You can thank SSR for this! The moment I clicked on the site on his blog, I was hooked. But anyway, it got me thinking "What Philadelphia Phillies World Series championship team is truly the best Phillies team ever?" That's where What If Sports comes into play. Starting today, I will be conducting a 3-game series between the two teams with the 2008 Phillies being the home team. I'll have Game 2 later in the week and if a Game 3 is necessary, then I'll have that by the end of the weekend. And if the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl, then next week I'll have a 4-team playoff of the last 4 Eagle teams to win an NFC championship. (I count the '60 Eagles NFL championship as an NFC championship). Anyway, let's play ball! (Note: Some details have been fabricated for dramatic purposes, none of which effect the results of the game, each play, or the score, just I want to make so-and-so pops deep to center a little more dramatic and that kind of stuff.)
From Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pitching matchup: Steve Carlton (ERA 2.34) vs. Cole Hamels (ERA 3.09)
Top of the first inning
Up first for the 1980, Phillies is Garry Maddox. Maddox grounds out to 3rd base. Up next is left-fielder Pete Rose. Rose pops one out to left and Burrell comes down with if it. Schmidt is up next for the '80 Phils and he waves at strike 3. Scoreless after the top of the first.
Bottom of the first inning
On comes leadoff man, Jimmy Rollins. He starts out by lining out to 2nd baseman Manny Trillo. Up next is Jayson Werth. Werth also lines out to Trillo. Trillo's beasting it up out there. Up next is the 08 Phils second baseman, Chase Utley. Utley launches one deep.....but not deep enough! Caught by Left fielder Bake McBride at the warning track to end the inning. No score after 1.
Top of the second inning
Bake McBride comes in to lead things off and he blasts one to right for a leadoff double! Up next is Greg Luzinski. Luzinksi launches one.....DEEP TO CENTER FIELD.....IT'S OUTTA HERE! A 2-run shot by Greg Luzinski and the 1980 Phillies strike first! Manny Trillo is up next and he takes a 4-ball walk. Catcher Bob Boone comes in next and he will launch one sky high that is handled with ease by Utley. Larry Bowa is up next and he will hit to left field and pick up a single that advances Trillo to 3rd. 2 on and 1 out for picther Steve Carlton. Carlton pops it up, Victorino makes the catch, Trillo runs and Victorino's throw along the 3rd base line is not in time! Manny Trillo is safe and it's 3-0 for the '80 Phils! Maddox is back up for the 80 Phils and he pops one sky high that is caught by Cole Hamels. The 80 Phils exploded in that inning and they lead the 08 Fightins 3-0.
Bottom of the Second Inning
Howard is first up for the 08 Phils and he grounds out to 2nd base. Pat Burrell is up next and he waves at strike 3 outside of the strike zone. Victorino is up next and he takes it through the hole to left-center field for a single. Up next is 3rd base man Pedro Feliz who hits a groundball, 4-6 fielders choice. The 08 Phils can't produce and trail 3-0.
Top of the Third Inning
Pete Rose starts out the inning by grounding to third. Schmidt is up next and he draws a walk. On comes Greg Luzinski who hits into a fielder's choice. Luzinski, the man who went deep last inning, lines a single out to left and it's 2 on and 2 out for Manny Trillo who walked last time. This time he hits into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning. 3-0 '80 Phils
Bottom of the Third Inning
Ruiz starts the inning by lining out to thrid. Cole Hamels gets his first at bat and waves at a strike 3 that he should have held up on. Rollins sends it DEEP.....Caught at the wall by McBride! The '08 Phils still can't produce anything on offense. 3-0 '80 Phils.
Top of the Fourth Inning
Bob Boone is the first one up and he lines out to Pedro Feliz. Up next is Larry Bowa and Bowa absolutely smacks a line drive to right and picks up a single! Pitcher Steve Carlton lays down the sacrifice bunt which allows Bowa to advance to second. Up next is Greg Maddox who flies out to Burrell to end the inning. '80 Phils still lead 3-0.
Bottom of the Fourth Inning
Jayson Werth leads off the inning by striking out looking. Utley is up next and he sends a grounder to first that is easily taken care of by Pete Rose. Ryan Howard is up next and he manages a groundball single to center! Burrell follows that up by popping out to center and ending the inning. 3-0 '80 Phils.
Top of the Fifth Inning
Pete Rose leads off the inning by popping out to Howard. Mike Schmidt is up next and he singles to center! McBride pops it out to Werth. Here comes the man who hit the 2-run shot in the 2nd, Greg Luzinski. Luzinski grounds out to second and that ends the inning. Still 3-0.
Bottom of the Fifth Inning
Victorino leads off and he strikes out. Up next is Feliz who singles to left. Can the '08 Phils manage to score here? Carlos Ruiz is up and he grounds into a DOUBLE PLAY! 6-4-3 and the '08 Phils are looking pretty futile right now. 3-0 '80 Phils.
Top of the Sixth Inning
Manny Trillo leads off by lining out to J-Roll. Boone waves at strike 3. Larry Bowa walks and that will birng on the pitcher Steve Carlton. Carlton grounds out. The Pitchers Duel Continues, 3-0 '80 Phils.
Bottom of the Sixth Inning
The pithcer, Cole Hamels is up for just his second at bat. He grounds out to Manny Trillo. Rollins is up next and he grounds out to Mike Schmidt. Jayson Werth stars at strike and 3 and it's another 1-2-3 inning. '80 Phils lead 3-0.
Top of the Seventh Inning
Garry Maddox leads off by hitting a shallow flyout. Rose is up next and he LAUNCHES ONE OFF THE WALL! A double for the 80 Phils 1st base man! Schmidt lines one to left and Rose will round 3rd and score without a problem! 4-0 '80 Phils. Bake McBride flies out to right-center. Luzinski grounds one to Howard who makes the easy play. The '80 Phils tacked on one more and they lead 4-0.
Bottom of the Seventh Inning
Steve Carlton has pitched 6 innings of shut out baseball. Can it continue? Utley strikes out on a ball he should not have swun at. Ryan Howard hits a ground ball to left-center that produces a single! Burrell strikes out. Victorino grounds to the 3rd base man, Mike Schmidt. Howard made it on but the '08 Phils still could not score. 4-0 '80 Phils.
Top of the Eighth Inning
Manny Trillo leads off and grounds out to second. Bob Boone is next and he sends one deep only to have it caught by Victorino. Bowa pops one up but no one is there and it falls in the hole! Bowa gets a double. Carlton is up next but he can't advance Bowa as he grounds to Feliz who throws it to Howard and the throw barely beats the runner. Still 4-0.
Bottom of the Eighth Inning
Feliz launches one sky high that is caught by Trillo. Ruiz is up and he HITS A LASER THAT'S CAUGHT BY MIKE SCHMIDT! WHAT A CATCH! Hamels waves at strike 3 and heading into the ninth, the '80 Phils still lead 4-0.
Top of the Ninth Inning
Garry Maddox grounds out to J-Roll. Pete Rose follows that up by also grounding to short. Mike Schmidt also grounds out, this one right to first base man, Ryan Howard. 4-0 '80 Phils.
Bottom of the Ninth Inning
One last chance for the '08 Phillies to come back in this game. Jimmy Rollins is up and he starts the inning with a single to left-center. Jayson Werth takes ball four, and hold on a minute! Utley pops one to center, Rollins runs and is safe at third! Werth holds. Here's Howard. Ryan Howard LAUNCHES ONE DEEP TO THE WALL! CAUGHT BY LUZINSKI! Rollins takes off and scores! The '08 World Series champs are finally on the board! And after 8.2 innings, Steve Carlton will leave the game for the 80 Phillies closer, Tug McGraw. His first batter is Pat Burrell who pops out to third and that's it! The '80 Phillies win a pitching battle against the '08 Phillies and take a 1-0 series lead.
1980 Philadelphia Phillies: 4 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors.
2008 Philadelphia Phillies: 1 run, 5 hits, 0 errors.
Game 2 will be later this week.