Picture it … May 20, 1993, Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia …
The Phillies were just getting started on an historic run to the 1993 World Series. Philly was off to a flying start to the season, putting up 28 wins in the first 39 games (28-11).
And on this particular night at The Vet, the Phils hosted an up-and-coming Montreal Expos squad. On the mound that night was the pride of Pottsville, starting pitcher Chris Nabholz.
May 20, 1993: Montreal Expos at Philadelphia Phillies
Now, Nabholz’ career in the big leagues was pretty darn good, especially up to this point in the 1993 season. During his 1990 rookie season, Nabby set a record for most consecutive wins to start a career. Not too shabby!
But on this particular night, Nabholz didn’t have his best stuff. He didn’t get out of the 2nd inning. And leading to the hook was this particular blast from Phils’ left fielder, the portly Pete Incaviglia (don’t tell him we called him that).
Phillies beat the Expos, 9-3
Schilling throws another complete game.
Incaviglia sets the tone with this 1st-innning grand slam. pic.twitter.com/rn20uPfaNm
— John Foley (@2008Philz) May 20, 2020
The grand slam put the Phils up 4-0 early and they’d never look back, going on to win the game 9-3.
On a 1-0 pitch, Inky took Nabby yard. In fact, this moon shot nearly left the yard. Luckily, the foul pole net kept it in The Vet.
The homer brought in Mariano Duncan and John Kruk, who each walked, and Dave Hollins, who got hit by a Nabholz offering in the previous at-bat.
The next batter up, Wes Chamberlain, doubled and advanced to third base on a wild pitch before Juan Bell struck out to end the inning.
Nabholz didn’t allow another run in the game. And to his credit, the entire Expos staff didn’t have much going right that night.
Also, in that ill-fated second inning, Nabholz did technically retire the side. And what a side to put down on strikes: He got Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton swinging and then Bell got caught staring at Strike 3.
In the 2nd inning, in which Nabholz got pulled, he walked Curt Schilling before getting Dykstra to fly out and Duncan to ground out. A single to Kruk, however, summoned Expos manager Felipe Alou from the dugout with the hook.
(Thanks to The Baseball Cube for providing excellent historical data.)
Disappointed Local Fans
The night surely was a disappointment for local fans who flocked to The Vet to catch a glimpse of the guy they’d seen mow down Schuylkill League batters when Nabholz wore a Crimson Tide uniform.
But hey, you can’t be on every night. And the 1993 season didn’t go so badly for Nabholz. By the end of the season, the lanky lefty posted a 9-8 record in 21 starts with 1 complete game. He appeared in 5 games as a reliever that season, too.
The Phillies, of course, went on to win the National League pennant in 1993, providing one of the more memorable runs in Philadelphia sports history. They lost the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays when Joe Carter hit a walk-off home run off Phils closer Mitch Williams.
This was Nabholz’ last year in Montreal before splitting the 1994 strike-shortened season with the Indians and Red Sox.
One bad night aside, Nabholz still has a story most around here can’t tell others. How many people can say they gave up a grand slam to Pete Incaviglia or struck out Lenny Dykstra? Just one.
Coal Region Connection
Nabholz wasn’t the only Coal Region connection on the field that night at The Vet.
His teammate and third baseman that night was Mount Carmel’s own Frank Bolick. In fact, in the top of the 4th inning, Bolick did a little yard work of his own. He deposited a 1-0 offering from Schilling into the stands, plating Larry Walker and Marquis Grissom, to make the score 4-3.
Chris Nabholz Career Stats
Frank Bolick Career Stats