This is our third annual “Top Ten Philly Sports Moments of the Year.” You can find lists from 2009 and 2010 here and here. We will be rolling out the moments over the next few days until New Year’s Eve.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the most important moment – for lack of a better term – of the Phillies’ 2011 season was… Ben Francisco hitting a home run.
Scene: After the Phillies roared back to victory in Game 1, Cliff Lee pissed his pants in Game 2, blowing a 4-0 lead against the Cardinals. A loss in Game 3 would have forced the Phillies to win both Games 4 and 5 of the series (… which they wound up going 0-for-2 in…). At the time, Game 3 was of the rare must-win variety.
Cole Hamels battled Cy Young Jaime Garcia through six scoreless innings. In the seventh, however, the Phillies would finally get to the (apparently untouchable) Garcia. Shane Victorino singled, Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked, and then Francisco stepped to the plate.
Boom: Benny Fresh hits a three-run blast to give the Phillies the lead. They would go on to win, 3-1, and then be held scoreless for 16 of the next 18 innings and have their season blown apart in horrific fashion, capped off by Ryan Howard shredding his Achilles on the final play. Fun times.
Video and Scott Franzke's call, after the jump.