The 2008 Phandom 25: CC Sucks! – Phillies Nation
2008 Phandom 25

The 2008 Phandom 25: CC Sucks!

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.

***

3. Victorino takes CC to school
Date: October 2, 2008

I have attended hundreds of Phillies games in my 24 years on Earth. Many played like company picnics — a couple thousand people hanging out in the multi-colored seats of Veterans Stadium, shirtless fathers, bumbling children, cigarette-smoking mothers in skimpy t-shirts. A lot of haze. Not a lot of drama.

A few games had the trappings of stunners. Most of those games occurred at Citizens Bank Park, with newly minted crowds, crab-fry-munching families, red-clad newbies from La Salle or St. Joe’s. While I knew I was maybe the biggest fan of the 42,000 in attendance, it was nice to see 42,000 in attendance.

On October 2, 2008, I arrived at Citizens Bank Park after an arduous early afternoon drive on Interstate 95. I drank. And drank. And played cornhole. And drank. The sky grew a weird tint of violet. My brothers all had tickets for different areas of the ballpark. And I drank. And I entered the park, excited for my first taste of playoff baseball in 15 years, and saw a sea of red at Citizens Bank Park. A glorious, biblical sea of red.

That sea caused a tidal wave unheard in a Philadelphia ballpark in decades. The wave picked up steam in the second, with a runner at third, a run across, and pitcher Brett Myers hankering in for an at bat against the invincible CC Sabathia. It grew with each pitch. A foul. A ball. A foul. A ball. A foul. A ball. A foul. With each pitch, the wave grew in complexity — at first, applause, then cheers, then disbelief, then laughter. The at bat became comical, as if Sabathia was scored to the Benny Hill theme song. And when Sabathia unfurled that final pitch, a low fastball that Myers didn’t bite, the wave crested, rolling toward the shore. It was something I’d never experienced in Philadelphia.

The wave rolled on high, chanting “CC sucks!” as Jimmy Rollins stepped in. Patient as ever, he walked on four pitches. Suddenly the bases were loaded, Shane Victorino stepped in, and the wave was nearing the shore, ready to crash and topple the 300-pound Sabathia from the mound, as if he was Charlie Brown. And like Snoopy, most of us were laughing hysterically. CC Sabathia? Pitching this poorly? Haha!

If the Phillies didn’t win the World Series, this moment would’ve topped the list. But they did, and maybe, they don’t win if this moment doesn’t happen. This moment, this very moment, is one of those moments that is key in comprising legend. It’s a premonition, a prologue — the first giant wave before the tsunami that would occur less than a month later.

Victorino, after rattling off a foul and finding himself in a small hole, licked his chops. Sabathia needed to eliminate Victorino, but these are why these moments exist. Sometimes things don’t go as they’re planned. And all the while, the wave rode, the fans stood, cheering, howling, hoping for something — a ball, a wild pitch, a single, a blooper. Something.

Sabathia unfurled a changeup that played inside. Victorino pulled it, and the ball flew through the violet sky, into the sea of red, causing the wave to swallow Sabathia whole. We were drunk with adulation. I had a headache, a lost voice, and a red face. Red as the sea. With a 5-1 lead off the invincible Sabathia, there was almost no reason to complete the game. It was inevitable.

The game ended at 5-2. Victorino’s grand slam was the difference, and then some. In small context, it won the game and slayed the beast. But in the larger context, it represented the moment the Phillies became a legal threat. Now they could do anything, and at any time, and against any man. The team meant business.

When the game ended, I emerged in the parking lot, a voice hoarse, a head aching. But all ill feelings were exalted from my system — for now, I had seen a team committed to the goal, and a city committed to its team. For now, we were all the biggest fans, a sea of red that never broke.

The video: Victorino hits the granny

From the comments:

CT: The crowd is loving Brett making contact here… beat that ball Brett!

SJ Mike: That was the greatest at bat EVER! This tops Myers bases loaded at bat vs. the Mets.

Manny: HOLY SHIT WE ARE GONNA BRING THIS BIG BEAR DOWN !!

Jamie: FLYING F**KIN’ HAWAIIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. SJ Mike

    January 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Dang, a lot of my comments seem to be making this top 25 list. Neato!

    This was a great game. Shame they didn’t put this game on the World Series DVD set with the last 2 of the NLCS and the 5 games of the World Series.

  2. Griffin

    January 21, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    This was the defining moment of the Brewers series, much like Matt Stairs was the moment of the Dodgers series and Chooch’s roller was the moment of the Rays series.
    The most famous home run ever hit at CBP.

  3. Jason B.

    January 21, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Flyin F**CKING HAWAIIAN!!!!!! Words uttered by hundreds of thousands in the Delaware Valley.

  4. Brooks

    January 21, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Once again Tim, you “done good” kid. Great videos clips. Are these all from MLB.com?
    I was at this game and remember Meyers AB well. Nobody was really keying in on what was happening, especially after Meyers swung and missed on the first 2 pitches but, pitch after pitch – the excitement grew, the towels flew – it got crazier and crazier. When he finally walked CC really started to hear it. And, we got to him!
    What a time, what a memory – thanks Tim.
    I look forward to logging on every day to see which game will be up next!

  5. KM

    January 21, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Greatest game that I have ever been too. The next closest was the game that ended in the wee hours of the a.m. with a Mitch Williams game-winning double after hours in a rain delay.

  6. Manny

    January 22, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I’m just laughing at my comment…. hahah

  7. Tim Malcolm

    January 22, 2009 at 12:11 am

    There are two left. Easy to guess No. 2 and 1.

  8. B-Dizzle

    January 22, 2009 at 6:48 am

    How I’d spend Ryan Howard’s 18 Million.

  9. NEPA

    January 22, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Haha, that’s a damn funny article B-Dizzle.

  10. deal

    January 22, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I imagine I’ve been to over a hundred Phils games.

    Including post season games in 93, 07 and 08 and The Myers/Victorino/CC game has gotta be top 5 maybe top 3.

    Some games just have everything and they are worth it — thats why we suffer through all the crummy games hoping for the great ones.

  11. Jason B.

    January 22, 2009 at 9:00 am

    B-Diz… Pygmy marmoset?!? Funny shite! Really funny shite!

  12. Brooks

    January 22, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Nostalgia?
    The greatest game I have attended was 2 years ago (I think it was…) and it involved the star of this video, Shane Victorino.
    It was his bobble-head day, sometime in June and for a fathers-day gift, I got 4 decent tickets to see the Phils play. My best friend, my wife, my grand daughter (my friends wife was caring for her sick mom) and me. The Phils were down and it was getting late in the afternoon. Not only that, it was raining slightly, enough to clear out some of the not-so faithful and cause the girls to cover up only with a peep-hole to see out of their cover for the action going on.
    Down 7-5 in the 7th, Howard hit a 3 run hr to give the Phils their first lead of the day 8-7. One significant point to remember, it was F. Garcia’s last game pitched as a Phillie. It was the game where he peeled off after hitting a grounder to second base, before the ball was in the first basemen’s mitt. Did he get the rasberries…
    Anyway, whoever the reliever was, gave up the tying run I think in the top of the 9th which led to the bottom of the 9th, the drama and rain picking up momentum.
    Victorino was flattered and nervous – was a woeful 0-5, not looking at all the hero came to bat. He hits the ball for a game winning, walk-off hr! He wins the game and winds up being the hero on his bobble-head day…
    That, was the greatest game (not the wettest!) that I have been to.

  13. Don M

    January 22, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I was there for this game, and for WS game #4 (THE BLOWOUT)… and I have to say that THIS game might be the best moment i’ve witnessed in Phillies history.

    I told my dad after like 3 pitches of the Myers at-bat that it was GREAT just to be making CC throw pitches, we had NO idea how many pitches he would end up throwing or how that at-bat would become something of Phillies legend.. something i’ll tell my kids about. He works the walk, Rollins follows, and when Victorino hit that Grand Slam, I didn’t even yell or cheer at first… I just watched in disbelief..

    I’m pretty sure that we are ALL ready to chalk up that win to the Brewers with Sabathia on the mound, and realizing that we just took him down thanks in part to the 9-1-2 hitters… ANYTHING was possible at that moment, THAT was when I realized this team was definitely good enough to win it all.

    So it took my a good few seconds of getting hugged by strangers, and high-fives all over the place before I joined in the screaming… I was too busy soaking that moment in.. it was “different” then leaving WS Game #4, fairly certain that we would win the WS the following night… The feeling I had after the Victorino Grand Slam was even better than what I described before, of that great feeling you get when Pitchers & Cathers… praying that any year could be the year, and last year…. was just amazing..

    Literally, I can die a happy man because I saw the Phillies win the World Series, someting I was never quite sure I would see in my lifetime.

  14. Ari

    January 22, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I also would have included this HR in my top couple. I was stuck in my car, listening on the radio at the time. For some reason I couldn’t get good radio reception on the highway, so I was actually driving back the slow way on city streets. When Feliz came to bat with none on and two outs, the announcers mentioned that it might be a good idea for him to get on base, if only to get Myers ending the inning to turn over the lineup. Little did we know that Myers would have the atbat of his life, and it would lead to the Victorino HR. When I heard that call I knew the series was over. All the Phillies had to do was hang on with Myers pitching well and a very good and well rested bullpen. They had then beaten the best the Brewers had to offer. The psychological blow would be huge, let alone the fact that the Phils were now up 2-0 in a best of 5 series. That blast alone essentially won them the first round of the playoffs.

  15. Justin

    January 22, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Brewers are close to a 2 year deal with Prince Fielder, wonder what it’s worth, at least it will give the Phils a chance to see what players of his same caliber are getting.

  16. Chase Mutley

    January 22, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I live in the Lehigh Valley but work in North Jersey. Afraid that I wouldn’t make it home in time for the game I went out with a friend to watch it at a sports bar in Mets and Yankees country. Unfamiliar with the area, we just picked the first place with the words “Sports” and “Bar” on the sign.

    The bar was called “Miami Mike’s.” It was one of the saddest establishments that I had been to in a long time. Located in the lobby of a misplaced Ramada Inn, its decor was intended to emulate a South Beach hangout; fake palm trees, Dolphins’ gear, projection flatscreens from the 90’s, wicker everything. This is Rt. 10 in East Hanover, New Jersey in the middle of fall though, it didn’t look festive, it just looked sad. There were a few middle manager office types sitting at the bar but it was otherwise empty and we walked into Brett Myers loading the bases with one out in the first. We pulled up a table, the only people in the place actually watching the game, and I settled in for what I figured would be a bumpy ride, another Myers’ unhinging.

    He gets out of the inning. I order a beer. Frustrated with my surroundings, frustrated with what I thought was going to be another playoff exit, I spent the start of the home half of the second inning texting my wife. Then “the at bat” happened.

    I couldn’t believe what I was watching. I think back to that game against the Mets, that I STILL haven’t seen, where Myers’ pinch hit antics were discussed as legend. Did he just walk Brett Myers?! Did he just walk Jimmy Rollins?!?! Then Victorino washed away years of disappointment with one swing of the bat.

    I lost my mind. The only Phillies fan in the place, heck the only person watching the game, I was on my feet, screaming. An old man, in an XL Phillies t-shirt overlapping typical old man gear, comes in seconds later and asks what just happened. He looked as if he was going to tear up. Miami Mike’s became the happiest place on earth for me at that moment. I might has well have been back at McMeniman’s on Germantown Ave. watching the game.

    Whenever I’m having a bad day, I can just replay in my mind Larry Andersen’s “C’mon, c’mon” and ensuring scream during the radio broadcast of at bat and I instantly have a smile on my face.

  17. Mazinman

    January 22, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Aaaaah, what a sweet little homerun. Big in so many ways. It was the game winning hit, it proved that C.C. was not invinsible, and it gave us a dominating 2-0 lead. I also agree that it was the first time in the Post Season where the crowd in CBP became a real force.

    I would still put Stairs home run above it but thats only because I got to listen to that one live. I was working during this game so I missed it.

  18. JohnKruksLoveChild

    January 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I was at the game with family and friends, easily one of the best highlights of the playoffs. That game did NOT start out well though, the 1st inning was a high wire act, many people were still getting food while groaning at Myers on the mound. But he more then made up for it with an EPIC at bat. At first you figured he was just stretching out the inevitable, but after he actually got on base, at the moment, anything was possible and you knew they really had a chance at being winners.

    Vic’s slam sealed the deal, and we knew right then and there we had a chance to go all the way.

  19. Don M

    January 22, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Prince Fielder sucks…

  20. Don M

    January 22, 2009 at 11:23 am

    obviously, im kidding, but sure ain’t Ryan Howard

  21. Geoff

    January 22, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I cannot stand Prince Fielder. If i was a pitcher I would throw at him every single time I faced him. Kness, head, ribs, chin music, everywhere. The only reason I dislike Jose Reyes more is because hes on the mets.

  22. Manny

    January 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    He’s one big fat vegetarian

  23. Chase Mutley

    January 22, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I dislike Jose Reyes more than any player in baseball. He could be on the Phillies and I would hate him.

  24. Manny

    January 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’m with you, Mutley.

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