Braves batter Phils, 14-3, tie NL series McGriff's shot begins 16-hit, 4-HR assault

October 08, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Source: IBM Tale of the TapeStaff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Atop City Hall here, the statue of that noted baseball fan, William Penn, has been adorned this week with a giant Phillies cap.

Billy, as he has come to be known by native Philadelphians, surely had friendlier dealings with the Native Americans of his day than the Phillies had last night in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves teed off on Phillies pitching for a playoff-record number of runs and a franchise-playoff record of four homers en route to a 14-3 drubbing to tie the series at one game each.

Third baseman Terry Pendleton led the 16-hit charge with a 3-for-5 night that included a home run and three RBI. Jeff Blauser, Fred McGriff and Damon Berryhill all joined the home run derby for the Braves, and leadoff man Otis Nixon went 3-for-4.

The 14 Atlanta runs set a record for most in any playoff game in either league, and the Braves' six hits on six straight at-bats in the third tied an NL playoff record.

The series now shifts to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium for the next three games of the series, beginning tomorrow afternoon.

McGriff's homer, a two-run, 438-foot rocket in the first inning that was only the seventh ball hit into the Vet's upper deck in right, was of such majesty that it actually seemed to inspire the Braves, who had been shut down Wednesday in 10 innings, 4-3.

"When I got in the dugout, Deion [Sanders] and the other guys were saying, 'Did you see where that landed?' " said McGriff. "It was a huge game for us. We didn't want to go down 2-0 going back to Atlanta."

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said: "That was the key hit of the night. Any time you get something like that, it gives you a big lift."

Atlanta starter Greg Maddux, a leading candidate for NL Cy Young Award honors, was superb, giving up five hits and two runs over seven innings, striking out eight.

The only blemish on Maddux's record was a two-run homer to Phillies third baseman Dave Hollins, but that came after the Braves led 8-0.

"I think we all knew we had to win. We didn't want to be down 2-0," said Maddux. "I tried to treat it like a normal game to take the pressure off. The big lead felt great. There were a number of games this season where I had big leads. I really enjoy that."

Maddux's counterpart, Philadelphia starter Tommy Greene, a former Atlanta prospect, washed out in his first-ever postseason start, surrendering six runs in the third inning and losing his first start of the year at the Vet, which had begun to empty by the top of the seventh.

"It comes down to making the pitches and I didn't do that tonight," said Greene, who shut the Braves out on three hits on Sept. 24 here. "The last time I faced them, I was down in the zone. Tonight, I was up, up, up and they took advantage of the situation. I wasn't nervous at all. They just had my number tonight."

Philadelphia manager Jim Fregosi said: "He just didn't throw the ball well. I had the feeling he might have had a bit of trouble concentrating against his old team. His changeup and fastball just weren't there."

Greene's ineffectiveness allowed the 62,436 who piled into the Vet to see an awesome display of Atlanta's power, which was spread throughout the attack.

The five batters who form the core of the Braves' order -- Blauser, Ron Gant, McGriff, David Justice and Pendleton -- combined for 10 hits, three homers and nine RBI, a stark contrast to Wednesday's loss, when Phillies starter Curt Schilling kept that portion of the order largely in check.

"It's an uncomfortable team to pitch against," said Cox. "I don't think Tommy had his best stuff. The ball was jumping out during batting practice tonight after not going out last night."

In the playoffs for the third consecutive year, the Braves showed no concern after losing the opener.

"We've been here before," said Nixon, who reached base to start the first and third. "Any good club will tell you nothing is over until it's all said and done."

Braves-Phillies scoring

Braves first: Nixon walked. Blauser struck out. On passed ball, Nixon to second. Gant grounded out, second baseman Morandini to first baseman Kruk, Nixon to third. McGriff homered to right on 0-0 count, Nixon and McGriff scored. Justice flied out to right. 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on. Braves 2, Phillies 0.

Braves third: Nixon singled to left. Nixon caught stealing, catcher Daulton to shortstop Stocker. Blauser homered to left on 1-2 count. Gant doubled off left-field wall. McGriff singled to right, Gant to third. Justice walked, McGriff to second. Pendleton singled to right, Gant and McGriff scored, Justice to third. Thigpen relieved Greene. Berryhill homered to right on 2-2 count, Justice, Pendleton and Berryhill scored. Lemke struck out. Maddux grounded out, second baseman Morandini to first baseman Kruk. 6 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on. Braves 8, Phillies 0.

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