting the Giants, before playing against them at home for two more games. After losing the game in New York, the Phillies would sweep New York at home, which would be their last home games of the year, as they would now spend the rest of September and all of their October games on the road. With their two wins over the Giants, they would end the year with a 29-26 mark at home, while their overall record at this point would be 43-48. Their long twenty-games road trip would include two straight two-games series with the Grays and the Beaneaters, before ending with four four-games series with the four western teams, the Bisons, the Wolverines, the Maroons and the White Stockings. After splitting the series with Providence, they would sweep the two-games series with Boston. After losing the first game in Buffalo, they would win the next three games against the Bisons, before going to Detroit and losing the series with the Wolverines, 1-3. The Phillies would then go to St. Louis, where they would win their last game in September, to end the month with a 10-6 record, and an overall record of 51-53, now just two games under .500.
The Phillies would start October with a 3-3 tie against the Maroons, before sweeping the next two games to take the series at 3-0-1. In their last series of the year, against Chicago, after losing the first game, they would win their last three games of the season, to end the month with a 5-1-1 record, and the road trip at 13-6-1, as they would end the season at 56-54-1. This would land them in third place for the first time in the team’s history with a .509 winning percentage, three games ahead of the fourth place Grays, 28 games behind the second place Giants and 30 games behind the 1885 NL Champs, the White Stockings. The team’s road record would end up being 27-28-1.
The Phillies would meet the other teams in the National League sixteen times each, except for the Grays, whom they would meet fifteen times. They would have winning records against five of those teams (Beaneaters, Bisons, Wolverines, Grays and Maroons) with their best record being against the Bisons at 11-5. Their worst records would be against the White Stockings and the Giants, both ending up at 5-11. The Phillies would be 10-9 in shut outs, 13-12 in 1-run games and 17-19 in blowouts. The Phillies would play 55 games at home before 150,698 fans.
In 111 games played, Phillies batters would end up being second in doubles (156), fourth in walks (220), fifth in at-bats (3893), runs scored (513) and home runs (20) and sixth in hits (891), triples (35), strike outs (401), batting average (.229), slugging percentage (.302) and on-base percentage (.270), while also having 327 rbis. Among pitchers, the team ended up second in hits allowed (860), third in ERA (2.39), wins (56), complete games (108), shut outs (10), runs allowed (511), home runs allowed (18), walks given up (218), fourth in innings pitched (976), fifth in saves (0) and strike outs (378) and sixth in loses (54), while also finishing three games, giving up 259 earned runs, throwing 63 wild pitches and being called for three balks.
Individually, the team leaders in offensive categories would be Joe Mulvey at Batting Average (.269), Slugging Percentage (.393), Hits (119), Total Bases (174), Doubles (25), Triples and Home Runs (6 each) and RBIs (64), Ed Andrews in on-base percentage (.318), runs scored (77) and singles (94), Sid Farrar and Jim Fogarty in games played (111), Jack Manning in at-bats (445), total plate appearances (482) and walks (37) and Charlie Bastian in strikeouts with 82. Among pitchers, Charlie Ferguson and Ed Daily would be tied for the team lead in wins with 26, becoming the first pitchers to win 20 or more games in the same year in franchise’s history, while Daily would become the team’s second twenty-games winner. Daily would also lead the team in ERA (2.21), games pitched (50), innings pitched (440), home runs allowed (12), walks (90), hits allowed (370), loses (23), earned runs allowed (108), and wild pitches (40), while Ferguson led the team in strikeouts (197), shut outs (5) and games finished (3).
The Phillies’ third place finish would, for the moment, place them among the league’s elite, while they prepare to compete for a league pennant in 1886.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.com, Baseball History: 19th Century Baseball.com