More on Francisco’s Matt Stairs Moment

Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau, here are a couple more nuggets regarding Ben Francisco‘s pinch-hit three-run home run last night:

It is the first time in postseason history a pinch-hitter has had three or more RBIs, accounting for all of his team’s runs. Only one pinch-hitter had two RBIs, accounting for all of his team’s runs: Kansas City’s Dane Iorg against the Cardinals in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. That’s otherwise known as the “Don Denkinger Game.”

Francisco hit because Cardinals manager Tony La Russa intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz to face him. Since 2000, there have been five lead-changing postseason home runs following an intentional walk.

La Russa has been victim of three of them:

  • San Francisco’s Benito Santiago in Game 4 of the 2002 NLCS. He intentionally walked Barry Bonds.
  • Houston’s Jeff Kent in Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS. He intentionally walked Lance Berkman.
  • Francisco in Game 2 of the 2011 NLDS. He intentionally walked Ruiz.

Now, I’m not going to say it was crazy La Russa intentionally walked Ruiz to face Francisco. La Russa said Ruiz “terrorizes” them, which is a bit of an exaggeration. But Ruiz has hit the Cardinals well. He has hit .310 with eight doubles, two homers, 13 RBIs and an .818 OPS in 33 regular-season games against St. Louis, although he was hitless in the first two games of the NLDS. But his OPS is 68 points higher than his career average. And Francisco was 1-for-18 in his postseason career, 1-for-9 against Jamie Garcia and hadn’t homered since May 25.

But Francisco certainly remembered his last at-bat against Garcia on Sept.16 at Citizens Bank Park, when he crushed a sinker to the warning track in left field. He felt good stepping into the batter’s box against Garcia, and this time he had results to show for it.

11 Comments

October 4th is the Feast of St. Francis (Francisco in Spanish.) Coincidence?

The Ben Francisco shot will resonate in Phillies lore forever.

I must admit to almost forgetting he was on the post season roster. It was a beautiful thing…..a San Francisco treat (couldn’t resist)

Ben Francisco treat, karen.
If the Phillies win out, Benny gets a lifetime pass.

phan52: thanks for the edit. totally agree he’ll be a lifetime hero ala Matt Stairs if the Phils win out.

great shot. earned his salary. However, being honest LaRussa made the right move by walking Ruiz. Forget about Carlos hitting the Cards well, by putting Ruiz on, he forced Hamels out of the game. Until then the Cards had gotten a few hits, but hadn’t threatened to score and had no runs. If Ruiz hits and ends the inning Manuel very well could have sent Hamels out there for the 7th. As we’ve seen, getting to the Phillie’s bullpen is every teams goal–simply put, it sucks. Hope Oswalt has a great game and goes at least 8 or we’re in trouble

I’d be very surprised if Roy O goes 8 today. I have to believe he’s on a pitch count of around 95 or 100. And with the way the Cards battle with every at-bat, that could easily be the 6th inning.

Why in the world would anybody be on a pitch count at this point of the season? If he is pitching effectively, he’ll go as deep as he can.

Why? Because baseball is obsessed with pitch counts to the extent that they are on the scoreboard.

Yeah. Oswalt hasn’t thrown under 100 pitches. So he’ll just keep hurling until he can’t anymore!

Phan: You answered your own question. He will go as deeply as he can. Oswalt runs out of juice around 100 pitches. With the way the Cards are batting, that’ll be around the 6th inning. For reference, remember the Sept 22 game against Washington.

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