Game of the Day | Phillies first to 10,000
For one night, at least, the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies became linked to the stumbling clubs of the 1920s, '30s and '40s, along with the...
The bottom phiveNoteworthy defeats in the Phillies' march to No. 10,000:
May 1, 1883 — The Phillies lose their first game, 4-3 to the Providence Grays. They go on to lose 81 of 98 games in their inaugural season.
Aug. 20, 1961 — Milwaukee wins 5-2, extending Philadelphia's losing streak to 23 games, a major-league record.
Sept. 21, 1964 — Chico Ruiz steals home to give Cincinnati a 1-0 victory, starting the Phillies' infamous 10-game losing streak that cost them the National League pennant.
Sept. 4, 1999 — The Reds set an NL record with nine homers in a 22-3 rout of the Phillies.
July 15, 2007 — Albert Pujols hits two of St. Louis' six homers in a 10-2 Phillies defeat, their 10,000th loss.
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — For one night, at least, the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies became linked to the stumbling clubs of the 1920s, '30s and '40s, along with the '61 team that lost 23 straight, and the infamous '64 Fizz Kids.
Futility has followed them since the day they were born 125 years ago, and Sunday night was no different for the losingest team in sports history.
Albert Pujols hit two of the St. Louis Cardinals' six homers as the Phillies became the first team in any sport to lose 10,000 games, losing 10-2 before a sellout crowd of 44,872 at steamy Citizens Bank Park.
Not surprisingly, this defeat resembled the thousands that came before. Bad starting pitching, brutal relief and hardly any hitting. And, of course, lots of booing.
By the ninth inning, with the outcome inevitable, the boos turned to cheers. Fans stood and applauded, and one held up a sign that read: "10,000 N Proud" as last year's National League MVP, Ryan Howard, struck out to end the game.
"I don't know too much about 10,000 losses," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I try and concentrate on the wins."
From Connie Mack Stadium to the Vet and Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies have had few moments to celebrate. The franchise, born in 1883 as the Philadelphia Quakers and briefly called the Blue Jays in the mid-1940s, now has 8,810 wins and 10,000 losses.
Next on the losing list: the Braves, with 9,681 defeats. It took them stints in three cities (Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta) to reach that total. Not even those lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs, come close at 9,425.
And for those counting, it was the 58th time the Phillies have lost by that exact 10-2 score, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
The Phillies avoided the milestone for three games, but the Cardinals — the team that caught them 43 years ago for the NL pennant in one of the biggest collapses in baseball history — beat Philadelphia one more time.
Earlier, a banner had been hung from the upper deck that read "10,000 is not in the Cards."
Turns out, it was on this night.
So the franchise that won only one World Series title (1980) in 125 years and has 14 seasons of 100-plus losses now has the ugliest number of them all in a city way too familiar with losing.
It hasn't been all bad for the Phillies. They've had their share of highlights and Hall of Famers: Jim Bunning, Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn.
They haven't lost 100 games since 1961, and they won the NL East three straight years from 1976-78 behind Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Larry Bowa. Philadelphia lost the World Series in 1983 and 1993, though it hasn't returned to the playoffs since Joe Carter's homer won the 1993 World Series for Toronto.
"I think they need to forget about it and move forward," said Greg Luzinski, the starting left fielder for the 1980 team.
After combining for 23 runs and 37 hits in the first two games of the series, the Phillies were held in check by the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright (8-7). He threw seven shutout innings against the highest-scoring team in the National League.
Phillies players have long grown tired of answering questions about 10,000.
"It doesn't matter one way or the other to all the guys in here," All-Star center fielder Aaron Rowand said. "The guys in here weren't responsible for 10,000 losses, so what does it really matter to us?"
Most fans seemed rather detached from the number.
"It's hard to be a Phillies fan," said Andrew Haines, 25, of Pitman, N.J. "They're the butt of a lot of baseball jokes, and having 10,000 losses isn't helping any."
The Phillies blew their chance to push back No. 10,000 until their seven-game West Coast trip, when even the die-hards would have had trouble staying awake to watch it.
Pujols hit a two-run shot in the fifth off Adam Eaton (8-6) that was followed by Chris Duncan's homer for a 6-0 lead.
Eaton, a 29-year-old right-hander from Snohomish, took the defeat philosophically.
"When you have 125 years of existence as an organization, I think you should be the first team to get to a great milestone like that," said Eaton.
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said he had the ball from the final out and would auction if off, with the money going toward his animal rescue foundation.
"That ball is history," he said. "It's nothing to be ashamed about."
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
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