Inside Baseball: Fun facts about the Phillies' playoff history

Posted: October 03, 2010

So yet another Phillies postseason gets started this week. (Raise your hand if you never expected to read that phrase in your lifetime.)

And to paraphrase Roy Halladay, who will be participating in his first, they get "funner" every year.

Anyway, before the drama gets gripping, the remotes stop flipping, the hearts start skipping, and the fans start sipping, it might be a good time to take a "funner" look at the Phillies' October (and last year, November) history.

Phils postseason trivia

1. Who was the first Phils pitcher on the mound in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series?

2. What seven Hall of Fame pitchers have earned decisions in postseason games involving the Phils?

3. What three Phils have hit two home runs in a single postseason game?

4. What Phils pitcher won a postseason-series MVP award despite having no decisions in that series?

5. In the infamous ninth inning of Game 3 of the 1977 National League Championship Series - Black Friday - whom did the Dodgers' Vic Davalillo and Manny Mota pinch-hit for?

6. Who were the only two sitting presidents to attend a Phillies postseason game?

7. Which postseason opponent was a prohibitive 2-5 favorite against the Phils?

8. Who hit and fielded the ball that, before a lengthy argument and discussion caused the call to be overturned, was ruled a triple play in Game 4 of the Phils-Astros NLCS in 1980?

9. What two World Series involving the Phillies each involved a pair of managers in the first year with their team?

10. In 1915, Philadelphia and Boston met in a second straight World Series, but the Phillies were making their first postseason appearance. How was that possible?

11. The two hitters with the most strikeouts in a single World Series played in Series involving the Phillies. Can you name them?

12. What umpire has worked the most Phils' postseason games?

13. Curt Simmons won 17 games for the 1950 Phils. Where was he for Game 1? (A) The mound, (B) the bullpen, (C) an Army base, or (D) the grandstands.

14. Who performed the national anthem before the decisive Game 6 of the 1980 World Series at the Vet?

15. Who threw out the ceremonial first ball before that same game?

16. Who are the only grandfather-father-son umpires to have worked Phils postseason games?

17. Jamie Moyer (45), Steve Carlton (38), and Pedro Martinez (38) were the three oldest Phils World Series starters. Who were the three youngest?

18. Name the three Phils relievers who preceded Mitch Williams in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, the Joe Carter game.

19. In the 1983 World Series, which Baltimore won in five games, two Phils led the club with two RBIs each. One was Joe Morgan. Who was the other?

20. What Phil has the only walk-off infield single in World Series history?

Trivia answers

1. The late Tug McGraw. Before that game, his son, country singer Tim McGraw, had scattered his ashes on the Citizens Bank Park mound.

2. Grover Cleveland Alexander, Eppa Rixey, Robin Roberts, Whitey Ford, Steve Carlton, Don Sutton, and Jim Palmer.

3. Lenny Dykstra (1993 World Series), Pat Burrell (2008 NLDS), and Chase Utley (2009 World Series).

4. Curt Schilling in the 1993 NLCS. In two starts, both won by Philadelphia relievers, Schilling had a 1.69 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 16 innings.

5. Catcher Steve Yeager and reliever Lance Rautzhan.

6. Woodrow Wilson (1915) and Ronald Reagan (1983).

7. The 1950 Yankees, who validated the bookmakers' faith in them with a four-game sweep.

8. Garry Maddox hit the low liner to Houston pitcher Vern Ruhle that home-plate umpire Doug Harvey ruled a trapped ball but that two base umpires ruled a catch. After a long delay, it was determined that the third out was made after time had been called.

9. 1980: Dallas Green and Kansas City's Jim Frey. 1983: Paul Owens and Baltimore's Joe Altobelli.

10. The 1914 World Series matched the Philadelphia A's and Boston Braves.

11. Ryan Howard (13 in 2009) and Kansas City's Willie Wilson (12 in 1980).

12. Dana DeMuth, 20.

13. (D). Simmons had been drafted that summer. The Phils, assuming he wouldn't be available, didn't put him on their roster by the postseason deadline. When the Army granted Simmons a leave for the first two Series games in Philadelphia, he was ineligible to pitch.

14. Country singer Charley Pride.

15. Tony Taylor.

16. The Runges. Ed (1977 NLCS), Paul (1993 World Series), and Brian (2008 National League division series).

17. Marty Bystrom (22 in 1980), Bob Walk (23 in 1980), and Roberts (24 years, 5 days in 1950).

18. Roger Mason (sixth inning), David West (eighth), and Larry Andersen (eighth).

19. Joe Lefebvre.

20. Carlos Ruiz (Game 3, 2008).

Autumn number crunching

Not counting the strike-split 1981 season, when they lost a series to Montreal for the right to advance to the NLCS, the Phillies have played 84 postseason games. Overall, they're six games under .500, 39-45.

Here are some facts a closer look yields:

This Phillies team has had the most postseason success in franchise history. It's 20-13 since 2007. The Mike Schmidt-Steve Carlton Phils went 13-18 from 1976 to 1983.

The Phils have been swept three times - by the 1950 Yankees, 1976 Reds, and 2007 Rockies - but have never swept an opponent.

They're unbeaten on Oct. 1, 2, 22, 25, 26, and 28; haven't won on Oct. 3, 16, 20, 23, 29, and 31; and have never played on Oct. 24, 27, or 30. Their best days are Oct. 11 (4-1) and 15 (3-1); their worst is Oct. 16 (0-3).

The smallest crowd for a postseason game in Philadelphia history was 19,343 for Game 1 of the 1915 World Series at Baker Bowl.

The largest crowd for a postseason game in Philadelphia history was 67,064 for Game 5 of the 1983 World Series at Veterans Stadium.

The Phils' longest postseason losing streak is 11, between Game 1 of the 1915 Series and Game 1 of the 1977 NLDS.

The Phils' longest postseason win streak is four, achieved three times - Games 4 and 5 of the 1980 NLDS and Games 1 and 2 of the '80 Series; Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2008 Series and Game 1 of the '09 NLDS; and Games 3, 4 and 5 of the '09 NLCS and Game 1 of the '09 Series.

The Phils' longest postseason-less stretches have been 35 years (1915 to 1950), 32 years (1883 to 1915), and 26 years (1950 to 1976).


Inside Baseball:

Rematch of the Bicentennial Bust

If, as expected, the Phillies face the Cincinnati Reds in this year's NLDS, it will be the first time the two NL rivals have met in the postseason since 1976.

That year, Danny Ozark's up-and-coming Phils won a franchise-record 101 games. That didn't scare the Reds, who were the defending world champions; had won 102 games; and featured a ready-for-Cooperstown lineup that included Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, George Foster, and Johnny Bench.

But if you'd just looked at the pitching matchups for the first three games of that best-of-five series, you'd have to have given the Phils a shot.

Their three starters - Steve Carlton, Jim Lonborg, and Jim Kaat - would combine for 769 lifetime victories.

The Reds' trio of Don Gullett, Pat Zachry, and Gary Nolan would manage nearly 500 fewer, 288.

Career wins aside, Cincinnati beat up those Phils pitchers, and several others, scoring 19 runs in the three-game sweep.

Reds manager Sparky Anderson had played a single season with the Phillies, hitting .218 in 152 games in 1959.

(Only two other times has an ex-Phillie managed against them in the postseason: New York's Casey Stengel, who in 1920 played 24 games in Philly, in 1950, and Dale Sveum, who had played here in 1992 and was the Brewers' interim manager in the 2008 NLDS.)

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