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2008 Phandom 25

The 2008 Phandom 25: Swinging In St. Louis

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, January 04, 2009 04:43 PM Comments: 8

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.

***

20. XX II: Gateway Gore
Date: June 13, 2008

How could the Phillies top the demolition of the Rockies in May?

Do it again against a better team in their park.

The Phillies came to Saint Louis clicking offensively, and facing right-handed Todd Wellemeyer, it seemed possible the Phils could bash the birds a bit for an easy victory. Heck, I even wrote “the Phils could bash this guy into next week” in the preview. And that they did.

It started with a triple shot of longball. Chase Utley knocked one out. Then Ryan Howard lined to the fair pole. Then Pat Burrell slammed one. It was the first and only back-to-back-to-back set for the Phils in 2008, done by the best boys for the job.

Armed with the 3-0 lead, the Phils started hitting the ball as if it was a beach ball. Carlos Ruiz doubled home a run in the second. Utley plated two with a single in the fourth. Wellemyer out. Ron Villone in. Damage continued. Howard singled to plate another. Geoff Jenkins drove one in with a sacrifice fly. Ruiz — again — hit a one-hopper over the fence to score two. Then even Kendrick got one in: a single that scored two. After Shane Victorino doubled in Kendrick, the scoreboard worker at Busch Stadium probably collapsed. Nine runs in the fourth. A 13-1 score.

The Phils weren’t finished. Pedro Feliz doubled in a run in the fifth. Villone’s line mercifully ended an inning later. But Howard responded to the change, rocking a second home run, this time off Mark Worrell. Jenkins got back in on the act during the eighth, and game star Ruiz singled him home to end the scoring. Breathe in, breathe out. 20-2.

The kudos, again, go to Carlos Ruiz, who went 4-for-6 with four RBI, his best offensive day in his career. But don’t overlook Kendrick, who had two hits in an inning and, really, pitched superbly against a pretty good Cardinals offense.

And for this writer, who ramped up his drinking as the game progressed, this one was a drunken celebration.

The video: Burrell makes it back-to-back-to-back

From the comments:

Keith: I had a feeling they were gonna go back to back. I dont know why but i just thought it was going to happen.

Phil: They are up by 2 touchdowns but missed the extra point.

Rob O: Damn fellers you got it right. An old fashiponed butt kickin’ And it could not happen to a nicer guy in Tony LaRussa. I jsut wish scottie Rolen was still here to enjoy it.

  • 8 Comments
 

The 2008 Phandom 25: Memorial Day Blockbuster

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sat, January 03, 2009 07:13 PM Comments: 8

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.

***

21. XX: Sweet Redemption
Date: May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008. “Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was the big show in theaters for the summer kickoff weekend, but the Phillies put on their own blockbuster on the cinema known as Citizens Bank Park.

It seemed like an innocent enough game. The Phillies and Rockies traded early runs, and by the end of the third, the score was tied at four. A little high, sure, but nothing would prepare us for what came next: A 16-run outburst by the good guys.

Picking it up in the fourth, it started with Chris Coste, who doubled down the right field line to make it 5-4. Then So Taguchi lined a double down the left field line, making it 6-4. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley then drove in runs, before Pedro Feliz ended the fourth with a two-run single. 10-4 Phils. Game over, right?

Not yet.

In the sixth, against Josh Newman, the Phils decided more teeing off was in order. With two on, Coste delivered again — a three-run bomb to left field. Then Utley singled to drive in his fifth of the game (three came on his league-leading 16th homer in the first inning), before Howard brought two more with a single. 16-4 Phils. Now we’re done, right?

Nope.

In the eighth, Utley drove home his sixth of the game — a personal record — to make it 17-4. Then TJ Bohn collected his first RBI. 18-4. Finally, Feliz brought home two more. 20-4.

Fine. There’s your game.

Actually, it finished 20-5.

Whatever.

The video: The Phillies plate six in the sixth.

  • 8 Comments
 

The 2008 Phandom 25: “Ambush!”

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Fri, January 02, 2009 10:03 PM Comments: 14

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.

***

22. “Ambush!”
Date: May 7, 2008

After the Phillies came back against the Diamondbacks in Arizona, one player said “Ambush.” Right on.

The Diamondbacks carried a 3-1 lead going into the seventh inning, as Kyle Kendrick turned in another Kendrickian start. The offense couldn’t get off the ground off Arizona starter Micah Owings, but in that seventh, they struck gold.

A Geoff Jenkins single gave way to Pedro Feliz. In typical clutch Feliz fashion, he knocked a two-run home run to tie the game. Arizona would regain the lead off Ryan Madson, however, as Connor Jackson plated Eric Brynes with a double. JC Romero extinguished the flames, but down 4-3, time was running out.

Luckily, the Phils caught a break as Shane Victorino reached first on a strikeout-passed ball. That brough up Eric Bruntlett, starting for the injured Jimmy Rollins. And as the little men did all season, Bruntlett came up big with a lining double, tying the game. Chase Utley followed with a base hit, scoring Bruntlett. “Ambush!”

Tom Gordon calmed it down after surrendering a leadoff double, and of course, Brad Lidge closed the door. A fine early season win against, at the time, one of baseball’s top teams.

The video: Chase Utley brings home Eric Bruntlett.

From the comments:

Mike T: I’d like to take the time to welcome the Phillies back down to Earth – welcome home, Phils.

Fran: see i dont mind feliz. If you think about it last year we had wes helms in that spot. Feliz is definatly an upgrade. Give him time, remember this is a whole new club and city hes with. He just moved 3,000 miles. Let him get adjusted

chris.l: Good ass game! It was worth staying up until 1:00 on a work night to watch us get this important win.

  • 14 Comments
 

The 2008 Phandom 25: The Sweep That Started It

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, December 31, 2008 05:00 PM Comments: 9

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!

  • 9 Comments
 

The 2008 Phandom 25: The All-World Pinch Hitter

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, December 30, 2008 05:00 PM Comments: 6

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.

***

24. Dobbsie delivers amidst sinking ship
Date: May 20, 2008

As the Phillies offense started to falter, wins became adventures. Hold dearly onto every run, and hope the bullpen can stave off the rallies. On a night Cole Hamels pitched magnificently against the poor-hitting Nationals, he was given no insurance. The score remained 0-0 as the Phils and Nats entered the late innings. In the seventh, Shane Victorino came to the dish with the bases juiced and two outs, but only flied out. It looked impossible.

But in the ninth, Pedro Feliz doubled. Then came Greg Dobbs, all-world pinch hitter, who drove home pinch runner Eric Bruntlett with a game-winning single. A Victorino hit looked like it could score Dobbs, but he was expertly blocked from scoring a second run. No worries, however, as Brad Lidge shut the door — as always — to secure the 1-0 win. Ugly, ugly, ugly. But a win.

It was their first run in 18 innings.

The video: Dobbs beats the Nats.

From the comments:

Geoff: great outing by hamels, 11k’s. is bergmann really that good? no. this lineup needs to be shaken up to shock them into reality. trading shane would shake things up nicely i think. start hitting there with RISP guys.

Mike T: Embarrassing display of offense – but after watching the last three games, yeah, I’ll take it.

  • 6 Comments
 

The 2008 Phandom 25: Sweet Lou!

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, December 29, 2008 11:46 PM Comments: 20

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.

***

25. Welcome to the show, Lou Marson!
Date: September 28, 2008

We at Phillies Nation suggest Lou Marson is the Phillies catcher of the future. In fact, we’re already getting in line for Marson’s 2030 Hall of Fame induction. And when that occurs, we can always look back to Marson’s fourth major-league at bat. Already 1-for-3 with a single, Marson faced down Nationals pitcher Marco Estrada, and tattooed him with a big fly into the left field seats. Returning to the dugout, Marson high-fived the air as a response to the first home run silent treatment. Before long, Geoff Jenkins, Jimmy Rollins and friends were congratulating the youngster. With the Phillies clinching a postseason berth the day before, this game was more of a relaxing, tension-free event. Marson’s homer capped the feel-good atmosphere, and the Phils finished off the Nationals for a 92-70 regular season, their best since 1993.

And yes, that day was even better because of the accompanying Mets choke-job.

 

From the comments:

CT: NICE FIRST HOMER FOR MARSON!

Chase Mutley: Home Run Wes Helms!!! Makes up for all the times you didn’t come through in the clutch for the Phillies.

  • 20 Comments
 
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