The Phillies last three-run single was 40 years ago

Phillies shortstops Larry Bowa and J.P. Crawford
Three-run singles are rare. In fact, The previous three-run single for the Phillies prior to Thursday's contest occurred forty years ago when Jose Cardenal hit a single to right field off Dodgers' hurler Doug Rau on August 15, 1978.

The commonality between Cesar Hernandez's single last night and Cardenal's base hit back in the day was a trail runner with an outstanding lead off first base.

With a 3-2 count and two outs on Hernandez, J.P. Crawford broke for second as Jameson Taillon was in mid-motion toward the plate and found himself around second base before the ball landed in center field. Crawford slid at home but scored relatively easily.

The situation was similar when the feat happened in 1978, though Larry Bowa who scored the third run that time did so standing up.

"This particular mule, in an attempt to get the pitch where he wanted it, went into a full wind-up, instead of pitching from the stretch," penned Larry Eichel the next day in The Philadelphia Inquirer (8/16/1978). "Bowa, the runner on first, got an absolutely incredible jump, and when Cardenal lined Rau's pitch to right for a single, the all-star shortstop scored all the way from first. Standing up. Without a throw. The fans got even more into the game."  [Boxscore Here]

Speed is a necessity to make this play happen, but awareness and hustle are also part of the mix and it requires a good read from the third base coach, in this case, Dusty Wathan.

"It takes big stones," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said afterward. "To know what part of the lineup is coming up and to score J.P. was huge for us. It boosted the dugout. Everybody was fired up about that."


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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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