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.
8. Brian Wilson, dead
Date: May 2, 2008
Patrick Brian Burrell. How we loved thee.
The longtime Phillies slugger finished his Philadelphia career with a titanic double off the railing, setting off the rally that would ultimately win the Phillies their second world championship. But much earlier in the season, on May 2, he’d deliver a monstrous home run that ultimately, proved to be the greatest longball of his career.
The Phillies were down 5-4 in the 10th inning of a Friday night special against the Giants. San Francisco closer Brian Wilson entered the game and shut down Jayson Werth to prove his point. A flame ball-throwing right-hander, Wilson had staked out to the National League saves lead. He was imposing, he was brutish. Somehow, Chase Utley singled off him. That brought Ryan Howard to the plate, but the big man got flagged by looking at a questionable strike. He argued the call, he was gone. The Giants were up one. There were two outs. It seemed finished.
It was a shame, too, since the Phils played so well early. They hit Giants starter Pat Misch in the second inning, when Utley laced another of his early season home runs for a 2-0 lead. Pedro Feliz added to the effort with a two-run shot of his own in the fourth, against his former team, no less. But revenge would be sweet.
Kyle Kendrick did his part but folded in the seventh. Taxed a little too much, the young right-hander let two on. Ryan Madson tried to relieve and succeed, but failed miserably. Three singles and a groundout later, and the Giants had tied the game at 4-4. Kendrick was no longer of record. The Phillies no longer had a lead.
And they couldn’t get it back. The teams traded zeros until the tenth, when JC Romero put his scoreless streak (dating back to 2007) on the line. The leadoff hitter: former Phillie Aaron Rowand. The pitch: gone. The Giants led 5-4, and the crowd booed as Rowand rounded the bases he had rounded a dozen or so times before. While Romero got in more hot water, he somehow escaped, leaving the score 5-4 as the teams moved to the bottom of the 10th.
And with a runner on, with hopes all but dashed, with two outs, with a game on the line, Pat Burrell stepped to the plate, worked it to a full count, then …
Fastball. And we loved thee.
The video: Pat Burrell!