Tag Archives: Florida Marlins

Phillies now face a key month with nothing but the NL East on the schedule

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It will be the Phillies vs the NL East for the next month

The Philadelphia Phillies (38-30) dropped the finale of a six-game homestand to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night. That loss was their third in the last four games. They are just 5-8 since reaching a season-best 11 games over the .500 mark following a victory back on May 29.

Meanwhile, the defending National League East Division champion Atlanta Braves have gotten white hot. The Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates by a 6-5 score on Thursday afternoon in Atlanta for their seventh consecutive victory, their ninth win over their last 11 games.
As a result of this recent turn of events for the two teams, the Phillies have fallen out of first place for the first time since April 25. They are now 1.5 games behind the Braves, a game back in the loss column.

The Phillies still control a National League Wildcard playoff slot, but are just 2.5 games up on both the Dbacks and the Colorado Rockies for that postseason berth, just two in the loss column on Colorado.
NFL head coach Jim Mora, then with the Indianapolis Colts, famously responded back in November 2001 to a reporter asking him about his team contending for a playoff berth: “Playoffs? Don’t talk about – playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs?
It is waaaaay too early to be worrying about playoffs for the Phillies. Before fans, and more importantly the team’s management, can think about the postseason, they have to worry about winning ball games on a more consistent basis.
Over the next month, the 2019 Major League Baseball schedule has delivered a pretty incredible quirk to the Phillies, one that will provide them with an excellent barometer as to where they actually stand. Their next 26 games will come within the division. It breaks down as follows:
Braves (6): at Atlanta this weekend, July 2-4 in Philly
Nationals (7): June 17-20 at Washington, July 12-14 in Philly
Mets (7): June 24-27 in Philly, July 5-7 in New York
Marlins (6): June 21-23 in Philly, June 28-30 in Miami
There is just one regular off-day in that stretch, coming on Monday, July 1 in the midst of a nine-game road trip through Miami, Atlanta, and New York.
The MLB All-Star break comes from July 8-11, just prior to a pivotal seven-game homestand that will see the Nationals in for three games to end that month-long divisional stretch. The Nats will be followed at Citizens Bank Park by a four-game long weekend with the NL’s top team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This month of games within the NL East will get the Phillies up to and through the mid-point in the 2019 MLB schedule, which is scheduled to come on during a four-game home series with the Mets at the end of this month. When the month of divisional games ends, there will be a just a little more than two weeks left until the MLB trade deadline.

Middleton (left) and Klentak (C) brought in Harper (R) and others to bolster the lineup, but now more needs to be done to reach the 2019 postseason.
It would really be a stretch to blame management. Matt Klentak and John Middleton came through, upgrading the lineup in a major way with the off-season additions of Bryce HarperJ.T. RealmutoJean Segura, and Andrew McCutchen.
Klentak then traded for Jay Bruce in an attempt to bolster the bench and versatility options for manager Gabe Kapler. That plan went awry when McCutchen was almost immediately lost to a season-ending injury, forcing Bruce to start everyday, again leaving the bench short-handed.
Management could not possibly have foreseen the incredible run of major injuries which have struck the bullpen. And letting the starting rotation play out for the first couple of months was the right move as well. It was expected that Aaron Nola would be an emerging ‘Ace’, a healthy Jake Arrieta a reliable #2 starter, and that the mix of Zach EflinNick Pivetta, and Vince Velasquez would find at least two of the three stepping up to become legitimate big-league options.
Though you cannot blame management to this point for the team’s struggles, they will be to blame if they simply throw in the towel and do not move aggressively to plug the leaks in what appears at this moment to be a seriously leaking ship.
In order to seriously contend, these Phillies need a few things. One more proven, veteran starting pitcher, preferably a left-hander. At least one more strong, veteran bullpen arm with late-innings experience. And they need a couple of veterans who can come off the bench as legitimate pinch-hitting threats.
Of course, the urgency to fill those holes could be mitigated by more production from a few of the players from whom more has been expected than delivered. I am speaking here specifically about Harper, Nola, Arrieta, and Rhys Hoskins. While each of those players has had their moments, and a good stretch or two, none has produced to their potential.
It will be interesting to see how this year’s version of the Phillies will respond to a poor stretch of play that saw them lose a grip on the top of the division. Last year’s squad didn’t just respond poorly to just such a situation in mid-August, they totally collapsed.
This team appears to be more mature and even appears to be deeper in talent than the 2018 version. How these Phillies respond over this next month against their NL East Division rivals will tell a great deal about not only their talent, but also their determination and their collective character.

Marlins also feel loss of Phillies hero Darren Daulton

Darren Daulton died Monday at age 55
Former Philadelphia Phillies and Florida (now Miami) Marlins player Darren Daulton died on Monday of brain cancer. He was just 55 years old.
The 1997 Major League Baseball season was just the fifth in the history of the expansion Marlins franchise. The team had begun play in 1993 along with the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies fielded winning teams in both 1995 and 1996. But the Fish were taking a bit longer, and were unable to field a winner over their first four seasons
For that fifth year, Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga opened the vault. He signed free agent slugger Bobby Bonilla to play third base, as well as outfielder Moises Alou and starting pitcher Alex Fernandez.
These players were added to a core group already present that included “Mr. Marlin”, Jeff Conine, emerging star outfielder Gary Sheffield, veteran outfielder Devon White, and starting pitchers Al Leiter and Kevin Brown.
Young catcher Charles Johnson, second baseman Luis Castillo, and shortstop Edgar Renteria were also in place. A rookie starting pitcher, 22-year old Cuban Livan Hernandez, would emerge as a reliable arm for the club. The closer was talented 27-year old Robb Nen.
The Marlins brought in a proven winner to manage that 1997 club in Jim Leyland. With all their new blood, the Marlins got out to a blistering 8-1 start. They would eventually level off, but another hot stretch in mid-May pushed the team out to a 27-16 record. Florida spent most of the next two months in second place behind the talented Atlanta Braves.


As the MLB trade deadline approached at the end of July, the Marlins dropped six of eight games, falling into third place in the division. Huizenga and general manager Dave Dombrowski believed that their big investment and talent collection was missing something, some key ingredient.
That ingredient arrived on July 21 when the Marlins dealt prospect outfielder Billy McMillon to the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies. In exchange, coming to South Florida would be one of the greatest locker room and on-field leaders in the game’s recent history.
Darren Daulton was 35 years old by that point, and moving through his 12th big league season. He had spent his entire career in the Philadelphia organization, making his MLB debut all the way back with the ‘Wheeze Kids’ pennant winners in 1983.
Daulton’s reputation as a leader of men was cemented during the 1993 season. Those Phillies shocked the baseball world by going from last place to first, and reaching the World Series. Known as ‘Macho Row’, they were a hard-scrabble bunch of swashbucklers who bashed the ball all around the National League that summer.
Daulton was their acknowledged leader, the man who was unafraid to stand up to anyone no matter their status or role with the team. He was their policeman and captain, and the Marlins wanted that kind of strong, experienced leader in their own clubhouse.


Now a first baseman due to the effects of his knee injuries, Daulton received his first start with the Fish on Wednesday, July 23 at Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. He went 2-3 and scored a run in a big 8-1 win over the host Reds.
Daulton found a friendly face waiting for him in Florida to help ease the transition. Jim Eisenreich, had been one of his teammates with those 1993 Phillies, and had also been brought in as a free agent the prior off-season.
Florida would go 36-24 from that first Daulton start until last September, when they clinched that NL Wildcard berth. Daulton hit for a .262/.371/.429 slash line with 21 RBI and 22 runs scored in 152 plate appearances. More importantly, he added just that very veteran leadership that the club needed.
The Marlins dispatched the San Francisco Giants in three straight games in the NLDS. Then the Fish captured the final two games of the NLCS to put away the Braves in six.


In the World Series, the Marlins faced off with a mega-talented Cleveland Indians squad. The Fish and Tribe threw haymakers at one another, with Florida taking game three by a 14-11 score. The Indians responded by scoring 10 to even up the series in game four.
The Marlins responded with an 8-7 win in game five to go up 3-2. But with the Fish a game from winning the championship, Cleveland came right back to win 4-1, sending the Fall Classic to a classic seventh game.
When Leyland presented his lineup card for Game Seven, his cleanup man was none other than Daulton. In one of the most dramatic final games in World Series history, Renteria drilled a base hit in the bottom of the 11th inning to score Craig Counsellwith the walkoff, title-winning run.
There were the usual locker room celebrations and parade, and right in the middle of it was Daulton. When interviewed, his teammates frequently mentioned his positive leadership and influence.
It would turn out to be the final game of Daulton’s career. He walked away a world champion, having hit cleanup in his team’s lineup in the seventh game of the World Series.
John Kruk was one of Daulton’s closest friends, and a teammate with the 1993 Phillies. He was quoted in a piece today by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald in reference to Daulton’s influence on those 1997 Marlins champions.
“Jim Leyland told me they don’t win the World Series if it wasn’t for Dutch,” Kruk told Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia per Spencer. “He told me when Dutch stepped in that locker room everyone on that team looked at him and said, ‘There’s our leader.’”

The Marlins organization wishes to express our deepest sympathy and sadness over the passing of 1997 World Champion Darren Daulton. https://twitter.com/phillies/status/894387535350292480 

Miami Marlins All-Time 25-Man Roster

The Miami Marlins joined the National League as a 1993 expansion team, and the “Magic City” has seen a number of great players don their colorful uniform.

The origins of the now Miami Marlins can be traced back to a man who built a financial empire on the VCR home entertainment boom of the 1980’s.
Everyone remembers “Blockbuster”, the video rental giant from those days? Well it was the CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment who finally brought Major League Baseball permanently to the Sunshine State.
Wayne Huizenga, that Blockbuster CEO, had become involved in ownership of both the Miami Dolphins of the NFL as well as the team’s home at Joe Robbie Stadium during the early 1990’s.
Huizenga was subsequently awarded both an MLB expansion team, which he named the Florida Marlins, as well as an NHL team, the Florida Panthers, for the 1993 season.
The Marlins were big losers in their expansion season, but soon built up their roster of talent to the point of becoming a near-.500 level team over each of the next three seasons.
In 1997, the club splurged in the free agent market, made some astute deals at the MLB trade deadline, and reached the postseason for the first time as the National League Wildcard team.
Getting hot at the right time, those Marlins would win the World Series in just the fifth year of the franchise’ existence.
In that 1997 Fall Classic, the Fish defeated a powerful Cleveland Indians with a dramatic walkoff in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7.

Huizenga was roundly criticized when, instead of using the title as a chance to build a consistent winner, he subsequently sold off most of the veteran talent which had made it possible.
The year after winning that World Series he sold the team to John Henry, now owner of the Boston Red Sox, who would in turn sell to current owner Jeffrey Loria in 2002.
Just six years after that first World Series crown, five after being totally dismantled, the Marlins stunned many in the baseball world by winning it all once again.
Astute off-season signings and in-season deals once again added to a few talented homegrown stars, and the Fish won a second World Series championship in the fall of 2003, defeating a dynastic New York Yankees squad in six games.
Despite winning those two World Series crowns within the first decade of their existence, the Marlins, who play out of the National League East Division, are one of only two MLB clubs to never win a division championship.
In November of 2011, the team officially changed names to the “Miami” Marlins in an agreement with the city which was largely funding construction of the retractable-domed Marlins Park, which then opened for the 2012 season.
While a number of great players made just a pit stop in Miami, my choices for the Marlins all-time 25-man roster reflect players who spent at least a few years with the club.
As I put together these “All-Time 25-Man Roster” pieces, I like to include at least a couple of relievers. The choice of the second reliever was my most difficult here.
I am quite sure, as always, that you might have a few players who you believe should be included. For instance, I simply couldn’t justify adding 1997 World Series MVP Livan Hernandez.
Would love to hear your own selections. After reading through mine, add yours, or any additions and subtractions you would make, in a comment at the end of the piece.


Sep 9, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Fernandez (16) celebrates their 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


Josh Beckett – 6th pitching WAR, 5th WHIP, 7th K’s, 8th Wins, 2003 World Series MVP
Kevin Brown – 1st ERA, 2nd WHIP, 7th pitching WAR, 9th WAR, 1997 World Series
A.J. Burnett – 4th pitching WAR, 4th IP & K, 5th Wins, 6th Starts, 2003 World Series (injured)
Steve Cishek –  2nd relief pitching WAR, 3rd Saves, 4th RP K’s, 5th Games
Jose Fernandez – 1st WHIP & BAA, 2nd ERA, 5th pitching WAR, 8th K’s, 9th Wins, 2x NL All-Star, 2013 NL Rookie of the Year
Josh Johnson – 1st pitching WAR, 2nd K’s, 3rd WAR, Wins, IP & ERA, 4th WHIP, 2x NL All-Star
Robb Nen – 1st relief pitching WAR & Saves, 3x NL All-Star, 1997 World Series
Ricky Nolasco – 1st IP & Starts, Wins & K, 2nd pitching WAR, 10th WHIP
Brad Penny – 4th Starts & Wins, 5th IP, 8th WAR, 9th K’s, 2003 World Series
Anibal Sanchez – 9th pitching WAR, 5th Starts & K’s, 6th IP & Wins
Dontrelle Willis – 2nd IP, Starts & Wins, 3rd pitching WAR & K, 2x NL All-Star, 2005 runner-up NL Cy Young Award, 2x NL All-Star, 2003 NL Rookie of the Year, 2003 World Series


Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; American League infielder Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers before the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Miguel Cabrera (1B/3B) – 1st AVG, 2nd OBP & OPS, 3rdt Doubles, 4th WAR & RBI, 5th Hits & HR, 6th Runs, 2x Silver Slugger, 4x NL All-Star, 2003 World Series
Luis Castillo (2B) – 1st Games, AB, Hits, Runs, Steals, Triples, 3rd WAR, 3X NL All-Star, 3x NL Gold Glove, 1997 & 2003 World Series
Derek Lee (1B) – 6th HR & Games, 7th RBI, 8th Runs, 9th Hits & Doubles, 2003 NL Gold Glove, 2003 World Series
Mike Lowell (3B) – 1st RBI & Doubles, 3rd Games & AB, 4th Hits, HR & Runs, 6th WAR, 3x NL All-Star, 2003 NL Silver Slugger, 2005 NL Gold Glove, 2003 World Series
Hanley Ramirez (SS) – 1st WAR, 2nd AVG, OBP, Steals, Doubles & Runs, 3rd HR, 4th Triples, 5th RBI, 2006 NL Rookie of the Year, 3x NL All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger, 2009 runner-up NL MVP
Dan Uggla (2B) – 2nd HR, 3rd Runs, 5th WAR, 6th RBI & Doubles, 7th OPS, 8th Hits, 2x NL All-Star, 2010 NL Silver Slugger


Charles Johnson – 1st Defensive WAR, 10th WAR, leads virtually every franchise catching category, 1997 World Series
Mike Redmond – 5th Defensive WAR, 2nd in most franchise catching categories, 2003 World Series, managed club parts of three seasons 2013-15


Jeff Conine – 2nd Games & RBI, 3rd Hits, 4th AB, 5th Doubles, 7th WAR & Runs, 8th HR, 2x NL All-Star, 1997 & 2003 World Series
Cliff Floyd –  3rd OPS, 4th OBP, 6th AVG, 8th WAR, RBI & Doubles, 9th Hits & HR, 10th Games, 2001 NL All-Star, 1997 World Series
Juan Pierre –  2nd Triples, 3rd Steals, 5th AVG, 10th Hits, 13th WAR, 2003 World Series
Gary Sheffield – 1st OBP, SLG & OPS, 7th HR, 9th RBI, 10th Steals, 2x NL All-Star, 1996 NL Silver Slugger, 1997 World Series
Giancarlo Stanton – 1st HR, 2nd WAR, 3rd RBI, 4th OPS, 5th Runs, 2014 NL Silver Slugger, 3x NL All-Star
Christian Yelich – 6th OBP,  8th AVG, 11th WAR, 12th Steals, 2014 NL Gold Glove

Philography: Darren Daulton

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Perhaps the greatest “Captain” in Phillies history, Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton

The Philography series continues with the final weekly installment before moving to a bi-monthly (every two weeks) schedule during the off-season. This week we take a look at the career of 1993 ‘Macho Row’ team Captain, fan favorite Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton.

Darren Daulton was born on January 3rd, 1962 and raised in the same town of Arkansas City, Kansas. He attended his hometown Arkansas City High School, was a star athlete, and became the Philadelphia Phillies 25th round selection in the 1980 Draft as an 18-year old.
Over the next few years, Daulton rose through the Phillies system a level at a time, first to Rookie league Helena, then Low-A Spartanburg, and then to High-A Peninsula. At each stop, his playing time and his productivity increased.
By 1983 at age 21, Daulton had reached the AA level Reading Phillies, where he raised his game another level. He had career highs in nearly every category, and showed
real power at the catching position with 19 homers and 83 rbi. He even stole 28 bases, showing his athleticism.
Daulton Reading
Based on his performance and advancement, Daulton received his first cup of coffee in the Big Leagues as the Phillies were clinching the N.L. East Division crown.
In his first game, on September 25th of 1983, Daulton came on in the 10th inning as the catcher and finished out a victory over the Cardinals in Saint Louis. It was the club’s 9th straight win, a streak that had moved them from a tie for 1st place out to a 4 game lead with just 6 to play.
A week later, in the final game of the regular season, and having participated already in the Division-clinching celebration, Daulton got his first starting opportunity. On October 1st, 1983 he went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored in a 5-3 win over the 2nd place Pirates.
Daulton batted 6th that day in a lineup that only included one full-time regular in 1st baseman Pete Rose. Also in the lineup that day were future lineup mainstays Juan Samuel and Von Hayes. In the bottom of the 8th against Pirates reliever Cecilio Guante, Daulton singled to left. He would score three batters later on a Jeff Stone triple.
As the Phillies made a run to the World Series for the 2nd time in 4 years that fall, Daulton would not take part. Postseason and Fall Classic play was something he would have to wait another decade for, but he had made it to the Majors at last.
In 1984, Daulton didn’t get another opportunity with the Phillies. With a healthy All-Star caliber catcher in Ozzie Virgil Jr, a capable backup in Bo Diaz, and another hot young prospect catcher in Mike LaValliere, Daulton was forced to spend the entire season at AAA Portland. He hit .298, but his overall production decreased.
He started the 1985 season back in Portland, but would get the call-up to Philly just a few weeks into the season. His first of many knee injuries knocked him out from mid-May until early August, but he did come back to have his first big game.
The date was August 17th, 1985 and the Phils were taking on the Cubs at Wrigley Field on one of those typical Windy City days. Daulton crushed a pair of homers, scored 4 runs and drove in 3, going 4-5 in a 10-4 Phillies victory.
Daulton would spend the 1987 and 1988 seasons as the backup catcher to big free agent signee Lance Parrish, who had been a 6x All-Star, 4x Silver Slugger, and 3x Gold Glover with Detroit in the first half of the 80’s. 
With franchise icon Mike Schmidt aging, the club hoped Parrish would be the piece to push him and young stars Juan Samuel and Von Hayes over the top again, signing him to a $1 million contract when that still meant something. It never worked out.
In ’87 the club climbed within as close as 6 1/2 out in mid-August, but was never higher than 3rd place. In ’88, they quickly sank to the bottom, finishing in last place. It would all lead to Parrish being traded after that 1988 season, and Schmidt retiring early in ’89.
It was the 1989 season, at age 27 and with pieces of 5 Big League seasons on his resume, that Darren Daulton got his first chance to start as the Phillies regular catcher. He played in 131 games that year, hitting just .201 for another last place team. But he was finally healthy and getting a real opportunity to play.
The Phils further turned the page once Schmidt left, trading away Samuel for young centerfielder Lenny Dykstra and dealing Chris James for a sweet-swinging outfielder named John Kruk. In 1990, a new decade dawned with Daulton entering his prime, and with a new set of teammates.
The 1990 Phillies moved up to 4th place, with Daulton playing a career-high 143 games, hitting .268 with 12 homers. His new mates, Dykstra and Kruk, hit .325 and .291 respectively, with Lenny stealing 33 bases and scoring 106 runs. The team also traded for former Braves star Dale Murphy in August.
For the Phillies, things seemed to be finally changing for the better. Just as importantly, Daulton was beginning to assert himself more in the locker room as team leader.
But 1991 would prove a challenge on many fronts. The trouble began in the early morning hours of May 6th. Daulton and Dykstra left a bachelor party for Kruk, with The Dude driving his 1991 Mercedes 500 SL. In clear, dry road conditions along a winding country road, the car skidded off at high speeds, slamming into two trees.
The two key Phillies were nearly killed. The car was wrecked. Dykstra suffered multiple fractures: broken ribs, a broken collarbone,  a broken cheekbone. Daulton suffered a fractured eye socket and scratched cornea.
It was a devastating blow for the pair, but also for the team. The Phils had recovered from a 4-11 start that had cost manager Nick Leyva his job to get within 3 games of the .500 mark under new manager Jim Fregosi. They were about to leave on a 9-game west coast road trip.
The team fought hard, going 5-4 on the trip and 7-4 overall to get back to the .500 mark. But as May ended and into early June, they went into a spin, losing 8 of 10 to fall out of the race.
Daulton tried to return in late May, but was quickly out of the lineup again for a couple of weeks. Dykstra returned after the All-Star break. But with the club out of the race, both players were shut down early.
The 1992 season was an emotional mixed bag for Daulton and the Phils. For the catcher, it was a career year. He was fully healthy, playing in a new career-high of 145 games. And he became an All-Star for the first time.
That year of ’92, the man who had become nicknamed ‘Dutch’ hit 27 homers, had 109 rbi, and hit .270 with a .385 on-base percentage. The performance earned him the NL Silver Slugger at catcher.
But the team had collapsed to last place again. The reasons weren’t hard to pinpoint. He had the great year, Kruk hit .323, new 3rd baseman Dave Hollins slammed 27 homers and had 93 rbi.
Dykstra fought injuries, and Fregosi spent the season trying to find the right mixture in his lineup. It just never jelled. Still, there were signs that positive things were beginning to happen. For one, a new starting pitcher, 25-year old Curt Schilling, had come in trade and was outstanding.
As 1993 began, no one outside the organization gave the Phillies much of a chance. Most picked them for another last place finish. But inside the team, hopes were high. The club had signed a pair of free agent outfielders, Pete Incaviglia and Milt Thompson. Everyone began the year healthy. But even they couldn’t have foreseen what was in store.
Macho Row
The Phillies came out of the chute hot, winning their first 3 games and 9 of the first 10. They established themselves in first place in the NL East with that hot streak, and they never would give up that lead, not for a single day.
The 1993 Phillies built an 11 1/2 game lead in early June, and would hold off the talented Montreal Expos to win by 5 games. They won 97 games that summer, many of them with thrilling comebacks or finishes. It was the most fun summer of baseball that I ever personally remember watching in my entire life.
The team had a unique personality that endeared them to the fan base. They played hard and dirty. The hitters worked opposing pitchers mercilessly. Many of the team sported shaggy or mullet-style haircuts. The pitching staff did their part as well, hurling league highs in complete games, innings pitched, and strikeouts.
Daulton led the way as the anointed team Captain in his section of the locker room that had become known as ‘Macho Row’, and on the field he led by example. That summer he hit 24 homers, had 105 rbi, scored a career-high 90 runs and had a career-best .392 on-base percentage in a career-most 147 games and 637 plate appearances.
For the performance, Daulton was rewarded with his 2nd straight NL All-Star appearance. He was joined in the game by 3 teammates: Kruk, Hollins, and pitcher Terry Mulholland. Dykstra was a season-long catalyst, coming up with huge hits at clutch moments, making great plays in center. He hit 19 homers, had 37 steals, scored 143 runs, hit .305 and came in 2nd in NL MVP voting to Barry Bonds.
The Phillies clinched the NL East with a win against their longtime in-state divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, in a 10-7 slugfest win on September 28th. They were again given little chance in the NLCS against a 104-win Braves team, but disposed of Atlanta in 6 hard-fought games, moving the franchise into the World Series for the first time in a decade.
In that 1993 NLCS, Daulton began the series with four mostly quiet games, going 1-12 with 5 walks as the two teams split. With the series tied at 2-2, the pivotal 5th game moved into the top of the 9th with the Phils leading 2-0 behind a tremendous outing from Curt Schilling.
Daulton stepped in against Braves closer Greg McMichael to leadoff that 9th. The captain drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in deep rightcenter to extend the Phillies lead out to 3-0.
The Phils would need that extra run, as in the bottom of the 9th Atlanta rallied for 3 runs to tie it. But in the 10th, Lenny Dykstra crushed a 1-out homer to put them back in front. This time veteran reliever Larry Andersen held the lead, and the Phillies led 3 games to 2 headed back to Veteran’s Stadium.
Now needed one win to move into the World Series, Daulton again came up big in Game 6. With the game scoreless in the bottom of the 3rd, Daulton stepped in with the bases loaded and two outs against future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. Dutch lined a double, scoring two runs.
Those runs against the Braves ace were a huge confidence booster, and the Phils continued to pull away, taking a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the 9th. There, with two outs, Mitch Williams struck out Bill Pecota to seal the victory. As the ‘Wild Thing’ leaped in the air, Daulton rushed into his arms, and the entire team joined in an incredible celebration on the field at The Vet.
In the World Series, the Phils were again given little chance against a star-studded Toronto Blue Jays team that was the defending world champions.
Daulton would hit .217 in a 5-23 effort. He did crack a homerun in Game 4 at The Vet, but the Phillies bullpen blew a big lead late in the game to suffer a heart-breaking 15-14 defeat that left them down 3-1 in the series.
Though the Phils continued to fight hard, they would ultimately fall short, losing in dramatic fashion when Joe Carter struck for his now-famous walkoff ,World Series-winning homerun off Williams in Game 6. 
For that ‘Macho Row’ group it would be the pinnacle, and at least for his long career in a Phillies uniform, it would be the same for Daulton. He would, however, finally reach the baseball summit. He would just have to leave Philadelphia for it to happen.
In 1994, the work stoppage that crippled all of baseball struck, and it’s just as well for the defending NL champs. The Phillies just didn’t recapture the ’93 magic that year. At the time of the stoppage, they were 54-61, buried in 4th place. Daulton was having another strong year, hitting .300 with 15 homers. But the pitching staff was riddled with injuries. It was truly a lost season.
When the game resumed for the 1995 season, the Phillies made a run. They took the division lead early, and led the NL East right up to the 4th of July, at one point holding a late-June lead of 4 1/2 games. But they were overtaken by the Braves, who were now in their division. Atlanta pulled away, and though the Phils finished tied for 2nd place, it was a distant 21 1/2 game back.
The 1996 Phillies simply lacked chemistry. Daulton had a lost season due to knee injuries. The team tried to extend its chance at contending with the addition of players like Gregg Jefferies, Todd Zeile, and Benito Santiago. But the pitching wasn’t good enough, and the club finished in last place.
1997 would prove to be the career swan song for Darren Daulton, and it would also prove highly emotional, with his leaving the only organization that he had ever known. But it would also see that gut-wrenching change become an opportunity, one he would make the absolute most of to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
On July 21st, 1997, Darren Daulton was traded by the Phillies to the Florida Marlins. After 18 years in the organization and parts of 14 seasons, he was finally moving on. The Phils were buried in last place, 32 1/2 games out of first. Meanwhile the upstart Marlins were in 2nd place, just 6 1/2 out.
The Fish would end that season at 92-70 in 2nd place. But in the new Wildcard era, they were in the postseason. Under manager Jim Leyland, that Florida team had been infused with high-priced veteran talent such as hitters Moises Alou and Bobby Bonilla, and pitchers Al Leiter, Alex Fernandez, and Kevin Brown.
These players joined Gary Sheffield, Edgar Renteria, Livan Hernandez and Robb Nen to make up a formidable club. This was the team that Daulton had joined, a far cry from what the Philly situation had deteriorated into. In Florida, Daulton served as a backup to 1st baseman Jeff Conine. In 52 games he produced 21 rbi and brought his veteran leadership to the team.
He wasn’t alone on that team, as his former ‘Macho Row’ Phillies NL champs teammate Jim Eisenreich was there, having signed with the Marlins as a free agent the previous off-season. Though the two were no longer starters, they were valuable left-handed options for Leyland, and an invaluable locker room presence.
In the NLCS it was the division champion Braves who were again the obstacle. With the series tied at 2-2, Hernandez pitched a 3-hit gem in a game that would become notorious for the wide strike zone given him by home plate umpire Eric Gregg, a Philly native.
The Marlins roped around future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine for a big 7-4 win in the decisive 6th game, moving into the World Series. Daulton appeared in 3 NLCS games, and was a key as the starting 1st baseman in Game 3, the final NLCS start and game of his career.
With the series tied 1-1 and the Marlins trailing in the game 2-1, Daulton drove a game-tying 6th inning double to right off John Smoltz. He would later score on a bases-clearing double by Charles Johnson that put the Fish up 5-2, which would hold as the final score and a 2-1 series lead.
In the World Series the Marlins would face a formidable and powerful Cleveland Indians club that included future Phillies slugger Jim Thome in his prime, as well as young stars like Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, and Kenny Lofton. The two teams battled through the first 6 games tied at 3-3, moving to a 7th and deciding game.
Daulton appeared in all 7 games of that 1997 World Series, getting the start at 1st base in Games 3, 4 & 7 and at DH in Game 5. In Game 1, Daulton singled in the 4th inning with the game tied 1-1, and scored on a 3-run homer by Moises Alou in what would be a 7-4 Marlins win to open the series.
The Indians tied it up in Game 2, and then Game 3 proved a wild one. The Marlins outscored the Tribe 7-4 in the 9th inning alone en route to a 14-11 win in Cleveland. Daulton went 2-4 with 3 runs and an rbi, driving a leadoff homerun to deep rightcenter in the 4th that gave the Fish a 3-2 lead.
In the 6th, he led off with a walk, and later scored when his old Phils mate Eisenreich drove a 2-run homer that put Florida ahead 7-3. Finally, in the top of the 9th with the scored knotted at 7-7, Daulton singled to center, with Bonilla coming around to score the go-ahead run on an error by Lofton.
All of this action led to the teams entering Game 7 having battled furiously to a 3-3 tie. In that 7th and decisive game, Daulton started at 1st base. He went 0-3 as the two clubs again battled to the end, but the Fish entered the bottom of the 9th trailing 2-1 as the Indians sent in their closer, future Phillie Jose Mesa.
Alou led off the bottom of the 9th with a single, and moved into scoring position with a one-out single by Johnson. Craig Counsell then delivered a game-tying sac fly, knotting it at 2-2 and sending the game to extra-innings.
The teams continued the tense battle into the bottom of the 11th still at 2-2. Daulton was out of the game now, having been replaced by Leyland in using Conine as a pinch-hitter vs a lefty in the bottom of the 8th.
The Marlins loaded the bases on a ground single by Bonilla, an error, and a walk all around a pair of outs. With two outs and the bases loaded, young shortstop Renteria stepped to the plate. Just four years earlier, Daulton and Eisenreich had lost the World Series on a walkoff. They would now win one in that fashion. Renteria delivered a soft line-drive single to center, and the Fish were world champions.
Darren Daulton joined his old teammate Jim Eisnreich in the celebration on the field and in the postgame locker room. He received numerous public accolades from Leyland and his teammates as a tremendous late-season pickup and a vital leader on the team.
It was the only fitting way for Darren Daulton to go out. Having suffered through a variety of knee surgeries and other injuries, having suffered the emotional trauma of leaving the Phillies organization. And now having incredibly seen it all pay off with his playing a key role on a World Series champion, Darren Daulton decided to retire.
This would normally be where an article in the Philography series would leave off, since we’ve mostly cared about the playing or professional career of those involved. But Daulton has been such a beloved, iconic player for fans that it’s difficult to leave out his colorful, often crazy off-field personal life.
The handsome, charismatic ballplayer that everyone has seen on the outside has been through multiple marriages. He has been through arrests for DUI and domestic assault. He has lost and regained relationships with his children. He has battled addictions. His spiritual beliefs are a hodge-podge of ever-changing and wide-ranging generalities.
Through it all, Darren Daulton has survived. And now he is literally trying to survive. He was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, brain cancer, almost two years ago. Radiation and chemotherapy followed. Daulton lost the mane of hair on his head that was somewhat a signature of his extended youth.
Dutch has fought back, and returned to the public eye over the last year. Back in May at an appearance at a Lancaster Barnstormers minor league game, he stated that he was doing well. And then the conversation came around, as it almost always does, to that beloved 1993 Phillies team.
Daulton Wedding
We were party central, but we had the 25 players and the coaching staff that was perfect...If you were part of the ’93 team, they love you. It’s like you were part of their life, part of their family. That’s cool,” Daulton told Lancaster Online writer Burt Wilson, referring to Phillies fans affection for that team.
All isn’t apparently happy with those 1993 brothers. At a fall 2013 appearance at the Granite Run Mall,Daulton reportedly had to step in to keep ex-mates Dykstra and Williams from coming to blows, the latest episode in what has been a long-running feud between the pair running all the way back to that lost World Series.
But in Daulton’s personal life, despite the cancer battle, he finally seems to be finding happiness and peace. Just months after the cancer diagnosis, Dutch married his longtime girlfriend, former pro golfer Amanda Dick.
He makes appearances to benefit his charitable endeavor, the Darren Daulton Foundation. During the season, he can be heard on radio with “Talking Baseball with Dutch“, usually preceding Phillies games. He can be frequently found around Phillies-related events, and through Darren Daulton Enterprises he makes appearances at autograph and memorabilia shows, and has even become an advertising pitchman for Yuengling.
Darren Daulton was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2010, the first player from that 1993 team so honored. He has since been joined by teammates Kruk (2011) and Schilling (2013) in that ultimate team honor. On Phillies all-time lists he is 16th in Homers (134), 26th in RBI (567), 32nd in Doubles (189), 44th in Hits (858), and 39th in Runs (489). 

Roy Halladay Is Perfect

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Doc was all smiles on his perfect night in South Florida

Florida Marlins’ catcher Ronnie Paulino smashed a ball into the hole between 3rd base and shortstop, and for a brief moment everyone watching the game at Sun Life Stadium, players and fans who were in attendance as well as those of us watching at home here in Philly on television, held our collective breaths.

There had been two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when Paulino came to bat, and the Philadelphia Phillies new ace starting pitcher Roy Halladay had a ‘perfect game’ going.

This meant not a single batter had reached base during the game. Against the Phillies ace, 26 men had come to the plate with a bat in their hands that night for the Fish. All 26 had returned to the dugout having made an out. No hits and no walks. No one had reached on an error.

So history was in the offing when Paulino struck the ball.

There had been only 19 perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball going back well over a century. There had been just one in Phillies franchise history. That was pitched by Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on Father’s Day in 1964.

As Paulino’s smash left his bat, playing third base was the Phillies regular backup shortstop, Juan Castro. Castro had been inserted as a defensive replacement for regular 3rd baseman Placido Polanco. The move would prove a stroke of genius by manager Charlie Manuel.

Castro quickly ranged to his left, stabbed the hard shot grounder, wheeled, and gunned a throw to first baseman Ryan Howard. The throw beat Paulino easily, and Halladay’s historic night of perfection was complete.

The usually calm and reserved Halladay let loose with a big smile as he was embraced by catcher Carlos Ruiz and the rest of his teammates on the mound.

Back in the locker room, his teammates called on him to make a speech. Halladay simply pointed at Ruiz and said “Chooch is the man!”, referring to Ruiz’ nickname and the fact that the catcher had called pitches during the game.

Ruiz later said that he had learned some lessons regarding the Marlins hitters during an effective start the previous night by Kyle Kendrick. Ruiz decided that he would utilize those lessons in calling Halladay’s start.

Whatever it was that Chooch picked up, it worked, and Doc delivered by executing his pitches to perfection. He rarely left the ball out over the plate, needed just a couple of big defensive plays, and struck out a number of hitters on the night.

The Phillies traded for Roy Halladay in the off-season to become a bona fide ace for the Phillies rotation. He has lived up to every bit of the expectations that a veteran former Cy Young Award winner can bring with him.

Though the Phils have struggled somewhat with injuries and inconsistent play, they remain on top of the National League to this point. Halladay is the main reason. He makes the Phillies favorites to win every fifth day. On this particular fifth day, Roy Halladay was perfect.