Top Moment No. 8: NL East Champs – Phillies Nation
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Top Moment No. 8: NL East Champs

Top Moment #8: Phillies Clinch National League East

It didn’t have the drama of the two NL East titles that came prior. The Mets weren’t busy blowing leads. There was no miraculous double play. Hell, it didn’t even make it to the final weekend of the season.

2009 was a different year. The Phillies had built up a big enough lead that on a Wednesday night on the last day of September, they had a chance to pop the bubbly and sport some new hats and t-shirts.

The only real question as the night progressed was whether or not the Phillies would take care of business themselves or if the Braves were going to finish off the Florida Marlins first. After falling behind early, the Phillies finally pulled ahead 5-3 in the fourth inning and never looked back. Cue in a couple Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino triples, add in a Raul Ibanez bomb and all of a sudden it was 10-3 in the 7th inning.

However, then things got interesting. The Phillies game and the Braves game almost fell into a dead heat, going out for out.

During the past two NL East titles though, the Phillies had always clinched on their own. This year, the scoreboard operators would make sure that tradition continued. Suddenly, there were no updates coming of the Braves-Marlins game.

And with two outs in the ninth, Charlie Manuel went to the bullpen despite the game not being in question. Feeling as if he owed his much-beleaguered closer the opportunity to finish it off, Manuel brought in Brad Lidge to finish off his old team and bring the Phillies their third straight division championship.

A few fans in the stadium had their phones out and had seen the Marlins had already lost and the division was already won, but it felt better this way.

It felt better celebrating in front of the Harry Kalas tribute sign in left center. It felt better hearing the crowd erupt for a third straight division title considering prior to 2007, we hadn’t won one in 14 years.

It just felt better this way.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Chuck

    January 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    And to think anybody was worried…

  2. Dudley Monk

    January 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Perhaps old news, but Myers signed with the Astros. He joins Pedro Feliz, Geoff Geary, Michael Bourn, Jason Michaels andother ex-Phils. I wish him and Ed Wade the best.

  3. Brooks

    January 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Here we go, the expectations flying and our hopes high as they should be.
    In 2007, the Phils made it to the post season by shear guts. What a year, what a clincher!
    In 2008, the Phils left more men on base ‘than Carter has pills’ (as the old saying went). Even into the post season, deep into the WS the Phils left a ton of batters in scoring position yet won because of (all things) pitching! The relief pitching.
    As yourself what propelled the Phils into the 2010 post season? Honestly, Jimmy Rollins had a terrible year especially for such a key position. Brad Lidge was awful! No words really to describe his ineptness nor Chahlie’s determination to see his closer somehow work his way out of his incredible season long slump – Cole Hamels – might as well have been throwing Adam Eaton pitching! Absolutely no bench! How frustrating!
    This year was mostly hitting, hitting and more hitting – without the services of one Jimmy Rollins. Raul Ibanez, J. Werth, Howard – were the key members of the offense that pushed us to the post season and yes, there were some key pitching performances by Lee & Happ –
    With very decent years posted by Victorino, a sub-par year by the one time heir apparent to the NL MVP – Chase Utley – and his usual Rocktober Ruiz madness – the Phils scraped together a beautiful season but by no means complete.
    2010 – bolstered by a hitter who’s vocabulary does not include the word ‘slump’ (Polly), the best pitcher in the ML today (Halladay), what appears to be a decent looking bench, the stability of the middle of the offensive lineup and the hopes that Jroll, Lidge & Hamels will once again show us what we have seen from them in the past.
    2010 promises – yep! At least one more gents – the first time any NL team has gone to the WS 3 years in a row since 1944. History in the making.

  4. Brooks

    January 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Sorry for the long post – just a little enthusiastic here… ya think?

  5. The Original Chuck P

    January 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I was there… and we were all scoreboard watching early on but one the game was “in hand” in the 7th, we all stopped scoreboard watching and the celebration was on. No one cared about the semantics at that point… it didn’t matter which game finished first or whether the Fish would lose because our guys had already taken the drama out of it. In typical fashion, they showed that their true colors as winners by coming back and putting it away. The crowd was spirited… the Kalas tribute was fitting and it was a special night. The celebration was subdued but the crowd was definitely openly appreciative of the accomplishment. 3x and still defending NLE champs!

  6. The Original Chuck P

    January 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Geez… my post would have been better served as a grammatical abortion. I’m hopped up on cold medicine… sorry all.

  7. George

    January 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Brooks: Hamels at his very worst was as far above Eaton as the space shuttle is above a dog turd. I wouldn’t put Eaton on the mound in a T-ball game, because he’d still find a way to be the losing pitcher.

    I will agree that Lidge was awful, Hamels had an off-year, and the team should be better this year, though.

  8. George

    January 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    The Original Chuck P: Don’t be sorry. We’re the ones who should be sorry that you have a cold. Besides, even hopped up, your grammar is better than SpankeeYankee’s. In a few days you’ll feel better, and will write better, but Spankee will always write like an idiot, medicated or not.

    Just get well and don’t worry.

  9. ALPHONSE DATTOLO

    January 12, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    IT HAS BEEN A GREAT RIDE THESE PAST THREE YEARS! LET’S MAKE IT #4!!!!I AM STARTING MY 50TH YEAR AS A PHILLIES FAN!!!!!!!

  10. Nick

    January 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Tom McCarthy took all the fun out of it when he decided to tell us the Braves already lost, about 30 seconds before the Berkman ground out (looked like he really wanted to get the game over with).

  11. PhilsWin

    January 13, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Nick, doesn’t matter. If Eyre was left in the game would have ended well before the Marlins game (since it took literally 2 or 3 minutes for the pitching change to occur and Eyre would have gotten the final out in less than that) Charlie made the move because he knew we’d have already won before the Marlins game had he left Eyre in, so no mystery in that, so might as well just go with the classy move instead.

  12. Brooks

    January 13, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Just got home from work. Heard on ESPN that Meyers never wanted to leave Philadelphia and now cannot wait to come back. To kick our asses that is..

    That’s the x-Phillie curse

  13. Don M

    January 13, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Myers helped us while he was here.. but was too immature to stay..

    i’ll give him some applause if i see him play in person, but I won’t miss him a ton now that he’s gone..

    I would love to see him try to get through our lineup 2 times

  14. Don M

    January 13, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Tom McCarthy is supposed to report the news as it happens..

    When we officially clinched, he told us… no big deal

  15. Chuck

    January 13, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’ll always remember Myers for his performance in the 2008 playoffs..part of Phillies lore forever.

    Can’t wait til our left-handed bats tag him good.

  16. mikemike

    January 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    The thing about myers that was strange to me , H

  17. mikemike

    January 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    sorry , The thing about Myers that was strange is the lost of velocity at a young age. Mostly 88-89 all year, before 93-94 that’s a lot for a not too old pitcher to lose.

  18. WFC010

    January 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Can’t wait for the season to begin, but i’m trying to keep my expectations moderate so that I won’t be disappointed. The Phillies should have another good year, barring any untimely injuries or poor performance from key players. Other than that, we’ll just have to see what happens.

  19. George

    January 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    It’s quite possible that Myers’ speed decreased due to his hip problem, and that he could once again get into the low nineties. That, I’m sure, is why Houston was willing to take a risk with him. If his speed does return, it will make his other pitches more effective, too. If his velocity continues at something below ninety he’ll be no better than a number four starter.

    Personally, I hope he does well, but I won’t miss him. He never did do as well as he should have given that nasty curveball of his. The Phils were about as patient with him as possible; I’d have traded him long before his contract ran out.

  20. Chuck

    January 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    How “long before”….?? If we we have traded him “long before” the 2008 postseason….chances are we’re not WFCs that year…Myers played a huge role after he came back from AAA….and in the postseason..

    Personally, I’m glad we were patient with him..

  21. Don M

    January 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    he was such a PHILADELPHIA player though… bad ass all the way.

    we would have HATED him so much if he was on the Mets or something.. he gave it his all, showed his emotions, answered questions honestly in interviews.. etc..

  22. Chuck

    January 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    That’s why he’ll always be part of Phillies lore….fans in Philly love “bad asses”… cause so many of them are bad asses themselves. Or at least they THINK they are..

    Other guys like that were Lenny Dykstra, to some extent Schilling, Allen Iverson, Brian Dawkins….although Dawkins and Myers really can’t be compared…Myers isn’t HALF the man B Dawk is..

  23. Don M

    January 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Schill was just an ass.. talked just to have his name in the paper everyday.. Put that towel over his head when WILD THING was pitching so that the pictures in the paper would be of him instead of someone else

    I was thinking guys more like Dave Hollins.. Trotter.. Primeau .. guys that didn’t back down from anything

  24. WFC010

    January 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Mitch Williams always struck me as a Philly kinda guy, because he was a bit crazy, had balls made of steel, and did his best despite whatever anyone said about him. That ’93 team was the most Philly team ever, if you ask me!

  25. Don M

    January 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    this is why people still don’t like Hamels … he just doesn’t fit the mold of “Philadelphia” … talent wise we love him, socially, he’s awkward

    We loved Rowand.. Brian Dawkins..

    scrappy players are what we like.. when you combine scrappy with talent

    Rollins, Utley, Werth … you have the makings of Philadelphia Legends

  26. Chuck

    January 13, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Yeah…Trotter…and I forgot about Hollins…real hard-nosed guy..

    I guess Schilling’s a bad example…some of his pitching performances were pretty “ballsy”, though.. but you’re right…a complete jackass.

    Mitch Williams is a Philly guy…but in a different sort of way…goofball to the core…I love him on MLB Network and Comcast when he’s on there.

    —-

    Looks like Matt Kemp’s gonna sign a 2 year deal with the Dodgers….it’s thought to be around $10 MM per season…He’s being compared to Nick Markakis who’s being paid $9.75 MM per year for the first two years of his six year deal..

    Wonder what this will do to Vic’s value??…I don’t think he’s quite the player Kemp is….and Markakis is a right fielder..

  27. Don M

    January 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Guys get paid way more for their bat than their glove..

    Kemp is a very, very good all around player.. I think he’s better than Ethier..

    Markakis is a talent waiting to happen.. he’ll get an MVP season coming up soon

    Kemp is getting paid through arbitration year I think, right?

  28. Chuck

    January 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I’m not sure about Kemp….but Markakis is being paid through arbitration for the first two years of his deal…

    The Orioles were smart to lock him up when they did…he IS an amazing talent who’s only going to get better….and more expensive.

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