Philadelphia Phillies: What If Brad Lidge Had Started Game One?

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Yankees’ manager, in his second season at the helm, was confident that his team would beat the Phillies in the World Series.

The Phillies Were a Fast, Hustling Team

“Not that I’m underestimating these Phillies. My reports show they are a fast, hustling club and they have good pitching.

In fact, I respect their pitching more than anything else and if they do beat us it will be pitching alone that will turn the trick.

But we’re going to have some pretty good pitching too, and as I figure our club much the stronger at so many other points, I feel pretty sure that we’ll win.”

The Yankees Were the Favorites

The experts agreed, citing the Yankees’ solid pitching, outstanding long-ball power, and excellent defense. Almost every player on the roster had big-game experience.

Some National League players expressed the opinion that the Dodgers would be a more formidable opponent for the Yankees, and a few experts have given the Phillies less of a chance of winning than any team since the 1914 Boston Braves, who beat Connie Mack’s “invincible” Philadelphia Athletics.

The Phillies’ Game One Starter

The day before the first game, Phillies’ manager Eddie Sawyer announced that his starting pitcher would be the man who hadn’t started a game in more than two years, and who had made 74 relief appearances for the National League champions.

It was a sudden announcement that stunned the baseball world.

“Konstanty will start the first game.┬áThe decision was made in a conference just concluded among coaches Benny Bengough, Dupsty Cook and Cy Perkins, George Earnshaw, Jack Sanford, and myself.┬áKonstanty is starting because we thing he is the best choice.”

Robin Roberts Needed More Rest

Phillies’ ace Robin Roberts had started on Sept. 27 against the Giants in the first game of a doubleheader.

He started again the next day against the Giants in the second game of a doubleheader, and then he started on the last day of the season, Oct. 1, against the Dodgers in the game that won the pennant.

Manager Eddie Sawyer explained to reporters that “We felt that one more day of rest for Robin would make him more fit for the second game, which he will pitch.”

Brad Lidge Against Mariano Rivera

Yes, let’s compare the game that was played almost 60 years to the entertainment spectacle that is watched today.

Imagine the reaction if Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel announced that Brad Lidge would be his Game One starter, or Mariano Rivera were to start for New York.

Jim Konstanty Was a Relief Pitcher, Not a Closer

There was surprise when Jim Konstanty was picked to start Game One, but few doubted that he was up to the task of pitching nine innings.

Konstanty was not a closer. He was a relief pitcher.

On Aug. 25, Konstanty worked the final nine innings against the Pirates in a 9-7, 15-inning win.

A few weeks later, he pitched 10 innings against the Reds. In his 74 relief appearances, Konstanty pitched 152 innings, winning 16 and losing 7, with a 2.66 ERA.

Game One Start

Jim Konstanty shut out the Yankees for the first three innings of Game One, but In the fourth, Bobby Brown doubled, moved to third on a Hank Bauer fly ball to center field, and scored the game’s only run when Jerry Coleman hit a fly ball to left.

Jim Konstanty pitched eight innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter.

He allowed the single run, four hits, and four walks, but Vic Raschi pitched a two-hitter as the Yankees won, 1-0.

Yes, the game has changed.


RASCHI SELECTED FOR OPENING GAME. (1950, October 3). New York Times (1857-Current file),47. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 89754416).

By JOHN DREBINGER The New York Times . (1950, October 3). Yanks Favored to Beat Phils in World Series. New York Times (1857-Current file),48. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 89754426).

By ARTHUR DALEY. (1950, October 4). Sports of The Times :Awaiting the Series. New York Times (1857-Current file),51. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 89755740).

By ROSCOE McGOWEN Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES .. (1950, October 4). PHIL MOUND CHOICE DICTATED BY LOGIC :Sawyer Explains Selection of Konstanty at Conference With His Coaches. New York Times (1857-Current file),50. Retrieved October 28, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2006). (Document ID: 89755728).

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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