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.
23. Milwaukee’s best
Date: September 14, 2008
Backs against the wall, the Phillies needed some prayers answered on September 11. They were three games in back of the first-place Mets in the East, and four in back of the Wild Card-leading Brewers. Playoffs? It seemed unlikely. The Brewers came to town for a four-game set; at the time, we stressed a three-to-one series win. Who knew that the Phils would turn it on so well?
They won the Thursday game 6-3, then fell victim to a rainout Friday. No worries. They won Saturday 7-3, then turned their attentions to a Sunday doubleheader. Teams never sweep doubleheaders, let alone four-game sets. Right?
Game one was tight, with Joe Blanton giving the Brewers an early 2-0 lead. The Phils would cut the lead in half with a Pat Burrell RBI double play — a usual Phillie run in 2008. But the Brewers would grab another run off Blanton, turning hopes to the Phils offense. They wouldn’t let him down.
In the sixth, still 3-1, Ryan Howard — Mr. September — strode to the plate with Chase Utley at first. Three pitches in, he slammed a Dave Bush pitch the opposite way, tying the game. And in the eighth, the Phils deposited four, thanks mostly to a Shane Victorino homer. They’d take the game going away, 7-3.
Game two was much easier. Brett Myers sparkled, throwing a complete game and allowing the offense to do their damage on their own terms. After a Chase Utley RBI double play (see what I mean?), the Phils opened it up thanks to … guess who? Myers. The pitcher preluded his postseason magic with an RBI single. Jimmy Rollins followed that with a two-run single — with Myers showing a great slide — putting the game away at 4-0.
Pat Burrell added a barely-fair homer as the Phils took it, 6-1. With the sweep, the Phils jumped back into the playoff race. The four-gamer started a ridiculous stretch where the Phillies finished 24-6, taking … well, you know.
The video: Howard ties it up in the early game.
From the comments:
SJ Mike: Can the Brewers say “deflating?”
christopher: what a win! hot damn, i was skeptical about that one with all the problems they were having with bush. but a brilliant 8th inning, forcing shouse to throw to righties for fear of bringing in gagne, and then ROCKING him. oh and for all the trash people were talking about blanton in the other post, it looks like my last comment was the most accurate: “phillies in blanton starts are 6-4 whether you like him or not. he’s been a positive addition to the team and i think he’ll come up with one of his best performances of the season today.”
bring it home for the sweep tonight!
Whisky Priest: Listen to that crowd though: everyone is into it. Cheering for individual pitches, going nuts for every hit, booing meetings at the mound. Shit I love this city!