50 of 50

50 Greatest Phillies Games: 4. ‘Team to beat’

t1_jimmy_rollins.jpgUntil March 27, we’ll be counting down the 50 greatest Phillies games of the last 50 years. This is 50 of 50.

And this is No. 4.

THE DATE: Sept. 30, 2007

THE GAME: Phillies vs. Washington Nationals, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

THE STAKES: Everything. More specifically, the National League East division title

THE GREAT: Now, this might not sound like a big statement, but I was lucky enough to be at every memorable game at Citizens Bank Park from 2007-11. Every playoff game, every World Series game, Doc’s no-hitter. You name it, I was there.

But this was hands-down my favorite Phillies game that I ever attended.

I’m pretty sure for the entire month of September 2007 I was running on pure adrenaline. I ate, slept and breathed baseball. I was a sophomore in high school, not even 16 years old, and this was my first real taste of meaningful baseball.

It all started during the offseason when Jimmy Rollins declared the Phillies the “team to beat” in the NL East. This set the stage for the six-month-long soap opera between the Phils and the Mets that ended in one of the biggest collapses in major league history.

With just 17 games left to play, the Phillies were seven games back.

Seven.

How did a team with Jamie Moyer, Adam Eaton, and Kyle Kendrick in the rotation and Brett Myers as the closer manage to come back from that big of a deficit, even with the Mets losing in any and every way possible?

It’s still hard to believe.

Before the Phils even took the field that Sunday afternoon, the nearly 45,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park knew their fate. Tom Glavine was unraveling up at Shea Stadium, giving up seven runs in the first inning.

Some standing around me thought this took the fun out of the game, but for me, it was pure euphoria. I was able to enjoy this historic moment, a moment the city had been waiting for nearly 15 years.

When J-Roll slid into third after hitting his 20th triple of the season, I actually felt the concourse shake underneath me. Citizens Bank Park was never louder.

The game was over, Myers threw his glove in the air and pandemonium ensued. I rushed to the first row along the first-base side from my standing-room-only spot.

Players high-fived us, sprayed us with champagne, and Harry Kalas led us in my first “High Hopes” sing-along. Aaron Rowand even poked me in the eye. As I said, it was pandemonium.

This was all we wanted, everything we waited for. Yet, it was only the beginning.

Box score from Baseball Reference

EXTRA: The post by Phillies Nation from this game in 2007

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