2008 Phandom 25

The 2008 Phandom 25: Another Division Flag

Last year I wrote a series of posts chronicling 2007’s 20 greatest moments in Phillies Phandom. Each game had a special “wow” factor, whether it was an insane comeback, an awesome feat or a trademark moment. And each game was a Phillies win, of course.

For this year, clearly, you know the top moment. But ranking the rest was very difficult. Do I rank the NLCS second just because? Is the NL East clinching victory as important as other postseason moments? I used some heavy discretion, but I believe I came up with a pretty solid list.

Each moment has an attached video link, if you’d like to go back and reminisce.

Like the 100 Greatest Phillies countdown, I’ll be posting one per day. I swear, you won’t get any more countdowns this offseason.

***

9. 6-4-3.
Date: September 27, 2008

Ground ball up the middle … dive by Rollins … flip to Utley … quick turn … throw to Howard … caught! Double play!

The biggest double play in Phillies history — at that point — secured the team’s second-consecutive division championship. It ended a 4-3 win over the Nationals that the good guys won by the skin of their teeth. And it started a wild postseason ride that ended in the greatest victory of all time.

It was a patented businessman’s win for the Phillies. They scored two in the fourth off sacrifice flies — typical Phillies. Then they got a leadoff home run by Jayson Werth to lead it 3-1.

Meanwhile, on the mound was Jamie Moyer. For the second-consecutive year Moyer took the hill against the Nationals with a division title on the line. And for the second-consecutive year he pitched well enough to exit with a win in hand. The wise veteran pitched six innings of one-run ball, scattering six hits and a walk. He found himself in a slight of trouble in the sixth, but a diving grab by Shane Victorino helped get him out of the jam. As always, Moyer was solid.

The bullpen did their job, as well. Chad Durbin pitched a scoreless seventh, and Ryan Madson exited a jam in the eighth. He allowed two quick singles, but got Lastings Milledge to pop up. In a scary play, both Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino looked for the ball, and while Rollins made a great catch, he kneed Victorino in the leg. It could’ve been eternally damaging; instead, it was merely a stinger for Victorino, and he stayed in the game. Madson would induce a grounder and finish the inning by striking out Aaron Boone.

Then Victorino showed he wasn’t hurt. With two outs, he beat out a grounder to shortstop. And just as he did it in game five of the World Series, Pedro Feliz provided the important hit, doubling to left-center field to score Victorino. With the insurance run in hand, it was all set for Brad Lidge.

And Lidge needed that insurance run. After striking out Emilio Bonifacio, Lidge surrendered a single and a walk. Then Anderson Hernandez singled, scoring a run. After a Carlos Guzman single, the bases were loaded, the Nationals were within a run, and with one out, it seemed all but finished. It seemed as if Lidge would finally blow a save, and it seemed as if the Phillies would miss out on celebration for a day.

But then, it happened.

Ground ball up the middle … dive by Rollins … flip to Utley … quick turn … throw to Howard … caught! Double play!

The video: 6-4-3

From the comments:

Jamie: This is certainly one game we don’t want Brad’s streak to end on.

NJ: what a time to blow your first save of the year…

Jeffrey: YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

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