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35 in 2: the Last Time

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I was a little surprised to hear that it hasn't even been ten years since the Phillies last scored 35 runs over a two-game span, as they did Sunday and Monday with 15-6 and 20-5 wins. But the record book doesn't lie, and the team did just that on July 2-3, 1999 with two wins over the Cubs at Veterans Stadium, 14-1  and 21-8. 

Rookie lefty Randy Wolf took the win in the 14-1 victory  to improve to 4-0; I do remember that Wolf won his first five decisions before losing eight straight. Win number four was Wolf's best: he struck out 10 Cubs in eight innings, walking none and allowing just a solo home run to Jose Hernandez in throwing 108 pitches. (That one wasn't bad; other starts for the 22 year-old that summer in which he threw 120, 121, 133 and 119 were. Thanks, Terry Francona.) But Wolf wasn't the story; that was the offense. Five Phils had multi-hit games, including Doug Glanville (3-5, HR, 4 RBI to raise his average to .316), Bobby Abreu (3-4, BB, 3 runs, .333 for the season) and Scott Rolen, who hit two home runs (16 and 17 for the year) and drove in four. David Doster added a three-run homer. 

As with the 2008 Phils' last two games against Houston and Colorado, the '99 team crammed the bulk of their runs into about nine innings over the two contests. They scored their last 12 runs in the first game from the fifth through eighth innings, then erupted early in the 21-8 victory  for 16 runs in the first four innings--28 runs in eight innings--to make life relatively easy for Paul Byrd, who ran his record to 11-4 despite allowing seven runs in five innings. (Byrd was relieved by Joe Grahe, Steve Schrenk and Jim Poole. I'm proud to say I vaguely remember all three guys.) The Phils scored 8 in the first inning, led by Ron Gant's double and triple and back to back homers from Rico Brogna and Mike Lieberthal, his 18th of the season. They added 7 more in the 4th, as Gant and Abreu drew back to back RBI walks and Rolen followed with a grand slam, his 18th of the year. Marlon Anderson added a homer later in the game. 

The blowout improved the Phillies to 42-37 on the year, though they still trailed the division-leading Braves by 7 games. The team reached its high-water mark for the season on August 6, with an extra-inning win over Arizona to improve to 61-48; it was mostly downhill from there, however, as Francona's club lost 33 of its next 42 games and ultimately finished at 77-85.