Ask any fan what the best memory of the 1993 Phillies season was, and undoubtedly this rain-soaked night may be among the top responses. The Phillies and visiting San Diego Padres were set to play a twilight double header at Veterans Stadium, but Mother Nature had other plans. Multiple lengthy rain delays for the July 2 games ensured that the first game of the double header would end after midnight, which meant the second game of the double header would have to start after one o'clock in the morning. For those who stuck it through to the end, it was worth the wait as "Mitchy Poo," of all people, delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Game one of the double header had three rain delays. During one rain delay the Phillies informed the umpire crew they would be willing to move the second game of the double header until the following day, but it was the decision of the umpires to get the second game in. It took just under eight and a half hours for the first game to be completed with nearly six hours of rain delays. The Padres picked up the win and Phillies starter Terry Mulholland took the loss in a 5-2 setback. The game ended well after midnight and after a 30-minute break the second game commenced just before 1:30 a.m.
The Phillies dug a 5-0 hole in game two with Jose DeLeon getting the start for the Phillies. He lasted just five innings, which meant the bullpen would be called on for four innings once again after pitching four innings in game one. A three-run homerun by Ricky Jordan brought the Phillies to within one run in the bottom of the fifth and the bullpen kept the Padres off the board to allow the Phillies to climb back. Darren Daulton, pinch hitting for Todd Pratt after catching the first game, tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single to score Dave Hollins from second base. The Phillies would leave the bases loaded as the game went to the ninth inning, with both teams turning the games over to their respective closers. Mitch Williams for the Phillies and Trevor Hoffman for the Padres.
Williams walked a batter and threw a wild pitch to allow him to move in to scoring position in the ninth, but he managed to get out of the inning. The Phillies caused a stir in the bottom o the ninth when Mariano Duncan led off with a double to right field. Duncan was replaced with pitcher Tommy Greene pinch running for him. Hoffman intentionally walked Mickey Morandini and both runners advanced in to scoring position on a wild pitch to Incaviglia with two outs. Greene would be called out home trying to advance to end the inning.
Williams returned to the mound for the tenth inning and with the bench wearing thin on a very long night, Williams would later be called on to bat in the bottom of the tenth. Incaviglia led off the inning with a walk, after he was left at bat the previous inning. Jim Eiseinreich followed with a single. Daulton struck out against Hoffman to set the stage for one of the most improbable endings in franchise history. Williams, a career .188 hitter with three career hits, found fortune on his side against a future Hall of Fame reliever. On the second pitch he faced, Williams lined a single past the infield and Incaviglia rumbled home for the wild walk off win delivered by the Wild Thing. Harry Kalas had the call for those who stayed awake at home to watch the game, referring to Williams as Mitchy Poo, a name that somehow stuck for many, while Richie Ashburn later said Williams could flat out hit.
As you might have expected, the Phillies found ways to kill time during the lengthy rain delays.
"A lot of card playing," said Mulholland. "Some money exchanged hands. Maybe a paycheck or two."
The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed the next afternoon the Phillies and Pares had set a new record for the latest a game had ended in baseball history, with the walk-off hit from Williams coming 4:40 a.m. on July 3. The previous record holder was a 16-13 19-inning game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets from 1985, which Phillies center fielder Lenny Dykstra played in as a member of the Mets. Coincidentally, the Braves and Mets played their marathon on July 4 in to the 5th. Perhaps there is something about this time of year.
"I've never been through anything like this," said Williams, who had his family in town and in attendance for the first game. His family left well before his shining moment at the plate. "I stayed because I had to."
It's a good thing he did.
Did You Know?
The San Diego Padres had veteran reliever Roger Mason on their roster when the double header was played. He had appeared in 32 games before the double header and he pitched 1.2 innings between his two appearances in the double header. Perhaps the Phillies liked what they saw because they acquired him via trade on July 3, just hours after the double header had been completed. He made his Phillies debut on July 4 in the same weekend series against the Padres.