Philadelphia Phillies Retro Scorecard Recap: September 27, 2004

PHILADELPHIA - Panoramic view of Citizens Bank Park (Photo by: Jerry Driendl/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - Panoramic view of Citizens Bank Park (Photo by: Jerry Driendl/Getty Images) /

For my final look back at old Philadelphia Phillies scorecards this year, I’ve pulled one out from 18 years ago today, during the final week of the 2004 season. It was the team’s inaugural campaign at Citizens Bank Park, and they were still hanging to a thin shred of their playoff hopes.

It’s a Monday night in South Philadelphia on September 27, 2004 as the Pittsburgh Pirates roll into town for their first ever appearance at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies are coming in hot, winners of six of their last seven games, while the Pirates haven’t won on the road since September 1. What could go wrong?

The Philadelphia Phillies faced a critical game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 27, 2004.

Eric Milton is on the hill for the Phils on this night, while Oliver Perez goes for the Pirates. Yes, the same Oliver Perez who was still an active MLB player in 2022. The bats are quiet for both teams through three innings, but the Buccos show some life in the fourth. Craig Wilson draws a one-out walk, and future Phil Ty Wigginton delivers a home run to center field to stake Pittsburgh to a 2-0 lead.

It might be enough for Perez, who is dealing.

He puts the Phillies down in order in the fourth. The Phils get two men on base in the fifth, but they can’t push any runs across. Then, things completely fall apart in the top of the sixth for Milton. After getting the first two men out, he surrenders a double to Wilson, intentionally walks the always dangerous Wigginton, and allows a two-run double to Tike Redman. He gets Jose Bautista (yes, the future 50-homer guy and then random Phil) to strike out swinging for the third time in the game to finally end the inning, but the damage is done. It’s 4-0, and the Phillies are not coming back.

Well, maybe they are, as Perez walks both Marlon Byrd and Placido Polanco to start the bottom of the sixth. Byrd comes home on a David Bell single to finally get the Fightins on the board. But the Phillies go down meekly after that and, yeah, they’re not coming back.

We get all the way to the ninth inning with the Pirates leading 4-1, and it’s time for a Todd Jones appearance out of the Phillies bullpen. It doesn’t go well, as he hits two batters and then allows a two-run single to Jack Wilson (no relation to Craig), and it’s a 6-1 contest. As expected, the Phillies do nothing in the bottom half, and this game is over.

The Phillies are officially eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, a technicality because it had been coming for a while, but still a painful situation as the club officially hits the 10-year mark of no playoff appearances. Sound familiar?

My main takeaway from this loss is anger at Larry Bowa for the cockamamie lineup he put together for a must-win game. With Perez, a lefty, on the mound for the Bucs, Bowa decided to go entirely right-handed. This meant no Chase Utley at second base, no Ryan Howard at first (Jim Thome was nursing an injury at the time and had already missed a few games), and even no Bobby Abreu, who appeared in 159 games that season but not this one. On this night, ol’ Larry decided to start Tomas Perez at first base and Jason Michaels in right, just begging for a loss.

Next. The case for, and against, keeping Rhys Hoskins. dark

I was finally done with him. And so were the Philadelphia Phillies, who canned Bowa shortly thereafter, before the end of the season. It was the same treatment that his predecessor, Terry Francona, had been given. Four seasons with nary a playoff appearance — you’re gone. A month later, the team would hire Charlie Manuel. The rest, they say, is history. And with that, I will see you next year for more of these retrospectives on the Philadelphia Phillies.