After finishing in last place the year before, the Phillies took the lead in the NL East on opening day, and never relinquished the lead, as they clinched the division title on September 28 in Pittsburgh.
The 1993 Phillies were led by stars such as Darren Daulton, John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and Curt Schilling. The team was often described as "shaggy," "unkempt," and "dirty." The previous year, noting the presence of the clean-cut Dale Murphy, Kruk himself described the team as "24 morons and one Mormon." Their character endeared them to fans, and attendance reached a record high the following season. As a play on the legendary 1927 New York Yankees' Murderers' Row, the team's dirty, mullet-wearing look was dubbed "Macho Row." To the surprise of their city and the nation, the Phillies powered their way to a 97-65 record and an NL East division title. Their 97 wins were the most since their back-to-back 101 win seasons in 1976 and 1977.
They had a formidable batting lineup, leading the National League in at-bats (5,685), runs scored (877), hits (1,555), doubles (297), walks (665), on-base percentage (.351) and total bases (2,422). Center fielder Lenny Dykstra batted .305 and led the league in hits, with 194, and runs scored, with 143; both were career-highs. He also set career-highs in home runs (19) and RBI (66). Left fielder Pete Incaviglia hit 24 home runs and drove in 89 runs in only 368 at-bats. Catcher Darren Daulton also hit 24 home runs and drove in 100 runs for the second consecutive season, with 105. Steady-hitting right fielder Jim Eisenreich lead the team with a .318 batting average and struck out only 36 times in 362 at-bats. First baseman John Kruk batted .316 and hit 14 home runs with 85 RBI and third baseman Dave Hollins drove in 93 runs for the second straight season.
The Phillies also had one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB that year, leading the league in complete games (24), innings pitched (1,472.2) and strikeouts (1,117). Each of their five starting pitchers had at least one shutout during the regular season. Curt Schilling and Tommy Greene each won 16 games, Ben Rivera won 13, and Danny Jackson and Terry Mulholland won 12. Closer Mitch Williams walked 44 batters in 62.0 innings, but had a solid 3.34 ERA with 43 saves and averaged only one home run allowed every 20.2 innings pitched.
During the season there were a multitude of memorable moments. In late April, the team rallied from 8-0 down to beat the San Francisco Giants 9-8 in 10 innings, spurred when Giants reliever Bryan Hickerson slammed the ball off the turf to celebrate an out. In San Diego, a few days later, left-fielder Milt Thompson saved a game by making a leaping catch on a potential grand slam by Padres' catcher Bob Geren.
Terry Mulholland hurled the first shutout in Mile High Stadium as the Phils swept the expansion Colorado Rockies in late May. On July 2, the Phils and Padres hooked up for a doubleheader which lasted almost 12 hours with rain delays. Mitch Williams won the second game on an RBI single at 4:41 AM. Five days after that, Lenny Dykstra ended a 7-6, 20-inning affair against the Dodgers at the Vet with a ground-rule double.
A three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals to end July effectively pushed the Redbirds out of the pennant chase, and Danny Jackson's 12-0 rout of Cincinnati on August 29 left the Cards 10 out and Expos 101⁄2 out with one month to go.
However, a September slip caused some columnists in the city to compare the club to the infamous 1964 team. They dropped five of seven at home to the Cubs and Astros, then lost two of three at Olympic Stadium which brought Montreal within four with 13 games remaining.
All that was put to rest on September 28, as the Phils wrapped up the NL East with a 10-7 win over in-state rival Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium. Mariano Duncan hit a grand slam to lead a comeback effort, and little-used Donn Pall closed out the game, touching off a wild celebration for their first division crown since 1983. Outfielder Wes Chamberlain ended all the references to 1964, screaming, "It's 1993, baby! It ain't 1964. Where are those ghosts now?". Here is Phillies announcer Harry Kalas' call of the final out of the Division-clinching game against Pittsburgh:
Ground ball, it's a fair ball! Kruk to Pall...the Phillies are the '93 National League Eastern Division Champions! This wonderful band of throwback players have won the National League East, mobbing one another on the field.
The series' first game sent two staff aces -- Curt Schilling for Philadelphia and Juan Guzmán for Toronto—against one another. The result was less than a pitcher's duel, however, as both teams scored early and often.
The deciding plays came in the middle innings. With Toronto behind 4-3 in the 5th inning, Devon White hit a solo home run to tie the game. The next inning, John Olerud hit a solo home run of his own to put Toronto on top. Toronto added three insurance runs in the bottom of the 7th and held on to win 8-5. Al Leiter pitched 2⅔ innings—in relief of a sporadic Juan Guzman, who walked four in just five innings—for his first World Series win. John Kruk had three hits for Philadelphia.
In the second game of the series, Dave Stewart was on the mound for Toronto and Terry Mulholland started for Philadelphia. Philadelphia jumped out to an early lead: in the third inning, Jim Eisenreich followed John Kruk and Dave Hollins RBI singles with a three-run home run to deep right-center. Toronto got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning courtesy of a Joe Carter two-run home run to left, but the Jays were unable to mount a significant offensive push later in the game. Philadelphia held on to win 6-4. Terry Mulholland pitched 5⅔ innings, allowing 3 earned runs, for the win.
For Toronto, Pat Hentgen faced off against Philadelphia starter Danny Jackson in Game 3. Hentgen pitched a strong 6 innings, allowing just 1 run, and the Toronto offense took care of the rest. Toronto won 10-3.
Toronto manager Cito Gaston was faced with an unusual and difficult decision prior to game time. As the series switched the National League ballpark, Gaston was forced to sit one player from his regular line-up as the designated hitter (DH) would not be allowed to play. As regular DH Paul Molitor had been a hot hand in the line-up, Gaston elected to sit firstbaseman John Olerud and place Molitor at first base. The decision was potentially controversial as Olerud led the American League in batting during the year with a .363 average and Molitor was the less sure-handed fielder. Molitor, however, put these concerns to rest, going 3 for 4, hitting a home run in the 3rd inning, and driving in 3 runs.
In the fourth game of the series, Todd Stottlemyre started for Toronto while Tommy Greene started for Philadelphia. The starters are notable because neither lasted three innings.
In one of the more unusual plays in World Series history, Todd Stottlemyre, trying to go first to third on a Roberto Alomar single in the 2nd inning, did a bellyflop diving into third base, where he was called out. Todd's awkward dive resulted in an abrasion on his chin and appeared to shake him up in the next inning, during which he surrendered a Lenny Dykstra two-run home run. Stottlemyre was pulled after the second inning, having already given up six runs. (Tommy Greene fared little better, being pulled after giving up seven runs in 2⅓ innings.)
Philadelphia took a commanding 12-7 lead in the 5th inning, courtesy of two-run home runs from Darren Daulton and Dykstra, and a run-scoring double from Milt Thompson.
Toronto fought back from a 14-9 deficit in the 8th inning, scoring six runs on run scoring hits from Paul Molitor, Tony Fernández, Rickey Henderson, and Devon White. Duane Ward pitched the final 1⅓ innings, preserving the 15-14 victory. Three new World Series records included the longest game at four hours fourteen minutes (4:14), most runs by both clubs with twenty-nine (29), and runs scored by a losing team with fourteen (14).
The offenses were due for an off-day, and it came in Game 5 courtesy of a Curt Schilling (Philadelphia) and Juan Guzmán (Toronto) pitching duel. Schilling shut down the previously unstoppable Toronto offense, limiting the team to just five hits and no runs. Guzman pitched well in a losing effort, allowing only two runs and five hits in seven innings of work.
The two runs scored as a result of scrappy play from the Philadelphia offense. In the first inning, Lenny Dykstra walked, stole second, moved to third on a Pat Borders throwing error, and scored on a John Kruk ground out. In the second inning, Darren Daulton opened with a double, took third on a ground out, and scored on a Kevin Stocker single.
The sixth game in the series was a rematch between Game 2 starters Terry Mulholland and Dave Stewart, who would have similar results. Toronto opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first with a run-scoring Paul Molitor triple, Joe Carter sacrifice fly, and Roberto Alomar RBI single. Molitor added a solo home run in the 5th inning, bringing the score to 5-1 for Toronto.
In the 7th inning, Philadelphia fought back with five runs to take a 6-5 lead. Lenny Dykstra hit a three-run home run, Dave Hollins had an RBI single and Pete Incaviglia hit a sacrifice fly. The inning brought an end to Dave Stewart's night, leaving the game with 6 innings pitched and 4 runs given up.
Philadelphia closer Mitch Williams came on to the pitch the bottom of the 9th with Philadelphia clinging to a 6-5 lead. After beginning the inning by walking Rickey Henderson, Williams tried to counter Henderson's speed by pitching out of a slide-step style of pitching delivery. Prior to Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, Williams never used the slide-step delivery in his career. This may have cut back on the velocity of the hard throwing Williams. The walk to Henderson was followed by a Devon White fly out and a single by Paul Molitor. Joe Carter came up next and, on a two strike pitch, he hit an inside pitch just over the left field fence, giving the Blue Jays a come-from-behind 8-6 victory, and the World Series crown.