The Phillies have been in existence since 1883. In that time, they have lost an astounding 11,000 games. No other team has more than 10,659 losses all time.
The worst of that came from 1918-1948 when the Phillies had only 1 winning season (1932). They didn’t even win 80 games that season!
Still, Phillies fans aren’t too keen on losing and there’s one game that every Phillies fan would take as the 11,001 loss in franchise history.
2011 Game 162
Now on its surface, this game had a boatload of positives for the Phillies.
The Phillies suffered an 8-game losing streak before rebounding for a 4-game win streak to head into the playoffs. Game 162 was also a crazy back and forth affair. It was weird enough that Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, and Vance Worley all pitched in the game for no more than 3 innings.
Much weirder is the way the Phillies came back to win the game. Craig Kimbrel, 2011 Rookie of the Year, 2011 NL Saves leader, and the main event of the Braves’ bullpen three-headed dragon had a straight 2 ERA coming into the game with 46 saves.
After the other 2 dragon heads, Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny venters, recorded holds in relief of Braves’ ace Tim Hudson, Kimbrel came into the game in what everyone thought was a fait accompli of a save.
Instead a Placido Polanco single, Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins walks, and a Chase Utley sac fly led to Kimbrel’s 8th blown save.
The Phillies would go on to win in 13 innings off of Hunter Pence singling in Brian Schneider, passing the 1976 and 1977 Phillies for the winningest team of all time with 102 wins.
That extra-inning win was part of what many refer to as the best night in baseball history.
But it wasn’t the Phillies winning game 102 that made the night. It was the Braves and Red Sox having the worst collapses in baseball history, giving way to the Rays and Cardinals.
The latter would prove costly to the Phillies. In fact, it would lead to the worst game in Phillies history.
NLDS Game 5
Any Phillies fan know what happened here. It’s honestly still too painful for me to put into words what happened. So instead, here’s the entire game. Watch at your own risk Phillies fans.
I still feel sick to my stomach at the mention of the Chris Carpenter.
This was the World Series or bust Phillies backed by the Phour Aces. They were destined to head back to greatness after failing against the Yankees and Giants.
Everything changed after this moment. Roy Halladay only had half of a good season left in the tank and Ryan Howard would never be the same.
2012 would signal the beginning of the end.
So then, we ask, “What if the Phillies lost that game 162?”. Well, there would’ve been a game 163 between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Neither Chris Carpenter or Tim Hudson would likely be available to pitch in this game. The likely matchup would instead be Jair Jurrjens (13-6 2.96 ERA) against Kyle Lohse (14-8 3.39 ERA).
Interestingly enough, this would be the first look either pitcher would get at the opposing teams in 2011. Although the pitching matchup favors the Braves, in 6 meetings in 2011 the Cardinals won 5 games.
Despite the outcome, things would definitely shift in the NLDS. In real world events, Kyle Lohse opened up the series. If he were to pitch game 163, that wouldn’t be the case.
Best case. Braves win game 163 and the Phillies steamroll them in the NLDS.
Worst case. Cardinals still win, but Ryan Howard’s Achilles tendon stays put.
Either way, 2012 becomes a much brighter year if Phillies lose game 162. If anything, we see less of Ty Wigginton. That’s worth at least 11,003 loses.
Phillies fans would 100% take one loss for another chance at the World Series in 2011.
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports