During the team’s previous 127-year history, twelve Phillies players have led the National League in at-bats a total of 20 times, with four of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win it in 1893 with 600 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL would be Duff Cooley, who in 1897 ended up in a four-way tie with Gene DeMontreville of the Washington Senators, Fred Tenney of the Boston Beaneaters and George Van Haltren of the New York Giants, who all finished that year with 566 at-bats. The third Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Eddie Grant, who would do it in two straight seasons, with 598 at-bats in 1908, and leading again in 1909 with 631 at-bats. The fourth Phil to lead the league in at-bats would do so twenty-four years later, as Chick Fullis would have the most at-bats in 1933 with 647 of them. Phils nos. five and six would be tied for the lead in 1949 as Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner would both end the season in a tie for first with 662 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL was Larry Bowa, who ended the 1971 season with 650 at-bats. Phil no. eight would be Dave Cash, who would lead the league in three straight years, 1974 (687), 1975 (699) and 1976 (666), helping to lead the team to the first of three NL Eastern Division pennants that year. The ninth Phil to lead the league in official at-bats would be Juan Samuel, who, like Cash, would lead the NL in three seasons, 1984 (701), 1985 (663) and 1987 (655). The next Phil to lead the league in at-bats was Lenny Dykstra, who did so in 1993, the year that the Phils won the NL pennant, with 637 at bats. The eleventh Phil to lead the league would be Doug Glanville, who would have 678 at-bats in 1998. The twelfth, and presently last, Phil to lead the NL in at-bats is Jimmy Rollins, who would lead the lead in at-bats in four different seasons, 2001 (656), 2002 (637), 2007 (716), the year that he won the MVP as he help lead the Phils to their first NL Eastern Division title since 1993 and 2009 (672), the season that the Phils would win their first back-to-back NL pennants.
During the twenty times that a Phil had led the league in officials at-bats, three had done so while tied with another player, in 1897 (4-way tie) and 1949 (2-way tie between two Phils). Phils would lead the NL twice in the 19th Century, fifteen times in the 20th Century and four times, so far, in the 21st Century. Two of the Phils to lead the league were Hall of Famers (Sam Thompson in 1893 and Richie Ashburn in 1949). Jimmy Rollins had done it the most times with four, followed by both Juan Samuel and Dave Cash, who have each done it three times, then Eddie Grant, who did it twice. The rest have done it only once. Jimmy Rollins would have the highest total of at-bats with his 716 in 2007 and Duff Cooley would have the least with his 566 official at-bats in 1897.
Who would most likely be the next Phil to lead the NL in at-bats? Most likely Jimmy Rollins, if he can keep from getting injured.
In the Phillies’ 128-year history as a member of the National League, they have spent most of that time being either a cellar dweller or as a member of the second division. But, the team has spent some time in the first division, winning two World Series Championship, seven National League pennants, with two in consecutive seasons (2008-2009) and ten National League Eastern Division flags, including winning the last four (2007-2010). The team has also finished in second place in either the National League (1883-1968) or in the National League Eastern Division (1969 to the present) a grand total of thirteen time.
The first time they would end up in second place would be in 1887, the fifth year of the team’s existence, as they would finish the season behind the first place Detroit Wolverines with a record of 75-48 for a winning percentage of .610, finishing 3.5 games behind the Wolverines in a league of eight teams, before the expansion to twelve teams in 1892. For the Phils, who were also called the Quakers at the time, this would be their only second place finish in the 19th Century. The next time the Phils would finish in second place, and the first time in the 20th Century, would occur in 1901, as they fell behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were at the beginning of winning three straight NL pennants (1901-1903), as they finish the season with a record of 83-57, with a .593 winning percentage, finishing 7.5 games behind the Bucos. The next time that the Phils would end up in second place would occur in 1913, as they finished behind the New York Giants, who had won their third straight NL pennant (1911-1913), ending the year with a record of 88-63 for a winning percentage of .583, ending up 12.5 games behind the Giants. The Phils would then finished second for the two seasons after they had won their first NL pennant in 1915. The first time, for the fourth time overall, would occur in 1916, when they would finish behind the Brooklyn Robins, now Dodgers, with a 91-62 record, winning one game more than they did the year that they won the pennant, with a winning percentage of .595, finishing 2.5 games behind the Robins. The following season, 1917, they would finish in second place again, this time behind the Giants, with a record of 87-65, with a .572 winning percentage, trailing the Giants by 10 games. The Phils would then spend most of the next 47 years in the second division before once again finishing second. The Phils would then end up tied for second place with the Cincinnati Reds in 1964, after collapsing in September, finishing behind the St. Louis Cardinals with a record of 92-70, with a winning percentage of .568, a game out of first. This would be the sixth and final time that they would finish in second place in the National League before the two major leagues split into divisions in 1969, with the Phils becoming a member of the NL East. The first time the Phils would end up in second place in the NL East would occur in 1975, when they finished second to the Pirates, finishing the year with a record of 86-76, with a .531 winning percentage, finishing 6.5 games before the Pirates. The second time they would end up in second place in the NL East would happen in 1982, as they trail the Cardinals, ending up with a record of 89-73, with a winning percentage of .549, finishing 3 games behind the redbirds. The third time they would finish second in the NL East would be in 1986, as they finished behind the New York Mets with a record of 86-75, with a .534 winning percentage, trailing by 21.5 games. The fourth time they would finish the season in second place in the NL East would not occur until 2001, when they finished behind the Atlanta Braves with an 86-76 record, a winning percentage of .531, ending up 2 games out of first. The Phils will then end up in second place in the East, missing being the wild card winner each season, in 2004, 2005, and 2006, finishing behind the Braves in 2004 and 2005 and then behind the Mets in 2006. In 2004, they finished the season with an 86-76 record, a .531 winning percentage, as they finished 10 games behind the Braves. In 2005, they finished the year with a record of 88-74, with a winning percentage of .543, 2 games behind the Braves. In 2006, they would end the baseball season with a record of 85-77, a winning percentage of .525, 12 games in back of the Mets.
Of their thirteen finishes in second place, six occurred as a member of the NL, and the other seven as a member of the NL East. They would finish in second place once in the 19th Century, eight times in the 20th Century (5 (NL), 3 (NL East)), and four, so far, in the 21st Century as a member of the NL East. Their best record in second place was when they finished second in 1964, when they finished with a record of 91-70. Their worst second place finish was in 1887, the first time they would finish second, as they had a record of 75-48. Their highest winning percentage would be the .610 of 1887, while the worst would be the .525 of 2006. Their best game behind finish was when they ended a game behind (with the Reds) in 1964, while their worst was when they fell 21.5 games behind (the Mets in the East) in 1986.
With the way the Phils are presently structured, they could remain as either a first or a second place team in the NL East for several more seasons.
In the team’s 128 years history, the Phils would win 90 games or more only fourteen times.
The team has won 100 games or more only twice in its history, as they would win 101 games twice. The first time occurred in 1976, when the team would win 101 games, losing only 61, as they would win the first of three straight NL Eastern Division titles, before losing to the World Champions Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the NL Championship Series. They would duplicate that record the following year, 1977, as they would win their second straight NL Eastern Division crown, before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1.
Their third highest victory total would be 97 games, which they would do twice. The first time would occur in 1993, when they would unexpectively win the Eastern Division that season with a record of 97-65, then win the NL title by defeating the National League Champions Braves in the NL Championship Series, 4-2, before finally falling to the World Champions Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, 4-2. They would then duplicate the record this year as they would win their fourth straight NL Eastern Division crown, the first time that they would do that in the team’s history, before defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series, 3-0, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Championship Series, 4-2.
The fifth best team was the 1899 Phillies, who finished that season in third place with a 94-58 record, the team’s best record for the 19th Century, ending up nine games behind the first place Brooklyn Superbas. The sixth best team was the 2009 team which finished with a record of 93-69, winning the team’s third straight Eastern Division title, doing so for the second time in the team’s history, before defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Divisional Series, 3-1, then beating the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second straight NL title, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing their World Series crown to the American League Champions New York Yankees in the World Series, 4-2.
The next two teams ended up with identical records of 92-70, giving them both the seventh best winning total. The first one was the 1964 team, the one that had the most infamous late season collapse in baseball history, until the Mets team of 2007. That team would end up being tied for second place with the Reds, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The other team to win 92 games was the 2008 Phils, who would win their second straight Eastern Division title, before defeating first the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Divisional Series, 3-1, then the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, and then the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second World Championship.
The team with the ninth best record was the 1980 Phils, who ended the season with a record of 90-72, finishing first in the Eastern Division, before first defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Championship Series, 3-2, then defeating the American League Champions Kansas City Royal, 4-2, winning the team’s first World Championship. The tenth best team was the 1916 team which ended the season with a 91-62, finishing in second place, two and a half-games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The eleventh team to win at least 90 games was the 1950 ‘Whiz Kid’ who won the pennant in 1950 with record of 91-63, only to lose the World Series to the World Champions Yankees, 4-0. The twelfth team was the 1915 team, which won the Phils’ first National League pennant with a record of 90-62, only to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. The final two teams would end up with identical records of 90-72. The first one was the 1978 team, which won the National League Eastern Division title, the third straight for the team, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing the NL Championship Series to the National League Champions Dodgers, 3-1. The fourteenth, and final team, with 90 or more wins, was the 1983 team, nicknamed the ‘Wheeze Kids’, who would win the NL East, then defeat the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1, before losing the World Series to the American League Champions Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.
Will the 2011 team become the fifteen team to win 90 games or more? Maybe, maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until next year comes and goes.
During the almost 70 years that the award has been voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), five Phils have won the award a total of seven times.
The first Phil to win the just reformed title (1931) was Hall of Famer Chuck Klein in 1933, the year that he won the batting Triple Crown, by posting a batting average of .368, hitting 28 home runs and knocking in 120 RBIs. The next Phil to win the award would be relief pitcher Jim Konstanty in 1950, as he would appear in 74 regular season games, all in relief, as he had a 16-7 record with a 2.66 ERA, while saving 22 more games, as he help lead the Whiz Kids to the team’s first NL pennant since 1915. The next Phil to be voted MVP by the writers would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in 1980, as he help lead the team to their third NL pennant and their first World Series Championship by batting .286 with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs. He would receive his second MVP, and the team’s fourth, in the strike shortened year of 1981, as he batted .316, hitting 31 home runs, while knocking in 91 RBIs. Schmidt would win his third and final MVP award in 1986, as he batted .290, hitting 37 home runs and knocking in 119 RBIs. The sixth Phil to be elected the NL MVP would be Ryan Howard in 2006, as he hit 58 home runs and knocked in 149 RBIs, while batting .313. The fifth and, at the moment, final Phil to win the award was Jimmy Rollins, who did it in 2007, the year that the Phils made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. In that year, Rollins batted .296, hitting 30 home runs, as he knocked in 94 runs.
Of the seven titles, five were won in the 20th century and two in the 21st. One title was won in the 1930s, one in the 1950s, three in the 1980s and two in the 2000s. Mike Schmidt has won the most MVPs awards won by a Phil player by winning three, with two of them in consecutive seasons. Of the title winners, two are presently in the Hall of Fame. Six of the awards were won by position players, all but one by an infielder, and one by a relief pitcher.
Which Phil will next win the award? Depending on how 2011 shapes up, Ryan Howard could regain the title or Chase Utley could gain his first, if either player can regain their form during the off-season.
In its 128-year history as a member of the National League, the Phillies have won twenty-one on-base percentage titles. Thirteen Phils have won the title, with five of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to win the title was Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who did in it 1891 with a .453 percentage. He would win the second and third title to be won by a Phil player by winning it two years in a row, in 1893 and again in 1894, with on-base percentages of .490 and .521, respectively. Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty would become the second Phil to win the team’s fourth title, the fourth in five years, by winning it in 1895 with an on-base percentage of .500. The next Phil to win the title would be Roy Thomas, who would win the Phil’s fifth and sixth titles in 1902 and 1903, with marks of .414 and .453. The fourth Phil to win the title, the team’s seventh, would be Sherry Magee, who would win it in 1910, with a .445 percentage. The fifth Phil to win the title would be Gavvy Cravath, who won the title in 1915, the year that the Phils won their first National League title and in 1916, with marks of .393 and .379. It would be fourteen years before another Phil would win the team’s tenth title, which would be done by Lefty O’Doul in 1929 with a mark of .465. The seventh Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would win the team’s eleventh title in 1933, the year that he won the batting triple crown, by posting an on-base percentage of .422. The eighth Phil to win the title would be Dolph Camilli, who would win the title in 1937 with a .446 percentage. The next Phil to secure the title would be Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who would win the title in 1954, 1955 and 1958, with percentages of .441, .449 and .440. The tenth Phil to become the on-base percentage leader would be Dick Allen, who would win the title in 1967 with a .404 mark. Pete Rose would become the eleventh Phil to win it, winning the team’s seventeenth title in 1979 with a .418 mark. The twelfth Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who would it in the strike-shortened year of 1981, 1982 and 1983 with marks of .435, .403 and .399. The thirteenth, and at the moment last, Phil to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who won the team’s twenty-first title in 1990 with a .418 mark. No Phil has won the title since then.
Of the twenty-one titles won by the Phils, eleven of them, or almost half of them, have been won by Hall of Famers, with Billy Hamilton, Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt each winning three titles, while Ed Delahanty and Chick Klein would win the other two titles. Roy Thomas and Gavvy Cravath, other than the three Hall of Famers, have won more than one title, with each man winning two titles. The Phil with the highest on-base percentage when he won the title was Hamilton with his .521 mark in 1894, while the Phil with the lowest percentage was Cravath with his .379 mark in 1916. Phils have won the title four times in the 19th Century, seventeen times in the 20th, and so far have not won it in the 21st Century.
Who will be the next Phil to win the title? I have really no idea.
A late rally comes too late as the Phils lose the final game of the regular series to the Braves, 8-7. They will begin the NL Divisional playoffs facing the National League Central Division Champs, the Cincinnati Reds this coming Wednesday at Philadelphia.
The Phils took a 2-0 lead in the third as, with one man on, and with one man out, pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. hits a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier been hit by the pitch. The Braves got a run back in their half of the third as, with one man on, and with two men out, Jason Heyward hits an RBI triple, knocking in Rick Ankiel, who had earlier singled, then went to second on Tim Hudson’s sacrifice bunt, 3-4, cutting the Phils’ lead down to 2-1. The Braves tied it up at two-all in the fourth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Brooks Conrad hits an RBI single, knocking in Matt Diaz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second on Alex Gonzalez’s single, while sending Gonzalez, who had just singled, over to third base. Two batters later, with runners still on the corners, and now with two men out, Hudson hits an RBI single, scoring Gonzalez, giving the Braves a 3-2 lead, while sending Conrad up to second base. The Braves then took a 5-2 lead as Omar Infante hits an RBI triple, knocking in both Conrad and Hudson. The Braves added to their lead in the sixth as Derrek Lee hits a lead-off home run, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Braves a 6-2 lead. Four batters later, with two men on, and with one man out, Conrad hits an RBI single, scoring Brian McCann, who had earlier singled, moved up to second on Diaz’s single, then went to third on Gonzalez’s ground out, 5-3, giving the Braves a 7-2 lead, before Diaz, who had earlier singled, then moved up to second on Gonzalez’s ground out, is thrown out at home plate by a throw to home by Ryan Howard, after Jayson Werth’s throw into the infield gets pass him, with Brian Schneider applying the tag, 9-3-2, for the second out of the inning, while Conrad would go to second on the play. The Braves then made it an 8-2 lead in the sixth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Diaz hits an RBI single, scoring Heyward, who had earlier walked, and was safe at second on a 5-3 doubleplay on a grounder by Lee, as Infante, who had earlier singled, and had gone to second on Heyward’s walk, was wiped out at third base, while McCann, who had just walked, moved up to second base. The Phils made it an 8-4 Braves’ lead in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one man out, Werth hits a two-run home run, his twenty-seventh home run of the year, scoring Howard, who had just walked. The Phils then cut the Braves’ lead further in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Wilson Valdez hits an RBI single, knocking in Brian Bocock, who was pinch running for Jimmy Rollins, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Braves third baseman Omar Infante’s throwing error of pinch hitter Mike Sweeney’s grounder, making it an 8-5 Braves’ lead, while sending Sweeney, who was safe on Infante’s error, up to second base. The Phils then cut the Braves’ lead down to 8-7 as pinch hitter Ben Francisco hits a two-run double, scoring both Sweeney and Valdez. That would end up being the final score as Billy Wagner would record his thirty-seventh save of the year by recording a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Greg Dobbs, looking.
Cole Hamels pitches two scoreless innings, walking a batter, while striking out two. Roy Oswalt pitches an inning, giving up a run on two hits, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez took the lost as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out one. His record is now 3-4 with a 5.48 ERA. Mike Zagurski pitches a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face. Joe Blanton pitches an inning, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk. J.C. Romero pitches two-thirds of an inning, before leaving the game because of a bad back, giving up a run on a hit and a walk. Chad Durbin pitches an inning and a third, giving up a hit and two walks, as he strikes out a batter. Brad Lidge pitches an inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out a batter. Tim Hudson gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up four runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he strikes out three. His record is now 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA. Jonny Venters pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two unearned runs on a hit, while striking out a batter. Billy Wagner records his thirty-seventh save of the season as he pitches an inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while striking out four.
The Phils had only five hits in the game, a single by Jimmy Rollins, a single by Wilson Valdez, knocking in a run, a two-run home run by Jayson Werth, a two-run pinch hit home run by John Mayberry, Jr. and a two-run pinch hit double by Ben Francisco. The Phils’ offense was otherwise kept quiet yesterday.
The Phils, at 97-65, ended the season with the best record in the majors, doing so for the first time in the team’s 128-years history. They will begin the divisional series at home this coming Wednesday, facing the Cincinnati Red, the Central Division champs, looking for some revenge for 1976, when they were swept in a three game series for the NL Championship.
With the two grand slams hit by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez in last night’s game with the Washington Nationals, the Phillies have now been involved in four games in which they had two players each hit a grand slam home run in the same game in the organization’s 126 plus years history.
The first time that it happened was on Thursday, April 28, 1921, when Ralph Miller and Lee Meadows both hit a grand slam home runs against the Boston Braves at the Baker Bowl. The next time it would occurred was on Saturday, August 17, 1997 against the San Francisco Giants at Veterans Stadium, as Billy McMillon and Mike Lieberthal both hit a grand slam home run. The third time was on Tuesday, September 9, 2003 in Atlanta against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, as Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels each hit a grand slam home run.