Throughout the month, Phillies Nation will be counting down the Top 25 Phillies Moments of 2009.
Top Moment #22: Thursday, June 11 – Raul Caps Off a Fun Phillies Nation Day
June 11, 2009 was a great day in Phillies Nation. It day started off with a private tour of Citizens Bank Park with all the behind-the-scene sights. We spent the evening meandering through the suite level, diamond club and dugout, then paused for photos at Chase Utley’s locker and batting cage bats before ascending to the Harry Kalas broadcast booth. After the tour we made our way to McFadden’s to meet up with a few hundred people out to support the Arc of Philadelphia. We handed out our new Bleed Philly t-shirt out to a dozen or so lucky guests who were there to watch the game, enjoy the open bar and watch the Phils battle the Mets. The Phillies Nation crew comprised of myself, Rob, Nick and Jim made out big in the silent auction and raffles – taking home an Atlantic City trip, a Bobby Flay gift basket and a piece of the court from the old St. Joe’s Fieldhouse. (You can check out all the photos here.)
The game on TV was the rubber match of another exhilarating series with the Phillies hated rival – at least at the time. The Phils had just settled into first place two weeks prior while the Mets were at the onset of another painful collapse, albeit a much more drawn out collapse than they experienced in 2007 and 2008. Jimmy Rollins himself was facing a serious slump and returned to the leadoff spot after spending two games in the six hole.
Just before the game Tim Malcolm made his television debut on SNY live from Citi Field. Post-game, he recounted the exciting ten innings that clinched a series “worthy of documentation and conversation.”
Despite a quality start by Jamie Moyer, the Phils found themselves down 3-1 after the first five frames. Chase Utley and Matt Stairs each drove in a run in the the sixth and seventh to eventually send the game to extras. With one out in the 10th, Shane Victorino singled off Bobby Parnell (who was coming off a loss in the previous night’s game after allowing an Utley homer in the 11th). Parnell walked Utley before being relieved by Ken Takahashi who immediately struck out Ryan Howard. Thousands of blissfully stupid Mets fans rose to their feet in anticipation of a win. Instead they were greeted by a Raul Ibanez bomb over the wall in right-center, his 21st homer of the season. Phillies fans in McFadden’s and around the world rejoiced by exalting RAAAAAUUUUULLL!!! at the top of their lungs. The bottom of the ninth saw Ryan Madson record his second extra-inning save in as many nights.
The win gave the Phillies a four game lead in the division as they wrapped up a 7-3 road trip and improved to a major league-best 23-9 on the road. The game also laid the groundwork for the July 4th series with the Mets where the Phillies swept their rival away for good. It was a great day in Phillies Nation.