Since it appears that the Phillies will sit at home in October, effectively ending the greatest era in team history, I’ve tasked Papa CB – lifelong Phils fan, J-Roll™ apologist – with ranking the 30 most memorable games from 2007-2011. He came up with 38.
We will roll his list out over the coming days and weeks. Here’s 38-31.
38) October 10, 2008
Game 2 NLCS
Brett Myers—Silver Slugger?
Phils 8, Dodgers 5
Brett Myers got a RBI single in an important game against the Brewers in September. He followed that up with a classic nine-pitch walk off of CC Sabathia in Game 2 the NLDS. By the time his turn came to start Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, Myers thought he was Tony Gwynn. He only pitched for five innings, but that was enough for him to stroke three hits.
In the second inning, he drove in Carlos Ruiz. In the third, his two-run single scored Jayson Werth and Greg Dobbs.
Myers became the first pitcher to record three hits in LCS history. He also became the first pitcher since 1919 with three hits and three RBIs in a postseason game. And his wife survived the whole thing.
37) July 26, 2011
Utley’s inside-the-park home run
Phils 7, Giants 2
Chase Utley hits a center field inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning, allowing Kyle to cross one of two items off his bucket list. The other? A bench-clearing brawl.
I raised him right. I think.
36) May 12, 2009
Jayson Werth steals home
Phils 5, Dodgers 3
Back in the sixties, people told Wilt Chamberlain that he was one too one-dimensional and not a team player. To prove them wrong, he became an assist machine and led the league in that category. I’m guessing something similar was said to Jayson Werth before the May 12 game. Maybe J-Roll™ or Victo were saying he was too slow. Maybe Davey Lopes challenged him to steal more bases. Maybe Werth spent the afternoon watching Forrest Gump. Whatever happened, in the game, Werth became the first Phillie since Gary Maddox in 1978 to steal four bases in a game. In the seventh inning, after he singled, Werth stole second, third, and then HOME on a throw back to the pitcher.
35) April 1, 2011
Opening Day walk-off win
Phils 5, Astros 4
Phils win in the bottom of the ninth with six singles to erase a 4-2 deficit on Opening Day. John Mayberry in his first Major League opener drives in Ben Francisco for the come-from-behind win. Myers, pitching for the Astros, only allows three Phillies hits thru seven innings.
Unbelievably, no Phillie strikes out in this game for only the second time since 2001.
34) October 7, 2009
Game 1 NLDS
Lee and Ibanez star
Phils 5, Rockies 1
In his first playoff game, Cliff Lee throws a six-hit complete game and only allows a run in the ninth. Kyle seemed oddly turned on. Raul Ibanez, in his first playoff game in nine years, goes 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Werth triples and scores two runs.
33) October 1, 2011
Game 1 NLDS
Doc opens the playoffs with another win
Phils 11, Cards 6
The Cardinals greet Roy Halladay with a leadoff single in the first inning. After a walk to Albert Pujols, Halladay serves a three-run home run pitch to Lance Berkman. This is the first three-run homer that Doc allows since 2008. In the second inning, Skip Schumaker leads off with a single, then Doc sets down the next 21 in a row. To put that into perspective, in Doc’s 2010 no-hitter against the Reds, he never retired 21 in a row.
The Cards hold a 3-1 lead until the Phils erupt for five runs in the sixth on home runs by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez.
LOSSES. Despite an unbelievable five years atop the NL East, the Phillies did, however, have many losses. Some are unforgettable, some are painful. This list focuses on the memorable wins. We will not count the most memorable, painful wounds – still – raw losses: The Johnny Fucking Damon World series game, or the unforgettable debacle that was the Phils’ 1-0 defeat to the back-from-the-dead St. Louis Cardinals which left Ryan Howard sprawled on the ground clutching his Achilles loss (worst loss to witness since the 1993 15-14 World Series game). They will not be reviewed here. However, we will review three regular season losses that are worth mentioning and probably won’t cause anyone to jump off a bridge. One featured an astonishing baseball effort. One featured a baseball oddity with a pitcher playing the outfield. Another was not so astonishing and had nothing to do with the game itself.
32) August 24, 2010
Oswalt plays Left Field in 16-inning marathon
Phils 2, Astros 4
A two out home run by Jimmy Rollins ties the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the ninth. After Ryan Howard gets tossed for throwing equipment at the end of the fourteenth, causing a shortage of bench players, Charlie Manual is forced to insert Roy Oswalt as the Phils’ left fielder. Houston batter Castro leads off the fifteenth by hitting a fly ball to, you guessed it, left field. Roy makes the play, smiles, but the Phils will lose the game in the sixteenth with the last batter being, you guessed it again, Roy Oswalt.
31) September 28, 2011
Phils Set Franchise Record with their 102nd win
Phils 4, Braves 3
This was a fantastic day for Major League Baseball, as games in Baltimore, Tampa, Houston, and Atlanta all had a direct impact on who went to the postseason.
The Phils are losing 3-2 in the top of the ninth when Chase Utley hits a Sacrifice Fly that scores Pete Orr. A Hunter Pence single in the thirteenth clinches the Phils’ 102nd win. Unbelievable, but Phillies pitchers hold the Braves scoreless for 10 innings in a game that Atlanta must-win to advance. The Phils finish the season with a 13-game lead over the second place Braves, enabling Charlie Manuel to become the all-time winningest Phillies manager, with 646 Wins, and for his team to finish with the best record in the Major Leagues for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, with the win, the Braves are knocked out of the playoffs and the Phils allow the red-hot Cardinals to enter the playoffs.
They went on to win the World Series.