Almost 10 years ago, some high school friends and I went to a Phillies-Reds game at Veterans Stadium. On 4 September 1999, the Phillies (managed, hilariously, by Terry Francona) were, as usual, out of the race, though they had a record just above .500. The Reds (managed, even more hilariously, by Jack McKeon) were in both the wild card and division race.
We had fun in the near-empty 700 Level of the Vet -- only 16,357 attended -- but it was mainly because we enjoyed heckling the Phillies, not that they could hear us. (That's been a popular pastime in Philadelphia for ages.) Paul Byrd put the Reds down in order in the top of the first and the Phils got 2 runs in the bottom half off Pete "Rated Rookie Pete Harshnish" Harnisch.
Then we got our reasons to heckle. There were nine of them, actually, as the Reds hit a NL-record nine homers in a 22-3 win over the Phillies. It was one of those hilarious blowouts where the final reliever for the winning club (Stan Belinda, in this case) tosses three innings and gets a save. In a 22-3 game.
One of the Phillies pitchers that night was Billy Brewer, now a professional bass fisher.
Last night, the Phillies finally got revenge for the game no one on the current roster probably knows about. The Fightins destroyed the Reds last night, 22-1, though they did hit only four homers. Only four? C'mon, guys!
The Phillies got 10 runs in the first, 9 of 'em off Johnny Cueto, who was fourth in the league in ERA coming into the game but dropped out of the top 10 after lasting just 2/3 of an inning. Cole Hamels ripped a two-RBI double down the first base line to make it 6-0 after a pair of two-run homers by Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs; Chase Utley hit a three-run shot off reliever Daniel Ray Herrera to cap the first-inning scoring.
The Phillies didn't hit another homer in the game 'til the bottom of the eighth, when shortstop Paul Janish gave up a grand slam to Jayson Werth. Janish's ERA for the season is 49.50.
But I know what really drives blog traffic, and that is: Unintentionally hilarious Dusty Baker quotes. Take it away, Dust'!
"We got slaughtered as they used to say... You always think it can't get worse. My daddy told me, don't think that, because it can get worse. And it got worse."
As you all know, they no longer say "slaughtered."