We're officially in the dog days of summer, as another Philadelphia Phillies season rolls on and becomes part of our collective memory banks as fans. This seems as good a time as any to dip into the treasure chest and pull out one of my old scorecards. In this case, let's see what the Phils were up to 19 years ago today, on July 1, 2004.
Just about halfway through the inaugural season of Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies are tied for first in the NL East, coming in with a record of 40-36. Their opponent on this night will be the Montreal Expos, who are very bad. This is the finale of a 4-game set, with the Phillies having taken two of the first three as Randy Wolf takes the mound for the home club.
A near-capacity crowd of 43,246 is settling into their seats, and — ok, home run, as Brad Wilkerson leads off the game with a bomb. It's one of 13 home runs and 40 RBI that Wilkerson will collect in his career against the Phillies, easily the most he'd notch against any team in both categories. The Phillies, however, load the bases in the bottom of the first against Montreal starter Scott Downs. They plate a run to tie the game on an RBI groundout by Jim Thome, but Pat Burrell rolls into a double play to end any further threat, and it's 1-1 after one inning.
Nothing happens in the second inning, but the Expos put up a 3-spot on Wolf in the top of the third, and it's 4-1. Not looking good for the home team. But that's when the Phillies break out the lumber. A one-out single by Bobby Abreu scores Jimmy Rollins. After a double by Thome, Burrell singles to bring home two more runs, and we're all tied once again. David Bell continues the hit parade, and then up steps Mike Lieberthal with two men on. Lieby blasts one to left, a 3-run home run, and the Phillies are up 7-4 to send Downs to the showers.
Wolf mows 'em down in the fourth, then the Phillies tack on a run against reliever Sun-Woo Kim courtesy of an RBI from Burrell. Things stay at 8-4 until the bottom of the sixth, which is when the Philies plate two more runs after Lieberthal doubles home Burrell and then Randy Wolf "helps his own cause" by singling in Bell. Wolf ends up going seven mostly strong innings, and he departs with the 10-4 lead, thanks to the hitfest that saw every Phils starter record a base-knock.
The bullpen takes over, and aside from Jose Vidro dinging Roberto Hernandez (the Phils were his 6th stop out of the 10 eventual teams he'd play for) for a solo homer, things are pretty uneventful for the last few frames as the Phillies win 10-5. The Phils, of course, would go on to a good season in their new home, although they'd fall six games short of a playoff bid. The Expos stunk it up to the tune of a 67-95 record, and this would be the last time I'd glimpse them in person, as they became the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season was done. Since then, I remain annoyed that there's another red team in the NL East.