Wednesday, May 04, 2005
May 4rd, 1973
Atlanta Plays at Philadelphia
This game between the 7-16 Braves and the 9-11 Phillies was seemingly an unremarkable one, and in fact just 10,158 bothered to show up to watch it, despite being on a Friday night. It is also an example of why whenever you have a chance to go to a game, you should.
The starting pitcher for the Braves was Ron Reed and the Phillies countered with Dick Ruthven. The Braves struck first; in the third inning after Johnny Oates grounded out to shortstop Larry Bowa, Reed reached on an error by Mike Schmidt. After leadoff hitter Ralph Garr flew out to center, Sonny Jackson singled, moving Reed to second. Ruthven then balked each forward a base and walked Hank Aaron. Reed and Jackson then scored--both unearned--on a Darrell Evans double. Ruthven escaped without further damage when Mike Lum grounded out to Bowa.
The Phillies would strike back in the eighth; Mike Anderson led off with a double and came around to score on a Denny Doyle single. Reed was lifted and Danny Frisella came in to face pinch-hitter Mike Rogodzinski, who sacrificed Doyle to second. Larry Bowa then reached on an error by centerfielder Dusty Baker which allowed Doyle to score the tying run, but Frisella escaped the inning when Cesar Tovar made out to left and Del Unser popped out to second.
Neither team threatened in the ninth and the game moved on to extra innings. The Braves started the tenth against Mac Scarce with a Darrell Evans single. Lum bunted him to second and the Phillies intentionally walked Baker giving the Braves runners on first and second with just one out but Davey Johnson popped out and Oates grounded out to the first baseman. (If you'll allow me an aside here, it’s amazing how many future managers played in this game, Johnson, Bowa, Baker and Oates.)
The Phillies got a runner to second with two outs in the eleventh and the Braves loaded the bases on a single, an intentional walk and a non-intentional walk but with two outs pinch-hitter Jack Pierce lined out to center. The thirteenth on the other hand, saw the Braves finally break through. Oscar Brown, who had come in as a defensive replacement for Hank Aaron in the seventh, singled and Darrell Evans clubbed a home run putting the Braves up 4-2.
The Phillies weren't dead however,
In the fourteenth, the Braves had two baserunners but the first was erased when Johnson was caught stealing after being hit by a pitch and the second--a two-out single by pitcher Schueler--was wasted when Garr was caught looking. The game continuing along, marked only by the ejection of Phills' manager Danny Ozark in the seventeenth during an argument over a double play that ended the inning. Finally, as the game enter its twentieth inning (and fifth hour), Doyle led off with a triple, forcing the Braves to intentionally walk Greg Luzinski and Larry Bowa (a novel experience for Bowa, who had it happen just forty-five times in more than 9100 trips to the plate). With a force at every base, the Phillies sent up pinch-hitter Jose Pagan. Pagan was a thirty-eight year old infielder playing out the string in Philly, but he had at least one more dramatic moment left in him, as he lofted a fly ball to left. Oscar Brown caught it, but his throw was not enough to catch Doyle, who scampered home with the winning run ending the game after twenty innings and five hours, sixteen minutes.
A seemingly ordinary game on a Friday in Philly turned into a five hour, twenty inning marathon. If you ever wonder if you should take advantage of that ticket you have for tonight's game, go. You never know what you might see.