Sully Baseball Podcast – Previewing the World Series and Honoring Dusty Baker – October 22, 2017



The Astros chucked away the tyranny of the save and won a pennant along the way. It was the greatest moment in Astros history.

The World Series is set up and the Dodgers and Astros have tons of feel good storylines on both sides.

Meanwhile, Dusty Baker was fired and I give him credit where it is due.
October is heating up on this Episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle

The save became an official stat in 1969. Teams in the post season initially played to the situation instead of using the closer in all close 9th innings. But as saves began to pile up (especially after Tony LaRussa began using Dennis Eckersley one inning at time) and the prices of an innings closers sky rocketed, managers seemed to manage by the book and stick the closer in no matter what.

Every once in a while, a team will have multiple pitchers record a save in a post season. It does not happen often, but they pop up. Mike Montgomery did not have a career save in the majors or minors until Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Not a bad time to get your first one.

So here are all the teams to use more than one pitcher to save a game since 1969.

Teams with multiple pitchers with post season saves since 1969
1969 New York Mets – Ron Taylor (WS), Nolan Ryan (WS)
1970 Baltimore Orioles – Pete Richert (WS), Dick Hall (WS)
1970 Cincinnati Reds – Clay Carroll (NLCS), Don Gullett (NLCS)
1972 Oakland A’s – Vida Blue (ALCS), Rollie Fingers (WS)
1972 Cincinnati Reds – Clay Carroll (WS), Jack Billingham (WS), Tom Hall (WS)
1973 New York Mets – Tug McGraw (NLCS, WS), George Stone (WS), Ray Sadecki (WS)
1973 Oakland A’s – Rollie Fingers (ALCS, WS), Darold Knowles (WS)
1974 Oakland A’s – Rollie Fingers (ALCS, WS), Catfish Hunter (WS)
1975 Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Borbon (NLCS), Rawly Eastwick (WS), Will McEnaney (WS)
1976 Cincinnati Reds – Pedro Borbon (NLCS), Will McEnaney (WS)
1978 New York Yankees – Ken Clay (ALCS), Rich Gossage (ALCS)
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates – Don Robinson (NLCS), Kent Tekulve (WS)
1980 Philadelphia Phillies – Tug McGraw (NLCS, WS), Ron Reed (WS)
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers – Bob Welch (NLCS), Steve Howe (WS)
1982 Milwaukee Brewers – Pete Ladd (ALCS), Jim Slaton (ALCS), Bob McClure (WS)
1983 Baltimore Orioles – Sammy Stewart (ALCS), Tippy Martinez (WS)
1984 San Diego Padres – Rich Gossage (NLCS), Craig Lefferts (WS)
1985 St. Louis Cardinals – Ken Dayley (NLCS), Todd Worrell (WS), Jeff Lahti (WS)
1986 Boston Red Sox – Calvin Schraldi (ALCS, WS), Bob Stanley (WS)
1987 Minnesota Twins – Juan Berenguer (ALCS), Jeff Reardon (ALCS, WS)
1987 St. Louis Cardinals – Ken Dayley (NLCS, WS), Todd Worrell (NLCS, WS)
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers – Alejandro Pena (NLCS), Orel Hershiser (NLCS), Brian Holton (NLCS), Jay Howell (WS)
1990 Cincinnati Reds – Randy Myers (NLCS, WS), Rob Dibble (NLCS)
1990 Pittsburgh Pirates – Ted Power (NLCS), Bob Patterson (NLCS)
1990 Oakland Athletics – Dennis Eckersley (ALCS), Rick Honeycutt (ALCS)
1991 Pittsburgh Pirates – Bob Walk (NLCS), Roger Mason (NLCS)
1992 Toronto Blue Jays – Tom Henke (ALCS, WS), Mike Timlin (WS)
1992 Atlanta Braves – Jeff Reardon (NLCS), Mike Stanton (WS)
1993 Philadelphia Phillies – Mitch Williams (NLCS), Larry Andersen (NLCS)
1995 Atlanta Braves – Mark Wohlers (DS, NLCS, WS) Greg McMichael (NLCS), Pedro Borbon (WS)
1995 Seattle Mariners – Norm Charlton (DS, ALCS), Bill Risley (DS)
1996 Baltimore Orioles – Randy Myers (DS), Armando Benitez (ALCS)
1997 Cleveland Indians – Jose Mesa (DS, ALCS, WS), Brian Anderson (WS)
1998 San Diego Padres – Trevor Hoffman (DS, NLCS), Donne Wall (NLCS)
1999 Atlanta Braves – Kevin Millwood (DS), John Rocker (DS, NLCS), John Smoltz (NLCS)
1999 New York Yankees – Mariano Rivera (DS, ALCS, WS), Ramiro Mendoza (ALCS)
2000 New York Mets – John Franco (DS), Armando Benitez (NLCS, WS)
2003 Florida Marlins – Ugueth Urbina (DS, NLCS, WS), Braden Looper (NLCS)
2003 Chicago Cubs – Joe Borowski (DS), Mike Remlinger (NLCS)
2003 Boston Red Sox – Derek Lowe (DS), Scott Williamson (ALCS)
2005 Chicago White Sox – Bobby Jenks (DS, WS), Mark Buehrle (WS)
2007 Colorado Rockies – Manny Corpas (DS, NLCS), Ryan Speier (NLCS)
2008 Tampa Bay Rays – Dan Wheeler (DS), David Price (ALCS)
2009 Philadelphia Phillies – Brad Lidge (DS, NLCS), Ryan Madson (WS)
2010 Texas Rangers – Darren Oliver (ALCS), Neftali Feliz (WS)
2011 Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde (DS, ALCS), Phil Coke (ALCS)
2012 Detroit Tigers – Jose Valverde (DS), Phil Coke (ALCS)
2014 San Francisco Giants – Santiago Castilla (DS, NLCS, WS), Hunter Strickland (DS), Madison Bumgarner (WS)
2015 Texas Rangers – Sam Dyson (DS), Ross Ohlendorf (DS)
2016 Los Angeles Dodgers – Kenley Jansen (DS, NLCS), Clayton Kershaw (DS)
2016 Cleveland Indians – Cody Allen (DS, ALCS), Andrew Miller (ALCS)
2016 Chicago Cubs – Aroldis Chapman (DS, NLCS, WS), Mike Montgomery (WS)
2017 New York Yankees – Aroldis Chapman (DS, ALCS), Tommy Kahnle (DS)
2017 Houston Astros – Ken Giles (DS, ALCS), Lancs McCullers Jr. (ALCS)

John Felske 1987 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for October 22, 2017

IMG_2129If being the Phillies manager was a game of musical chairs in the late 1970’s through the mid 1980’s, then John Felske was there when the music stopped.

The Phillies, the least successful organization of any pre expansion franchise, had their greatest run between 1976 and 1983. After going from 1903 to 1975 with a grand total of two first place finishes, they went on a tear.

The team won their first ever World Series title in 1980 and won another pennant in 1983 (just the fourth trip to the World Series in team history.) They also won NL East Division Titles in 1976, 1977 and 1978 and played in the 1981 NL East Division Series. After going literally decades between pennants (1915 and 1950 were the only previous ones) the Phillies suddenly became October regulars.

Those playoff teams were managed by several different managers. Danny Ozark managed the early Division Winners. Dallas Green piloted the 1980 World Champs and the 1981 Division Series appearance.

After Green left for the Cubs, Pat Corrales took over but when they failed to win the Division in 1982 and got off to a sluggish start in 1983, General Manager Paul Owens took over as manager and they won the pennant.

Owens stepped down as manager after 1984. The reins were handed over to John Felske, a career minor league player with  few cameos in the majors.

The Chicago native was never much of a hitter, even in the minors. But he played for 11 seasons in both the Cubs and Brewers organizations, bouncing between Double A and Triple A. He played 4 games with the 1968 Cubs, 37 games with the 1972 Brewers and 13 with the 1973 Brewers. After that season, the 32 year old Felske became a manager in the Milwaukee system.

He managed in Newark, Thetford Mines, Berkshire, Spokane and Vancouver in the Milwaukee farm before joining the Toronto Blue Jays coaching staff in 1980.

In 1982, he found himself managing the Reading Phillies and in 1983 piloted the Portland Beavers, the Phillies top farm club. That earned him a promotion to the majors to coach for Paul Owens’ 1984 squad. When Owens left, the managing job was his.

The 1985 Phillies was an ill fitting group of veterans reminding fans of the glory years and young players who weren’t quite clicking. Sure Mike Schmidt was still good for 33 homers and Von Hayes was still a solid hitter and a holdover from 1983.

But veteran Garry Maddox was fading, young infielders Steve Jeltz and Rick Schu were not contributing and former Cy Young winner John Denny took a step backwards. Plus Steve Carlton was no longer the ace he once was.

Things improved in 1986, however. The team had a winning record, 86-75. Mike Schmidt was the MVP of the National League. The team had power and speed, getting both from Von Hayes and Juan Samuel. Milt Thompson, Gary Redus and Glenn Wilson formed a productive outfield.

Steve Carlton played his final games with the Phillies that year as he was released and signed with the Giants. Young Bruce Ruffin took his place and showed some promise.

Steve Bedrosian emerged as the bullpen closer and along side a bunch of veterans, Kent Tekulve, Tom Hume and Dan Schatzeder, the relievers became a strength of the team.

Not a lot of people noticed the solid season in Philadelphia because the Mets ran away with the Division. Most of the winning came after a sluggish start. They were 14-22 on May 22, 11 1/2 games in back of the Mets. They went 72-53 the rest of the way.

They would finish in second place, 21 1/2 games behind the Mets. If there was a wild card in 1986, they would have finished tied with the Reds in that category. There was no wild card then, so the 1986 Phillies went largely forgotten.

Any hope for the Phillies to build upon the positive steps taken in 1986 were quickly dashed in 1987. Felske and company got off to a 29-32 start. The mighty Mets were barely over .500 but the Phillies could not take advantage of them. They were in 5th place seeing the Cardinals take the lead.

Felske had his chance and the Phillies replaced him with Lee Elia. The glory days in Philadelphia were officially over. The team did not contend again for years. Between the 1983 pennant and the 2007 Division Title, the Phillies saw one October, the one and done 1993 pennant.

Lots of great things happened for the Phillies between 1976 and 1983. But the players got old, the next generation did not take over and poor John Felske was there when the music stopped.