PHILLIES FALSE FACT !!!

If I heard it once I heard it a thousand times: why did former Phillies manager Jim Fregosi take Roger Mason out of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series and replace him with Mitch Williams?

That, my friends, is one of the biggest misconceptions in Philadelphia sports history. Yes, Roger Mason was taken out of the game, but he was replaced by David West. I know for a fact that it happened because I was there and while I am writing this piece I have the box score of that game right next to me.

Let’s go back almost 15 years and review the scenario. Mason relieved Phillies starter Terry Mulholland at the beginning of the Toronto sixth with the Blue Jays ahead 5-1. Mason gave up a meaningless leadoff single to Robby Alomar, then retired the next three hitters. In the top of the seventh, the Phillies battled back with 5 runs to take a 6-5 lead. The big blow was a three run homer by Lenny Dykstra.

Mason pitched a one-two-three inning in the home seventh. The Phillies failed to score in the top of the eighth but still held a one-run lead. Now here’s where the confusion begins.

Joe Carter led off the eighth against Mason by flying out to left field. It appeared that Mason was really in a nice groove. He had retired seven consecutive batters. Suddenly, and shockingly to all Phillies fans, Fregosi comes out of the dugout and takes Mason out of the game. Are you kidding me? Mason was really spectacular to this point. Why in the hell would you take a veteran pitcher out of an elimination World Series Game? Don’t give me that righty, lefty and pitch count hogwash.

Before I continue, let it be known that pitch counts really irritate me. They were never even heard of until the 1990’s. For God’s sake, Robin Roberts pitched 30 complete games a year. Even if that’s how Fregosi felt, that thinking should be tossed aside. Come on, we’re talking about the friggin’ World Series with a seasoned veteran on the mound.

Fregosi replaced Mason with lefty David West. At this point the momentum swung in favor of the Blue Jays. West walked John Olerud and was lifted after just one batter. Larry Anderson entered after West and faced four hitters to record the final two outs. Although Toronto didn’t score there, it presented the opportunity for Joe Carter to bat in the bottom of the ninth. If Mason would have stayed and retired the next two hitters, Carter would have been the seventh batter in the ninth inning as opposed to the fourth batter.

Mitch Williams entered in the ninth and we all know what happened. Instead of facing leadoff hitter Rickey Henderson to begin the inning, it could have been the numbers eight and nine hitters to begin the final frame.

So as you see, the pitching order for Game Six of the 1993 World Series was as follows: Mulholland, Mason, West, Anderson and, finally, Mitch Williams. Sorry to bring back memories of that fatal night, but facts should be facts .

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