This day in 1993: Phillies let one slip away in Cincinnati

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.

Fresh off an 18-1 bombardment of the expansion Colorado Rockies, the Phillies continued their road trip in Cincinnati and ran out of steam on the mound. The Cincinnati Reds scored three runs in the eighth inning to flip a probable victory for the Fightins in to a bitter 6-4 loss.

The game was a back-and-forth tile from the start, with the Phillies getting a sacrifice fly from John Kruk to score Mickey Morandini and a quick 1-0 lead for starter Curt Schilling. The Reds took their first lead of the game two innings later when a Randy Milligan single to left field picked up two runs off of Schilling.

The Phillies tied it in the top of the fourth inning off a Milt Thompson grounder and they took the lead in the sixth inning with two runs for a 4-2 lead. Schilling pitched two more innings but a Reggie Sanders solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning cut the Phillies lead to 4-3. Schilling would leave the game with the lead when Larry Andersen took over in the eighth inning, but the veteran reliever struggled immediately.

Andersen started things off by walking Milligan — replaced by Juan Samuel as a pinch runner — and serving up a single to Sanders. With the pressure on, Andersen got caught and was charged with a balk to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Catcher Darren Daulton argued the call and was ejected from the game, so the Phillies brought Todd Pratt out to finish the game behind home plate. After the sudden lineup change and heat of the moment passed, Andersen's struggles continued. Andersen's 2-2 pitch to Joe Oliver was singled to tie the game and chase Andersen from the game. In his place was David West, who did not fare all that much better. West allowed an inherited run to score from third and he walked Barry Larkin with the bases loaded to force home another run.

Down two runs in the ninth inning, the Phillies made it interesting. Lenny Dykstra walked on four pitches against Ron Dibble to lead off the inning but was the victim of a ground out off the bat of Mickey Morandini. With Morandini at first and just one out though, there was still life. John Kruk and Dave Hollins each walked in the following a-bats to load the bases with just the one out but the Phillies were unable to convert on the opportunity. Pratt flied to right field, shallow enough to keep Morandini from attempting to score from third, and Jim Eisenreich grounded out to first base on a 2-1 pitch to end the ballgame with the bases loaded.

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