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Series Wrapup

Story

The National League featured two exciting pennant races that went right down to the wire in 1993.  In the N.L. East, the Philadelphia Phillies ended Pittsburgh’s three-year reign as division champions by holding off a furious charge by the Montreal Expos to clinch their first Eastern Division title in a decade.  The Phillies finished the regular season with a record of 97-65, three games ahead of the second-place Expos.  The St. Louis Cardinals came in third, 10 games back, while the Pirates, who lost Barry Bonds to free-agency during the offseason, slipped to fifth in the division, 22 games off the pace.  

Philadelphia finished first in the East despite placing just sixth in the league rankings with a team ERA of 3.95.  No Phillies pitcher won more than 16 games.  However, all five members of the starting rotation compiled double-digit win totals.  Curt Schilling and Tommy Greene were the club’s two most effective starters.  Schilling finished 16-7 with a team-leading 186 strikeouts.  Greene posted an outstanding 16-4 record and a solid 3.42 ERA.  Meanwhile, Mitch Williams anchored the bullpen, placing among the league leaders with 43 saves.

The Phillies’ greatest strength lay in their powerful offense, which topped the senior circuit with 877 runs scored and a .351 team on-base percentage, while also placing second with a .274 team batting average and a .426 team slugging average.  Catcher Darren Daulton hit 24 homers, drove in 105 runs, walked 117 times, and compiled a .392 on-base percentage.  Third baseman Dave Hollins hit 18 home runs, knocked in 93 runs, and scored 104 others.  First baseman John Kruk drove in 85 runs, batted .316, drew 111 bases on balls, posted a .430 on-base percentage, and crossed the plate 100 times.  Centerfielder Lenny Dykstra earned a second-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting by hitting 19 home runs, batting .305, compiling a .420 on-base percentage, and topping the circuit with 143 runs scored, 194 hits, and 129 walks.     

While Philadelphia replaced Pittsburgh as Eastern Division champions, the San Francisco Giants came extremely close to dethroning the Atlanta Braves in the West.  After finishing the previous campaign with a record of only 72-90, the Giants held onto first place in the division for much of the summer before finally being passed by the Braves in early September.  However, led by the booming bat of Barry Bonds, San Francisco surged again in the season’s final weeks to move into a first-place tie with Atlanta heading into play on the final day of the year.  

Unfortunately for the Giants, their Cinderella story ended unhappily.  The Braves defeated the Colorado Rockies by a score of 5-3 in their season finale, while the Dodgers routed the Giants 12-1.  The Braves concluded the campaign with a record of 104-58 that left them one game ahead of the Giants in the final standings.  San Francisco’s mark of 103-59 surpassed that of every other major league team, and it represented one of the best records ever posted by a team that failed to advance to the postseason.

Although he received a considerable amount of help from his teammates, Barry Bonds served as the driving force behind San Francisco’s huge turnaround.  Bonds captured league MVP honors for the third time in four seasons by batting .336, scoring 129 runs, stealing 29 bases, drawing 126 bases on balls, and topping the circuit with 46 home runs, 123 runs batted in, 365 total bases, a .458 on-base percentage, and a .677 slugging average.  Matt Williams, Billy Swift, John Burkett, and Rod Beck also contributed significantly to the success of the team over the course of the season.  Williams hit 38 homers, drove in 110 runs, scored 105 others, and batted .294.  Swift and Burkett combined to win 43 games.  Beck compiled a 2.16 ERA and finished second in the league with 48 saves.

However, Atlanta’s exceptional pitching proved to be too much for the Giants to overcome in the end.  The Braves led the National League with a team ERA of 3.14, and their starting rotation featured an outstanding quartet of hurlers.  Greg Maddux, who Atlanta acquired via free-agency during the offseason, earned N.L. Cy Young honors by going 20-10, with a league-leading 2.36 ERA, eight complete games, and 267 innings pitched.  Tom Glavine finished 22-6 with a 3.20 ERA.  Steve Avery went 18-6 with an ERA of 2.94.  John Smoltz won 15 games and led the staff with 208 strikeouts.

Atlanta also featured one of the league’s more potent offenses, placing third in the rankings with 767 runs scored and topping the circuit with 169 home runs.  David Justice finished second in the league with 40 home runs and 120 runs batted in.  Speedy centerfielder Otis Nixon stole 47 bases.  Shortstop Jeff Blauser batted .305 and scored 110 runs.  Terry Pendleton drove in 84 runs and scored 81 others.  Ron Gant placed among the league leaders with 36 home runs, 117 runs batted in, and 113 runs scored.

Although the Braves and Giants clearly established themselves as the class of the N.L. West over the course of the season, two of the division’s top performers played for other teams.  Dodger catcher Mike Piazza hit 35 home runs, knocked in 112 runs, and batted .318, en route to earning N.L. Rookie of the Year honors.  Colorado’s Andres Galarraga also had a big year, hitting 22 home runs, driving in 98 runs, and leading the league with a .370 batting average.  

The Braves entered their NLCS matchup with the Phillies as prohibitive favorites to repeat as National League champions.  Philadelphia had other ideas, though, coming back from an early 2-1 deficit to polish off Atlanta in six games.  Curt Schilling earned NLCS MVP honors even though he failed to gain a decision in either of his two starts.  Schilling struck out 19 batters in 16 innings of work, allowed just 11 hits, and compiled an exceptional 1.69 ERA.

Philadelphia subsequently lost the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games, falling victim to a Series-clinching three-run homer by Joe Carter in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Six.  Phillies closer Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams surrendered the blast, after similarly being victimized by the Blue Jays during their 15-14 come-from-behind win in Game Four.  Lenny Dykstra starred in defeat for the Phillies, batting .348, hitting four homers, driving in eight runs, and scoring nine others.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• May 27 – Dale Murphy announced his retirement, just two home runs shy of 400 for his career.

• September 27 - Randy Myers of the Chicago Cubs became the first National League pitcher to record 50 saves in a season by securing a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Myers concluded the campaign with 53 saves.

• Montreal’s Marquis Grissom hit 19 home runs, knocked in 95 runs, scored 104 others, batted .298, and stole 53 bases.

• Cardinal Gregg Jeffries drove in 83 runs, scored 89 others, stole 46 bases, and finished third in the league with a .342 batting average.

• On September 7, Mark Whiten of the Cardinals hit four home runs and knocked in 12 runs, tying Jim Bottomley's all-time single-game RBI record.

• Chicago’s Sammy Sosa joined the 30/30 club by hitting 33 homers and stealing 36 bases.

• Lee Smith became the first hurler to collect 400 career saves when he finished the season with 401.

Seasons of the National League

1876 · 1877 · 1878 · 1879 · 1880 · 1881 · 1882 · 1883 · 1884 · 1885 · 1886 · 1887 · 1888 · 1889 · 1890 · 1891 · 1892 · 1893 · 1894 · 1895 · 1896 · 1897 · 1898 · 1899 · 1900 · 1901 · 1902 · 1903 · 1904 · 1905 · 1906 · 1907 · 1908 · 1909 · 1910 · 1911 · 1912 · 1913 · 1914 · 1915 · 1916 · 1917 · 1918 · 1919 · 1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929 · 1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939 · 1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949 · 1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959 · 1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969 · 1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979 · 1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989 · 1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999 · 2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
ATL 2252 5515 767 1444 712 .237 239 29 169 125 48 2248 .364 .363 .774 127 50 73
CHN 2268 5627 738 1521 706 .222 259 32 161 100 43 2327 .351 .322 .712 131 42 67
CIN 2236 5517 722 1457 669 .200 261 28 137 142 59 2185 .324 .270 .660 104 66 63
COL 2350 5517 758 1507 704 .191 278 59 142 146 90 2329 .300 .268 .615 125 52 70
FLO 2223 5475 581 1356 542 .171 197 31 94 117 56 1897 .280 .239 .565 122 43 58
HOU 2159 5464 716 1459 656 .229 288 37 138 103 60 2235 .329 .316 .682 125 47 82
LAN 2260 5588 675 1458 639 .237 234 28 130 126 61 2138 .330 .332 .700 105 47 107
MON 2323 5493 732 1410 682 .179 270 36 122 228 56 2118 .282 .271 .596 95 50 100
NYN 2175 5448 672 1350 632 .197 228 37 158 79 50 2126 .284 .277 .588 108 47 89
PHI 2204 5685 877 1555 811 .244 297 51 156 91 32 2422 .365 .321 .747 107 51 84
PIT 2244 5549 707 1482 664 .191 267 50 110 92 55 2179 .293 .272 .605 129 52 76
SDN 2353 5503 679 1386 633 .157 239 28 153 92 41 2140 .274 .234 .579 111 50 80
SFN 2231 5557 808 1534 759 .237 269 33 168 120 65 2373 .341 .359 .741 121 50 102
SLN 2292 5551 758 1508 724 .210 262 34 118 153 72 2192 .335 .287 .648 128 54 59

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
ATL 515 104 58 1456 1036 480 6015 1297 101 62.200 507 559 18 5 46 46 9
CHN 585 84 78 1451 905 470 6178 1514 153 69.970 673 739 8 2 56 43 21
CIN 537 73 89 1434 996 508 6218 1510 158 142.520 719 785 11 4 37 47 8
COL 615 67 95 1433 913 609 6471 1664 181 174.560 865 967 9 0 35 82 22
FLO 571 64 98 1440 945 598 6261 1437 135 80.250 664 724 4 1 48 85 20
HOU 486 85 77 1441 1056 476 6079 1363 117 57.820 559 630 18 10 42 60 12
LAN 508 81 81 1473 1043 567 6274 1406 103 57.850 573 662 17 6 36 47 20
MON 548 94 68 1457 934 521 6191 1369 119 95.870 574 682 8 0 61 46 12
NYN 459 59 103 1439 867 434 6151 1483 139 83.690 647 744 16 5 22 32 14
PHI 512 97 65 1471 1117 573 6360 1419 129 95.620 649 740 24 8 46 74 7
PIT 546 75 87 1444 832 485 6247 1557 153 118.850 766 806 12 4 34 55 11
SDN 559 61 101 1436 957 558 6267 1470 148 114.600 675 772 8 2 32 57 14
SFN 576 103 59 1457 982 442 6077 1385 168 91.740 587 636 4 2 50 33 18
SLN 585 87 75 1455 775 383 6196 1553 152 145.440 662 744 5 0 54 40 7

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
ATL 2510 7337 5420 1788 129 .984 17460 121 53 0 13
CHN 2718 7466 5388 1927 151 .963 17395 84 69 1.00 14
CIN 2654 7235 5416 1667 152 .962 17205 134 56 0 12
COL 2673 7371 5380 1795 196 .949 17177 119 56 1.00 11
FLO 2638 7302 5422 1732 148 .972 17284 118 51 0 29
HOU 2532 7257 5424 1687 146 .969 17301 110 42 0 7
LAN 2594 7449 5421 1876 152 .973 17662 129 66 0 15
MON 2753 7513 5472 1863 178 .976 17481 172 51 0 14
NYN 2560 7419 5417 1825 177 .969 17255 143 56 0 4
PHI 2622 7318 5593 1565 160 .935 17671 101 49 0 12
PIT 2707 7434 5452 1847 135 .942 17350 148 51 0 19
SDN 2749 7333 5491 1658 184 .959 17253 142 68 0 20
SFN 2589 7329 5453 1761 115 .962 17484 81 66 1.00 15
SLN 2613 7589 5466 1932 191 .957 17439 112 54 0 14

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Atlanta Braves 104 58 3884720 1 1036
San Francisco Giants 103 59 2606354 2 982
Houston Astros 85 77 2084618 3 1056
Los Angeles Dodgers 81 81 3170393 4 1043
Cincinnati Reds 73 89 2453232 5 996
Colorado Rockies 67 95 4483350 6 913
San Diego Padres 61 101 1375432 7 957

Central

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Philadelphia Philies 97 65 3137674 1 1117
Montreal Expos 94 68 1641437 2 934
St. Louis Cardinals 87 75 2844977 3 775
Chicago Cubs 84 78 2653763 4 905
Pittsburg Pirates 75 87 1650593 5 832
Florida Marlins 64 98 3064847 6 945
New York Mets 59 103 1873183 7 867

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Tagged:
1993 NLCS, 1993 World Series, Andres Galarraga, Atlanta Braves, Barry Bonds, Bill Swift, Curt Schilling, Dale Murphy, Darren Daulton, Dave Hollins, David Justice, Greg Maddux, Gregg Jefferies, Jeff Blauser, John Burkett, John Kruk, John Smoltz, Lee Smith, Lenny Dykstra, Mark Whiten, Marquis Grissom, Matt Williams, Mike Piazza, Mitch Williams, Otis Nixon, Philadelphia Phillies, Randy Myers, Rod Beck, Ron Gant, Sammy Sosa, San Francisco Giants, Steve Avery, Terry Pendleton, Tom Glavine, Tommy Greene

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