Baseball Esoterica

September 22, 2005

Phils Do a Vanessa Williams?

Welcome Esoteric Boxscore fans! Ready for some more Esoterica?

Vanessa Williams once sang about saving the best for last, which the Phils sure did on Saturday. But stay tuned...she has a very meaningful, I mean, meaningless connection to doing just that.

After scoring exactly zero runs on exactly three hits in exactly eight innings, the Phils--with significant help from exactly four Marlins errors--put up a ten-spot in the ninth! Watch the inning here.
PHI  0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0 10  -  10 11  1
FLA 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 2 7 4
Yikes. Believe it or not, Dontrelle actually began the ninth looking for a shutout and his 22nd win. And it looked like a foregone conclusion after allowing only three baserunners through eight. Here's one for Elias: When was the last ten-run inning started by a pitcher was as many as 21 wins??

Twice in the past 35 years, a team awoke from an eight-inning slumber with a huge ninth, scoring eight each. And here's where the creepy Vanessa Williams connection comes in.

The last time it was done was 22 summers ago, in the year Ms. Williams was crowned. And on what day that year was she annointed America's ambassador to the world? Why, it was on September 17, the date the Phillies just did it. Wow. You know, it just doesn't get any more Esoteric than that!

A few more notes on the game:

  • Endy Chavez and Shane Victorino entered the game in the ninth as pinch-runners. And then Chavez nearly got up to bat with no outs! I wonder if that’s ever happened. He hit an RBI single and finished with the batting line 1 1 1 1, which is the “I hit a pinch-hit homer” line. I wonder if it’s ever been done his way. Not to be outdone, Victorino (isn’t that a sub-atomic particle? Or what the Italians yell when they kick the winning goal?) composed tough-to-do batting line of 0 1 0 1. It’s not easy to go 0-0 with a run and an RBI! The only other way I can think of is if, in your only AB of the game, you:
    • draw a bases-loaded walk or HBP and then score.
    • get on base on a dropped fly ball ruled a sac fly and then come around to score.
  • Here's a quote from the game article on ESPN:
    "The stunned Marlins fell two games back with their fourth consecutive loss -- and the latest was the kind that can have a lingering effect."
    Why won't journalists ever give up on the idea of momentum? They'll remember Gibson's homer that "set the tone" for the '88 Series, but not the '96 Braves, whose postseason was absurdly streaky. Of course, Florida came out and beat the Phils the next day. By eight runs.


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