The Tampa Bay Rays were in town on June 23 for an interleague series with the Phillies. The ending to the game would go down as the arguably the most memorable finish to a Phillies game in 2012.
The Phillies had a comfortable 6-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning. With Jonathan Papelbon on the mound, there was plenty of confidence that the Phillies would get the victory easily.
Let’s just say, it didn’t go as planned.
Papelbon blew his first save of the season, surrendering two runs to the Rays. With the game now tied, Papelbon had to rely on his teammates for redemption. In the dugout, Papelbon stated, “Whoever walks this guy off, I’ll give ‘em five grand.”
Not much later, Papelbon wrote out a check to Jim Thome. Thome ended the game in dramatic fashion, crushing an opposite-field home run to win the game.
Thome’s walk-off was his 13th in his career, the most in Major League Baseball’s modern era. Not only that, it gave Charlie Manuel his 900th career win. How appropriate that it would be Thome who helped Manuel reach such a milestone.
The Phillies beat the Rays 7-6 on June 23, 2012 as Thome’s blast will remembered for years to come. Thome would be traded just days later, but his walk-off homer ranks pretty high on Phillies Nation’s Top Moments of 2012 list.