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.
12. The Bat
Date: October 5, 2008
All Pat Burrell needed to do was size them up, and the Phillies were winning their first postseason series since the 1993 National League Championship Series.
The Phillies had Joe Blanton, while the Brewers had Jeff Suppan. The Phillies also had a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series, on the brink of their first playoff series win in years and a date with the Dodgers. The game didn’t necessarily seem in hand, but most fans had a feeling the Phils could win the series then. And they did. Thanks to The Bat.
Of course, Jimmy Rollins got the Phils off to the nice start, swatting a leadoff home run for a 1-0 lead. Blanton, meanwhile, pitched a very solid first few innings, keeping the Brewers from causing any trouble while locating his way through quick innings. With the score still 1-0 in the third, it was time for the good guys to break out.
With two outs and Shane Victorino sitting on third, Milwaukee interim manager Dale Sveum decided to intentionally walk Ryan Howard. Why? Burrell was hitless so far in the series, so Sveum thought he would be able to preserve the one-run disadvantage. Instead, he woke up the sleeping giant. With a 2-2 count, Suppan wanted to go high, but stayed middle-in, and Burrell buried it deep into the left field caverns. Jayson Werth would follow with a blast of his own, and suddenly the Phils were ahead 5-0. They wouldn’t look back.
There wouldn’t be scoring again until the seventh, when Prince Fielder blasted one off Blanton to make the score 5-1. But there wasn’t much reason to worry — not with the Phillies stellar bullpen finishing the job. And as we’d soon see, not when Burrell was coming back to the dish.
In the eighth, he surfaced with nobody on base and Guillermo Mota pitching — the first batter he faced. Burrell welcomed him with a titanic shot into left-center field. That was it. Pack ‘em up. The Phils had a 6-1 lead, and could count the outs until a berth to the NLCS.
Burrell would account for the difference in game four, a 6-2 win. Clearly, he had to steal one of the shows.
From the comments:
Greg B: YYYYYYYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! HOLY DIVER!
NEPA: Pat the Bat, looks like he regained his stroke.
christopher: great game, great series, great team!! BRING ON THE DODGERS!!