This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies going from worst to first and winning the National League pennant. All season long we will take a look back at each game of the 1993 season.
Last Game: Phillies 3, Astros 1
The second game of the season saw the Phillies offense waste little time in getting thigns going. Lenny Dykstra started the night with a triple to left-center field off a 2-2 pitch from Astros starter Greg Swindell, and he scored on the very next pitch to Mariano Duncan. Swindell's wild pitch to Duncan allowed Dykstra to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead as some fans may have still been settling in to their seats, but the Phillies were not done just yet. Dave Hollins notched an RBI single to score John Kruk from second base to give Phillies starter a nice little 2-0 lead before having to take the mound.
The Phillies had built a 3-0 lead before the Astros were able to get to Schilling, with Pete Incaviglia hitting his first home run of the season with two outs in the top of the third inning. Houston would start to make things interesting in the bottom of the inning though. A lead off single by Ed Taubensee would eventually turn in to a run for Houston, with Swindell laying down a sacrifice bunt and Craig Biggio singling to move the lead-off runner to third base. A Steve Finley sacrifice fly would bring Taubensee home.
Luis Gonzalez, a future teammate of Schilling's on the World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, hit a sacrifice fly off of Schilling in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the Phillies lead to 4-2. It would remain that way until the later innings as Schilling and Swindell did well in keeping the bats silent.
Following a 1-2-3 inning from Schilling, the Phillies offense struck once again looking for some late-inning insurance runs. Back-to-back doubles by John Kruk and Dave Hollins provided just that, with Kruk coming around to give the visitors a 5-2 lead.
Houston would enter the ninth inning trailing by three runs and with Schilling now over 100 pitches. Jeff Bagwell led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a double to left field on the second pitch he saw from Schilling. Manager Jim Fregosi then had Schilling turn the game over on the mound to closer Mitch Williams for his first save opportunity of the season. As would be the case from time to time, it was slightly gut-wrenching with Williams on the mound.
Williams fell behind Houston right fielder Eric Anthony with a 3-1 count before getting the Astro to line out to right field for the first out of the inning. The Phillies closer then made easier work of Ken Caminiti, striking out the slugger on four pitches. Gonzalez struck again with an RBI single off of Williams to cut the Phillies lead to 5-3, but Williams struck out pinch hitter Kevin Bass, swinging on a full count, to record the final out and improving the Phillies to 2-0.
With the win the Phillies opened a season with two straight wins for the first time since the 1980 season. It also marked the first time since 1966 that the Phillies had opened a season with two wins on the road. The Phillies swept a quick two-game series in St. Louis to open the 1966 season. that was also the last time the Phillies had opened a season with a three-game winning streak, which the 1993 Phillies would attempt to tackle the next night.