I wrote some great stuff about the 1994 Phillies and I wanted to repost it here.
The Phillies were not out of contention by August of 1994.
They were 14 games behind the Braves in the Wild Card as 1994 was the first year the teams from the NL were split up into 3 divisions.
The Expos were dominant 20 games ahead of the Phillies, yet they were on pace for 105 games and who knows if they were going to finish with that many wins.
The Braves were on pace for 97 wins and that would have been very high for a wild card team, so to say the Phillies did not have a chance to grab 93 wins and possibly be the Wild Card is innacurate and it does not give the 1994 Phillies the chance that they deserved.
Dykstra, Kruk, Hollins & Dutch were our 4 best players in 1994 and they all missed over 30 games.
With a record of 54-61 the Phillies were 7 games under .500 yet they had scored 23 more runs than their opponent.
Not only that the Phillies were 51-53 on July 30th, and that is when talks began to develop were the players knew the strike was inevitable.
So any baseball that was played in August was basically meaningless because all the players knew the strike could not be avoided.
So with the 1994 Phillies at 51-53 on July 30th, and the 2010 Phillies at 48-46 on July 21th it is wrong to say that the 1994 Phillies did not have a chance to defend their NL title.
The 2010 Phillies finished 97-65 so they went 49-19 over the last 68 games.
If the 1994 Phillies put up similiar numbers they would have had a legitimate chance at getting the Wild Card.
So your statement that the 1994 Phillies not having a chance to be NL champs not holding water, doesn’t hold water.
Not only was Danny Jackson our best pitcher he was having a pheonminal year, and with Curt Schilling on your pitching staff anything is possible in the postseason.
And with talent such as Ricky Jordan, Milt Thompson and Billy Hatcher, with Mariano Duncan and our Big 4 getting back the 1994 Phillies had a chance.
MLB took that chance away from the 1994 Phillies, just like a full 162 game season was taken away from the 1981 Phillies.
So with 1980 & 1993 as the two best years in Phillies franchise history up until 2008, MLB took the chance to defend our NL title in a 162 game season away from our two best teams and that is a fact that cannot be disputed.
And now that I look at it all the 1994 Phillies had to do was finish 42-16 it would have given them a 93-69 record and definetly would have given them a chance at the Wild Card.
Remember, the 1993 Phillies were one of the most resilient teams in franchise history and they never gave up. They defeated the Braves and it would have been possible for them to get a better record than the Braves in 1994.
And while the Phillies did go a lackluster 6-9 in August of 1994, I’m telling you that August 1994 baseball was meaningless and the players knew that because it was about that time that the players knew the strike was inevitable.
With a proper 162 game schedule the 1994 Phillies DEFINETLY would have had a legitamate chance to grab the Wild Card and defend their NL title.
MLB baseball took that chance away, just like MLB took that chance away from the 1981 Phillies.
And not only did they take the chance of our two best teams away to defend their NL title.
They also robbed Schmitty of a possible Triple Crown season in 1981.
Schmitty was 1st in HR with 31 as the Hawk Andre Dawson was a distant 2nd with 24. Schmidt was 1st in RBI with 91, George Foster was 2nd with 90, and Bil Buckner was a distant 3rd with 75.
All Schmidt had to do was climb over Dusty Baker(.320) Petey (.325) and Mad Dog Bill Madlock at (.341) and while that was no easy task it certainly was possible as Schmidt was having a moster year as far as batting average goes.
Here Schmitty was World Series Champ, MVP, coming of a monster year 48 121 numbers and having an even bigger year in 1981 with a .316 average when Schmidt never higher than .293 in his career.
Not only that Schmidt was leading the league in runs, walks, total bases and IBB as well.
And Mike Schmidt not only could have won the Triple Crown in the NL in 1981 he could have won it in all of baseball.
MLB took that chance away from Schmidt.
From 1905-1995 MLB went on strike for around a total of 126 games.
Yet 100 of those 126 games directly affected the two best Phillies teams to properly defend their World Series & NL Titles.
That is 90 years of only going on strike for 126 games, yet the two best Phillies teams had to deal with missing 100 of those 126 games.
Nobody picked the 1980 Phillies to win, and nobody picked the 1993 Phillies to go to a Game 6 of the WS either.
So while the 1980 & 1993 Phillies did things that nobody expected and something thet was not previously accomplished in over 100 years of team history. The 1981 & 1994 Phillies did something as well.
Become two of the best teams that never really got the 162 game chances they deserved.
Possibly the two best teams in baseball history to not get the chance they deserve.
With respect of course to the 1994 Expos who never got to the World Series and to Tony Gwynn who was at a .394 clip in mid August.