The 2008 Phandom 25: Another Division Flag – Phillies Nation
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…




  1. Greg V.

    January 15, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Went to this game and let me tell you, it was one of the most insane baseball experiences of my life! Everyone was convinced it was over as Lidge made his entrance and everyone was all psyched up to celebrate. I recall sitting down bracing myself to witness history. Not Lidge’s perfect season, but his first blown save of an almost perfect season. Then the double play of double plays! What a great Phillies moment! I was never more happy! Until October 29, of course…….

  2. nate

    January 16, 2009 at 1:51 am

    after being at the clincher last year, i bought tickets for the finale of this past season. i was watching this game, half hoping they’d clinch, and half hoping that they’d have a one game lead with the last one to play so that i could be there on the clinching day again. unfortunately, lightning didn’t strike twice as they say, and i ended up seeing marson’s coming-out party. but what a game this was. and i was watching with a cubs fan who was convinced it was the cubs’ year. oh well, i guess he’ll always have next year.

  3. Mazinman

    January 16, 2009 at 2:55 am

    This play was the first sign to me that this year was not going to be normal. We just had that magic touch to not lose the games we should have lost that all champions have. The moment this double play was turned I began talking about plans to go to Philly and catch a game if they Phils made it to the World Series.

    Heres hoping the Phils win the division by 10 games and save us all yet another nerve wracking September.

  4. Georgie

    January 16, 2009 at 10:27 am

    That picture is priceless- Big Brett looks like he’s giving little Chase some serious tongue, and JC is back there thinking “oh, that’s not right”! And Vic’s just laughing as usual. You have to love these guys.

  5. Georgie

    January 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Or is that Rudy with the “that’s really gay” look on his face?

  6. Griffin

    January 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I was at this game as well. The Phillies were 0-11 (that is not a typo) in games that I attended in 2008 before this game.
    I also went to NLCS game 2, so although the Philes were 2-11 at games I attended, they were the 2 best wins of my life.
    Awesome stuff.

  7. Manny

    January 16, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I was there! And I made a video of the game:

    I had tickets for this game since June 2008… I kinda expected them to clinch the division really late in the season. And it worked out pretty damn well.

    btw, I already have tickets for the next-to-last game for the 2009 season vs. the Marlins. hehe

  8. Chuck P

    January 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Was there as well… bought tickets to this game in the beginning of the season because it was my little brother’s birthday. The wife was not too happy that she had to miss the “big game” but I made it up to her… I ended up with Game 5 WS tickets (won them from the phillies website via lottery… I’ll have more on that story when we hit #1). We also went to game one vs. the Brewers (I called the Phils ticket office the day of that game and they still had tickets available, first level)… talk about karma. There was never a doubt in my mind; it was just meant to be. Back to this one… that double play was ridiculous! The swing of emotion in the 9th was unlike any other game that I have ever been to. My little brother was definitely a fair-weather fan but now he’s buying Phillies hats and talking Phillies with me… it’s pretty cool.

  9. Chuck P

    January 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I have to bring this up… I was thinking about the Eagles today and there are some striking similarities to their seasons thus far. First, they both started the season ok (the Phillies avoided the typical April slump and the Birds started out 5-3 with some key wins). Both teams hit major speedbumps in the middle part of the season; the Phillies stumbled around the all star break and fell behind while the Eagles struggled mightily (going 2-2-1) in weeks 9-13. The turnaround for the Eagles came following the benching of Donovan McNabb (without getting into details, this is when it happened). The turnaround for the Phillies came following their opening day starter was sent to Lehigh Valley to work things out… a resurgent Brett Myers probably carried this team as much as anyone down the stretch. More notably, the Phillies might not have won it without some lucky draws. Say what you want, we didn’t draw the Cubs and Tampa Bay was the best team we could have hoped for (to emerge from the AL). The Eagles, the last team to make it into the playoffs, drew a pretty bad Minnesota team and the Cardinals. I also believe that our biggest accomplishment was beating out the Mets for the NLE and although the Eagles did not win the division, they did beat the Giants when it mattered (in a way, that is an interesting parralel in and of itself). Both managers have been questioned… the faces of both franchises (Dawkins and Burrell) playing out their farewell tours on the biggest stage. Philadelphia will need to write their own ending because they will not draw Tampa in the Super Bowl, however, if you believe in karma, you might believe that destiny is on their side.

    PS… we all know that if you flip 80 you get 08. Well, what happens when you flip and rotate 60, the last time the Eagles won? ’09.

  10. Don M

    January 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    the ’60 and ’09 thing is wrong… If the Eagles win this Super Bowl, they’ll be the Champions from the 2008 Season.

    The Championship game in 1960 was played at the end of December, so still in 1960… the SuperBowl is now played in February.. so I’m not buying into the

    ’60 /’09

  11. Chuck P

    January 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    That’s probably the least legitimate reason that the two seasons are eerily similar (and why it was my PS). It does make a cool sign… it’s all about how you market it.

  12. Georgie

    January 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Chuck, I’ve been thinking the same thing about the eerie resemblence the Eagles season is having to the Phils ’08 run. Everything fell into place at the right time, and I predict a Ravens/Eagles Superbowl with the Eagles bringing another championship to Philly. I was 4 for 4 in last weekends game picks, hope I’m right again!

  13. Amanda

    January 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    That is an awesome picture. I haven’t seen that one before. Brett is like making out with Chase, and Romero is in the background like “Is Brett cheating on me?!”

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