For Chris Parmelee, June 16, 2015 was a very good day. After starting the season with the Norfolk Tides, he was brought up to Baltimore for the first time in the 2015 season. Parmelee had played in 273 major league games with the Twins and was in his first season in the Orioles organization after signing with them as a free agent over the winter.
Parmelee was in the lineup and hitting fifth for Baltimore against Jerome Williams, a pitcher that Parmelee had faced before and had struggled against, going 0-for-6. Manny Machado led off the game with a home run and Travis Snider followed with a walk. One out later, Chris Davis drew a walk and Parmelee stepped to the plate and lined a single to right. A couple of hits and a couple wild pitches later, the Phillies were down 6-0 and Williams left with a pulled hamstring.
Parmelee would add another single and two home runs to his day, finishing with four hits in six trips to the plate, scoring three runs and driving in two for the Orioles.
"It was just one of those days where everything kept going right for us and we were hitting some home runs. We set a record for home runs in a game, it's a very good ballpark and a hitter friendly ballpark, good to hit at and the wind was blowing out that day. We were able to get some pitches up in the zone and capitalize. Jerome Williams started the game and I had faced him before and had some trouble with him, but he left some pitches up in the zone. That was a fun day to be in our dugout," remembered Parmelee with a smile.
The final score would be 19-3, but the game would go down as embarrassing for more reasons than just the score. Jeff Francoeur came in to pitch for the Phillies in the seventh and didn't allow a hit. The Phillies sent him back out for the eighth, but he wasn't nearly as successful and loaded the bases with just one out. Pitching coach Bob McClure tried to call the bullpen, but got a busy signal. It was discovered later that the phone was literally off the hook, leaving McClure to stand on the dugout steps and wave a white flag.
After the game, the embarrassment continued, when second baseman Chase Utley ripped the team for allowing Francoeur to stay on the mound, risking an injury to one of the more popular guys in the Phillies organization.
Ironically, it would be less than a week later when manager Ryne Sandberg would wave a figurative white towel and step down as the team's manager.
In the Baltimore dugout, the players didn't have a clue about what was happening on the other side of the field. The fact is, they didn't really care.
"It didn't really strike us, we were just interested in getting back up there to hit, it was a fun day. We were just trying to get guys through the lineup so we could hit again," said Parmelee. "It was one of those days when it was fun to be a hitter."
Parmelee didn't take the opportunity to pile on the Phillies for their debacle that day. Even after the game when the Orioles had found out about all of the catastrophes in the Phillies dugout, the players were slow to be too critical, since they knew that those things can be part of the game.
"It's kind of one of those things that you laugh at. They were getting crushed that day, and it happens," said Parmelee. "You go out there and have those games where the pitchers just don't seem to have it and you have those days. It's not fun, but you have to have a way to joke around about it or it will drive you nuts."
This season, Parmelee signed a minor league deal with the Yankees after the season and figured it would be a good place for him, with an opportunity to make it back to the majors. He was right, he did get called up, but played just six games before getting hurt, ending his stint with the big league club. He's been happy with the way things have been played out - the injury not withstanding - and believes he made the right decision. Whether he'll return to the Yankees after Scranton's run in the postseason ends is something that he hasn't been clued in about. For now, he's just focusing on helping Scranton to win a Governor's Cup in the International League.
"It's a good organization and when I signed here in the offseason, it seemed like there was a good opportunity to get called up and I did. It was just unfortunate that I got hurt after a couple games up there," he said. "Everybody has been great up there and here, it's a really great organization."