The Reading Phillies were very aware that their manager, Steve Roadcap, was nearing the 1,000th win milestone. Maybe even more aware than the skipper himself.
The native of Spring Glen, Penn., entered the record books in his second attempt via Reading's 2-1 victory over the host Connecticut Defenders on Wednesday night. He's the 16th current Minor League manager to reach the plateau.
"I knew I was close at the start of the season," Roadcap said. "But I didn't really know how close until [Jason] Anderson gave me the game ball [after the 999th win Monday]. The players all knew about it, so that's how I found out."
Roadcap is in his first year with Double-A Reading after guiding the Lakewood BlueClaws to a South Atlantic League North Division title in 2008. He has a career record of 1,000-1,027 -- 199-171 with the Phillies
The former catcher played in the Cubs system from 1982-86, making it as high as Triple-A. He became the pitching coach for Class A Charleston (W. Va.) in 1987 before taking his first managerial position in '88 with Wytheville, the Cubs' Appalachian League affiliate.
"I've had a bunch of special clubs," Roadcap said. He guided Class A Rockford (Cubs) to the Midwest League playoffs in 1995 and '96 before moving to the Mariners organization in 1999, when he skippered Wisconsin to the South Atlantic League Finals before losing in seven games. His lone league championship came with Inland Empire in 2003. He joined the Phillies organization in 2006 with Class A Short-Season Batavia.
"It's a thrill to be part of it," Roadcap said. "No doubt about it, especially back in the area where I grew up. But of course it's all the great players I've had over the years that have done it."
Starter Antonio Bastardo got him well on the way to the landmark victory. The left-hander struck out seven Defenders while allowing one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He lowered his ERA to 2.08, ninth-best in the Eastern League.
Jason Anderson retired the five batters he faced in order and closer Sergio Escalona earned his eighth save of the season, allowing one hit while fanning four in two scoreless frames.
Infielder Carlos Leon, who collected three of the R-Phils' six hits, led off the third inning with a bunt single. After a sacrifice by Bastardo, Leon scored when Quintin Berry reached on a throwing error. Michael Taylor doubled home Berry with two outs, providing all the offense Reading would need.
The win gave the Phillies sole possession of second place in the Eastern League Southern Division at 15-9. And it gave their manager a spot in the elite 1,000-victory club.
John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com.