Tommy Greene was looking for redemption. After being knocked out in less than three innings of his first postseason start, the Phillies righthander contributed to one of the signature wins of the team's 1993 National League championship season.
Greene was the winning pitcher for the clincher that sent the Phillies to the World Series, a 6-3 victory at Veterans Stadium over his former team, the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies won the best-of-seven series, four games to two.
This weekend Greene is reliving that win and many others as the 1993 Phillies have gathered to mark the 25th anniversary of that season. It was one in which they went from 70-92 and last place in the National League East in 1992 to 97-65 and Eastern Division and NL champs in '93.
A tribute to the team will be held before Sunday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park.
Curt Schilling was the NLCS MVP and John Kruk had an .899 OPS with a team-high five RBIs in the series win over the Braves, but the performance of Greene ranks as the most clutch.
"It gave me a chance to sort of redeem myself," Greene said before Saturday's game with the Brewers.
Greene was referring to Game 2. He was a starter after the Phillies won the opener, 4-3, in 10 innings.
In 2 1/3 innings, Greene allowed seven earned runs on seven hits as the Braves romped, 14-3.
Greene was pitching that game on extended rest. His last regular-season appearance had been Sept. 30, when he pitched four innings in a 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh
His first-ever playoff start came on Oct. 7.
"I felt too strong and too good," he said. "When you do that, you lose command, you tend to try to overdo probably. I was up in the zone and fell behind the count and they took advantage of it."
The next game was a different story, as Greene beat Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. In seven innings, Greene allowed five hits and three earned runs while walking five.
"It was a different story that game, I was ahead in the count more, I walked a couple of guys, but I wasn't giving in to those guys," Greene said.
Greene left with the score 6-3 and the Phillies received two scoreless innings of relief from David West and Mitch Williams.
"What was impressive about Tommy is that he made the right adjustments from start to start and he was lights out," said Phillies outfielder Jim Eisenreich, who batted .318 in 362 plate appearances that season. "We ended up winning and going to the World Series."
For Greene, the win was even more satisfying because he was a first-round draft choice of Atlanta (14th overall) in 1985. In August 1990 he was dealt to the Phillies.
"To be able to clinch against my old team, it meant a lot because I knew all those guys in the other dugout," he said.
Greene, who pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies in 1991, had his best season in 1993. He went 16-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 200 innings.
"Arm-wise I was healthy, but I pulled a groin and it cost me a chance to win 20 games," said Greene, who went 43 days between starts before returning in early September.
The 51-year-old Greene, who lives in Chalfont, Buck County, said that it has been great to see his former teammates this weekend. He gets to catch up with many of them at the Phillies' fantasy camps, where they serve as coaches.
"The Phillies do a great job of bringing the guys together," said Greene who has appeared as an analyst on Phillies pre- and postgame telecasts. "Some guys I haven't seen in a while and it's been a great time to reminisce."