Saturday, October 15, 2005

Just Can't Get Enough...Duckworth

After Randy Wolf pitched the Phillies to a 3-1 victory over Greg Maddux and Atlanta on October 2nd, 2001, the team found itself just one game back of the Braves with two more games at Atlanta and three to finish the year at Cincinnati. The Phils fell two back the next night as Tom Glavine beat 15-game winner Robert Person. Hope was not lost, however, as rookie Brandon Duckworth had a chance the next night to bring the team back within 1 game with 3 to play. Check out the starting lineups for that one (
Philadelphia Phillies         Atlanta Braves   
1. Rollins ss Giles 2b
2. Anderson 2b Franco 1b
3. Abreu rf C. Jones 3b
4. Rolen 3b Jordan rf
5. Lee 1b Surhoff lf
6. Glanville cf A. Jones cf
7. Burrell lf Sanchez ss
8. Pratt c Bako c
9. Duckworth p Burkett p
Bobby Abreu hit a double and scored a run on a Scott Rolen RBI single in the first, but it was all down hill after that. Duckworth allowed 3 runs in the first and another in the second. This 4-1 deficit proved to be too much for the Phils to overcome as they eventually fell 6-2. Duckwoth went 4.1 innings, with 6 hits allowed, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 4 earned runs. It was only his 11th big league start.

The Phils were 2 games back with 3 to go. The season was over. Of course, in typical Phillies fashion the team went on to sweep the Reds in Cincinnati. Omar Daal, David Coggin, and Randy Wolf held the opposition to just 3 runs total in the 3 games. Jose Mesa saved his 41st and 42nd games of the year. Starting lineup for the last game of the 2001 season:
Philadelphia Phillies 
1. Hunter cf
2. Forbes 2b
3. Abreu rf
4. Burrell lf
5. Jordan 3b
6. Pratt 1b
7. Punto ss
8. Estrada c
9. Wolf p
It should also be noted that Marlon Anderson hit cleanup on the second to last day of the year. This has been the only time in his career he has batted 4th and, predictably enough, he just so happened to have a 5-hit day including 3 doubles. Anderson has batted in every spot in the lineup (1-9) in his career.

Back to Duckworth though - I do remember that game against the Braves and just being very confident going in. Duckworth may have been a rookie, but he always gave the impression he was a very levelheaded rookie (maybe due to the fact that he was old for a rookie). Either way, the Phils went down and the Braves took another division title. One last thing to think about - Brandon Duckworth pitched the most significant game of his life in his 11th big league start. I doubt he'll ever pitch in a more meaningful game. Maybe it's just me, but that's pretty wild stuff.

Starting tomorrow the schedule gets a little bit more focused: More GM candidates, an overview of available free agents by position and maybe some predictions of where they'll end up, a little feature on the two "mystery" free agents, and, as always, a continued look at the transactions from around the league. I'm flexible though and always open to requests. But that is the rough outline as we head deeper into October (and putting it in writing makes me more likely to remember/follow through on some of those ideas).

For the record, one of my least favorite words to spell has to be Cincinnati.

Although after writing it about a half dozen times over the past 48 hours, I think I finally got it. Maybe.


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