The Great American Baseball Trip

Game 20

Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, July 22, 1997 - 7:05pm

3Com Park

San Francisco, California

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Pre-Game Report
 The Phillies are the worst team in baseball-- there is not debate about that. And when they venture into windy 3 Com Park (should be called Candlestick still) they will run up against a Giants team that is trying to run away with the NL West. I would be surprised if the Phillies can pull out a win but I look forward to a good game.

Stadium Stats - Stadium Name

Surface: Grass
Capacity: 63,000
Dimensions: Left Field: 335 feet, Center Field: 400 feet, Right Field: 328 feet

baseball diamond image

Team Profiles
Philly's Logo

Philadelphia Phillies

 It's hard to believe that this team, which is struggling to stay out of the National League East cellar, was in the World Series only four short years ago. I think everyone will agree that the Phillies are in the middle of a rebuilding phase.

 Their roster combines past stars Lenny Dykstra, Danny Tartabull, and Darren "dutch" Dalton with utility players Mickey Morandini, Kevin Stocker, and Gregg Jeffries (assuming he stays healthy, he can certainly be a threat). And their starting rotation includes Curt Schilling, one of the best all around pitchers in the majors, along with Mark Leiter and Mark Portugal, two crafty veterans to help the young pitchers learn the ropes.

 This team is still a few years from returning to the playoffs, but Terry Francona has the basis for a strong team, that can, at worst, make some of the contenders think twice before moving on to the next city.

Giants Logo

San Francisco Giants

 The Giants finished in last place in 1996, for the second season in a row. So, general manager Brian Sabean decided to make some changes. He shipped high-priced superstar Matt Williams to Cleveland, acquired pitchers Julian Tavarez and Joe Roa, traded starter Allen Watson for J.T. Snow and signed Mark Lewis away from Detroit to fill the void left by Williams at third base.

 All the changes made in the off-season left the Giants with a talented young core of starting pitchers. While journeyman Mark Gardner will lead the rotation with his years of major league experience, it will be Shawn Estes, and William VanLandingaham who will produce the exciting starts. Estes is expected to win 20 games this season while VanLandingham has the best "stuff" on the team but had troubling locating it throughout last season. Tavarez and Jim Poole, a left-hander acquired from Cleveland around mid-season last year, will serve as the set-up men. And, Rod Beck, who has increased his strength with the help of some off-season training, will try to regain his prominence as one of the best closers in baseball.

 Snow, Lewis, Jose Vicaino and Jeff Kent will certainly be a defensively strong infield. Offensively, there will be some questions, including whether or not Snow can improve upon his .257 batting average in 1996 and live up to his potential. And, whether this young team can stay injury free for the first time in years. Barry Bonds, a consistent 40-40 man who came off of last season requesting a trade will lead the outfield crew along with, Glenallen hill, who has never had 500 at-bats in a season due to injury, and Darryl Hamilton, who has found his swing, and caused pitchers to think twice before pitching to him.

Post-Game Report
 The Giants won a slugfest at "the stick" against the struggling Phillies. The teams combined to hit seven homeruns despite frigid weather and unpleasantly fierce winds.

Check out all the details here, including my impressions of the stadium, batting practice, the team management I met, being up in the press box, the food, and the game and the fans

Highlights from the City by the Bay

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