Each morning in Clearwater there was a new name. Mike Smithson. Alejandro Pena. Mike Mason. They were all pitchers the Phillies thought they could get. "We could score five runs a game," said Mike Schmidt. "But how many will we give up? We've added Lance Parrish and Mike Easier, and we've got five legitimate MVP candidates. But we need pitchers." A few days later, the Phillies got at least one. Gary Redus was sent to the White Sox for Joe Cowley.
From May 28 on, the Phillies had the NL's third-best record (behind the Mets and Astros), and signing free-agent catcher Parrish gives them probably the best everyday lineup in the league. But they need at least one more pitcher to challenge the Mets. "I'd have been more worried if they signed Jack Morris," says Mets manager Davey Johnson.
Philadelphia will score runs. Chris James and Milt Thompson will platoon in center and in the leadoff spot in front of second baseman Juan Samuel, the first major leaguer ever to achieve double figures in homers, doubles, triples and stolen bases in each of his first three seasons. All Von Hayes did was lead the league in doubles and runs produced. Then comes Schmidt, the three-time MVP. After him are perennial .300 hitter Mike Easier and Parrish, who will be of inestimable help with the pitchers and against base stealers. The seventh-place hitter, Glenn Wilson, has driven in 186 runs the last two years.
"I never thought we'd be here so fast," says Schmidt. "There's no reason the Mets will win more than 95 games, and I know we can win that many if we get more pitching." Steve Trout. Joel McKeon. Rick Honeycutt.
Sent down July 1 hitting .207; hit .304 after Aug. 15 recall.
Has struck out 451 times past three seasons, tying Steve Balboni for most in majors.
One of two NL players to have 20+ SBs and 90+ RBIs; Strawberry the other.
Led league in HRs (37) for eighth time, breaking NL record he shared with Ralph Kiner.
In 1982 Al Oliver led NL in batting and RBIs after spending previous year as a DH.
BAs in Late-Inning Pressure since 1983: .270, .221, .210, .205.
Drove in at least one run in seven consecutive games twice last season.
Nine errors in first 96 games, 13 errors in last 45 games.
Hit eight batters with pitches, most in NL last season.
His ERA in home games (2.16) was best in the National League.
Best batting support in NL with 5.65 runs per start.
Did someone mention Bob Buhl? Carman is now 0 for 34 as a batter.
Has now appeared in more NL games (853) than any pitcher in history.
Allowed 10 home runs in Late-Inning Pressure Situations, most in majors.