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2010 Top Moments

Top Moment #1: Doc’s Playoff No-Hitter

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, February 18, 2011 09:15 AM Comments: 11

Well, we’re finally, finally done. We’ve gone through Opening Day, when Phillies Nation, along with Roy Halladay, rocked Nationals Stadium in D.C. We’ve passed along our stories on the perfect game, the Oswalt trade, an incredible J-Roll walk off, and another division title. We’ve presented to you the best moments from the postseason: the Fistpump, Oswalt running through the stop sign, and the “Groin Game.” But this is #1.

Roy Halladay’s playoff no-hitter is the #1 Moment of 2010, according to the contributors here at Phillies Nation. Beating out the perfect game by one measly vote – which seemingly was because of the postseason importance over the PG – Doc’s no-hitter was an amazing display of guts, guile, and confidence. Only one other person in MLB postseason history was able to do what Halladay did against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS.

I was there. Lucky enough to witness the special moment from the press box – my first season and playoffs as a media member. Even that couldn’t stop my heart from thumping, my pulse from pounding as the ninth inning began. If someone had nails left in the building, they either had no rooting interest in the game or had fake nails. Even the vast array of writers, reporters, and whomever else they let in the box, were buzzing. I recall smiling to myself after out number one, like ‘is this actually happening?” It was. And it did.

Continue reading Top Moment #1: Doc’s Playoff No-Hitter

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Top Moment #2: Perfection

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Wed, February 16, 2011 11:00 AM Comments: 15

Halladay tossed a game few of us have ever witnessed. Perfection. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

27 batters.

27 outs.

No runs.

No errors.

No base runners.

Perfection.

[Watch all 27 outs here]

Roy Halladay was perfect on May 29th. Matched up against Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay threw one of baseball’s greatest games in a 1-0 win against the Marlins and vaulted himself into Philadelphia history.

Halladay’s masterpiece included 11 strikeouts,  115 pitches, and 72 for strikes. Doc was so efficient that after the first inning, Halladay only threw more than 12 pitches once more in any given inning.

The 1-0 score really makes you wonder what would have happened had Cameron Maybin not botched Chase Utley’s line drive that scored Wilson Valdez. The way Doc was dealing, he probably could have thrown another nine perfect innings.

What would have happened if Juan Castro wasn’t at third base? Would Placido Polanco been able to get to the soft hit chopper that Ronnie Paulino bounced over to end the game? That’s the thing about baseball. There are so many questions that come with such a rare occurrence.

Now for the rest of our lives, we have questions, where were you during Roy Halladay’s perfect game? When did you hear that Doc was flirting with perfection? Who were you with during this amazing night in Phillies history?

Where were you when perfection struck?

NICK: I was at Landmark in Glassboro to watch the Phillies and UFC that night. Not being a hockey fan, I had to beg the bar to put the Phillies on a small television due to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup being on.  On the smallest TV at the bar, the game was on and we took notice of what was going on after Halladay had made it through the Marlins lineup once through. By the sixth inning fans started taking note of what was happening, and by the 8th inning half the bar had gathered around our table. A night I won’t forget.

PAT GALLEN: How incredible is technology? Myself along with my girlfriend and two other friends were racing to a bar in Fenwick Island, DE, while on vacation. We listened to Scott Franzke giving the play-by-play on my iPhone using the MLB At Bat app, praying that the signal wouldn’t be lost in the car. We came to a stoplight just in front of the bar (which is a Philly bar, by the way – it’s owned by family friends and it’s called Slainte, look it up!) when the final pitch was being thrown and we went insane, high-fiving in the car.

As soon as we walked in, the place was filled to the brim with Phillies fans still going nuts; people hugging and rejoicing and giving cheers with fresh beverages. It wasn’t an ideal way to celebrate one of the finest performances ever, but it’s one of those nights you’ll never forget because of how odd the circumstances were. Me, three friends, a car, and an iPhone. All you need to listen to perfection.

MICHAEL BAUMANN: I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch it. I went to the USA-Turkey soccer game at the Linc that afternoon, and between tailgating and the game probably spent six or seven hours in the scorching heat with little to no shade and nothing to drink but cheap beer. The result? As bad a case of sunburn and dehydration as I’ve ever had. That night, I went to a friend’s house to watch Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, and he turned off the Phillies in the third inning for the Flyers game, even though (and I swear to God this is true) I said, “But Halladay’s got a perfect game going!”

Anyway, I fell asleep on his sofa halfway through the second period and missed not only what was (I’m told) a very exciting playoff hockey game, but a historic moment the likes of which I was sure I’d never see again.

DASH TREYHORN: For most of us, we didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until the sixth inning or so. It wasn’t until he set down a solid enough lineup the second time that we thought, hey, this just might be something. And when that feeling hits you, it hits you like a sack of bricks. From the seventh inning on, I sat in front of my computer, listening to Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, afraid to move, afraid to breathe. And when you rely on your ears for the action, the routine plays can become less routine because you can’t see the action. A grounder in the hole at short might look like an easy out on television, but it certainly doesn’t sound that way.

When MLB Network cut in during the bottom of the ninth, I actually had to force myself out of my seat in front of my computer so I could watch the game. And you have to understand, as someone who firmly believes in the ridiculous nature of baseball jinxes, that was a tough choice. But even then, I couldn’t force myself to record the final inning, because I was so freaked out that I would somehow have an impact on the outcome. It’s like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Objects under observation will behave differently than when not under observation. I already thought that I was tempting fate by watching the final inning, but recording it, too? No way would I mess with history. I suddenly turned into a theoretical physicist.

In my baseball loving life, I’ve never actually been part of a perfect game. I’ve seen the final innings of them a lot, but I can honestly say that I’ve never watched or listened to a perfect game, soup to nuts. So it was kind of a big deal for me. It was like watching Game Five, Part B of the 2008 World Series again. It was just one game that was sort of insignificant, but at the same time, it was everything. But that’s what baseball, and the Phillies, do to us.

KIERAN: Living in Virginia Beach the only times I really get to watch the Phillies is at the bar, while they are playing the Nationals, or on the nationally televised Sunday night games. We were at a friend’s house watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals and had the grill on and the corn hole boards out. We were all over the place in this house; the kitchen, living room, back yard.

I remember watching the hockey game and continuously checking my phone for the Phillies score. After around the fifth inning I can remember my brother peaking his head out the window and saying ’12 more outs, sssshhhhh.’ We kept doing this for the rest of the game. The broadcast of the hockey game was actually interrupted to show the final inning of the Phillies-Marlins game. In our group of friends, my brother and I are the main baseball fans except for one Yankee kid. But when Roy Halladay got that final out, the whole place erupted. Everyone was dishing out high fives and even some hugs. People were congratulating me as if I did something. All I did was witness history. And that’s just fine with me.

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Top Moment #3: Hamels Fist Pumps Phillies into NLCS

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Tue, February 15, 2011 12:27 PM Comments: 3

Cole Hamels' fistpump took over Philly during the NLDS. (Photo: AP)

Cole Hamels knows all about pitching in big games.  And even this early in his career, he knows how to pitch in the postseason.

As the number three, yes #3, starter for the Phillies in the postseason Hamels was asked to pitch the third and clinching game of the Divisional Series against the Cincinnati Reds.  Sure, no big deal.  But how do you follow seven unanswered runs in Game 2 and not to mention only the second no hitter in postseason history that was Game 1?  With a complete game shutout of course.

Hamels owns the Reds.  Before Game 3, he had seven career starts with six wins and no losses against Cincy.  He went to work in Game 3 and continued to battle until throwing the final pitch, number 119.  All season, Hamels had received little run support and this night was no different. Continue reading Top Moment #3: Hamels Fist Pumps Phillies into NLCS

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Top Moment #5: Halladay Shuts Out Nationals to Clinch Division

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, February 12, 2011 04:12 PM Comments: 12

The Phillies’ unprecedented fourth consecutive division title was carved in stone on the back of an outstanding pitching performance, a 97-pitch complete game shutout by Roy Halladay, who allowed only two hits while striking out six and not walking a batter. Halladay was the star, of course, with a game score of 89, but the offense more than did its job on that night. Every Phillies position player reached base, and while Jayson Werth’s solo home run off John Lannan to lead off the second inning would turn out to be enough, the Phillies tacked on seven more runs anyway. Werth doubled in Placido Polanco and Chase Utley in the sixth inning, and after Raul Ibanez singled, advancing Werth to third and chasing Lannan, Carlos Ruiz singled in Werth to make it 4-0. And the rout was on. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Shane Victorino, Polanco, Utley, Howard, and Werth strung together a walk, a single, a double, another walk, and another single to bring the score to its final of 8-0.

The amazing thing about this night was that there ought to have been more of a to-do about a spectacular performance to put the icing on a historic run of success, but if there’s a word to describe that game, it’s “routine.” Think about that. A complete-game shutout in less than 100 pitches for Halladay, and the 21st win of a historic season? Routine. An 8-0 win against a division rival in the heat of the stretch run to lock up a division title? Routine. If ever there were an indication that these were not your older brother’s Phillies, the overwhelming routineness of a two-hit shutout to clinch the division was it.

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Top Moment #6: Dobbs, Ransom HRs Rally Phils over Reds

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, February 11, 2011 11:01 AM Comments: 11

It seemed like every game went down to the wire between the Phillies and Reds during the 2010 season. It was fitting the two teams met during the NLDS, even though it wasn’t much of a series.

On Friday, July 9, it started off as just another game for the Phillies struggling offense. One run through the first eight innings, countless ugly at-bats, and another unknown pitcher putting them through hell. Yet, like so many times before, when you thought they were down and out, the Phillies caught you by surprise.

That’s exactly what they did against Reds starter Mike Leake in the ninth inning. Down to their final three outs, but down six runs, the 2-3-4 hitters approached the plate. Ryan Howard would send home Shane Victorino to make it 7-2 and with one out, the fun was kicked into high gear.

With Howard and Jayson Werth on base, the much-maligned Greg Dobbs stepped to the dish in the midst of one of his worst seasons as a pro. You’re thinking, soft ground out at minimum, maybe even double play. That’s the kind of season Dobbs had in ’10. Then…liftoff. Dobbs clanged one off the foul pole in right field, and with a 7-5 game, you’re suddenly thinking, “no effing way.”

With two outs, Ben Francisco walked to bring Cody Ransom to the plate to face Reds closer Francisco Cordero. His last name may as well be “random” because that’s basically what he was last season; a random player who happened to get a big hit in a big spot. Ransom unleashed an opposite field jack that sent the crowd into a frenzy and tied the game at seven.

Really? Cody Ransom? That’s a basic synopsis of the Phillies 2010 season – guys like Cody Ransom pulling through in the clutch, chipping in at key moments. As for Ransom, he didn’t last long with the team, but certainly made his presence felt in the short time he filled in for the injured Placido Polanco.

With six runs on the board in the ninth, they had to win, right? Yep. Ryan Howard made sure of it.

Not exactly his most productive power season, Howard let everyone know he was still capable of the long ball on this mid-July evening. His two-run blast to the opposite field gave the Phillies yet another improbable come from behind win. Oh, those poor Cincinnati Reds.

(Photo: CSN, MLB)

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Top Moment #7: Phils Welcome Back Cliff Lee

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Thu, February 10, 2011 11:15 AM Comments: 4

The prodigal son returned.  Jon Heyman had been reporting that a mystery team had been in on Cliff Lee and it wasn’t the two horse race, between the Yankees and Rangers that many had thought it was. Some believed Heyman; others thought he was just trying to make a story out of nothing.

Then slowly news started leaking on December 13th that perhaps the Phillies were the mystery team. Then more tweets started coming. The Phillies were the mystery team (right). Before you know it, the Delaware Valley was collectively hitting refresh on their Twitter feeds until finally the news had broke: Cliff Lee was coming back to Philadelphia.

I believe my tweet after reading the news was, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IT’S THE PHILLIES!! JAAAAAAAAAAAADF!”

After that, the question became what was the deal worth, how much had the Phillies given the best pitcher on the market to build the world’s greatest starting rotation.

At first, it looked like Lee had left tons of money on a table that we are still trying to locate, however after the fine print was read, it turned out that Lee was actually going to make a little more per year in Philadelphia. The deal has a guaranteed $120 million over five years, and if Lee pitches in 200 innings in 2015, or 400 innings over the course of 2014-2015, he will earn a $27.5 million dollar option that will bring the deal to $135 million over six years.

Upon his exit when traded to Seattle, Lee was hurt and upset and for good reason. His family loved it here, the fans loved him, and most importantly he himself loved it here. Lee had told his agent this is where he wanted to be. And damn it, he is back.

We are now just weeks away from a starting rotation of reigning Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton. While Blanton certainly doesn’t fit into that group, he’s arguably the best number five in baseball.

Welcome back, Cliff.

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Top Moment #8: The First Time…

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Wed, February 09, 2011 09:59 AM Comments: 4

I thought about it a lot. I mean a lot. Up to the day it happened I could not stop thinking about it. I was nervous, sure, but also very excited. This was going to be my first time. And going out on a limb I am going to say it was probably your first time as well. Maybe you weren’t as nervous or excited as I was, but you could feel it.

But you didn’t show it. You just went out there and acted like you had done it before. And let’s be honest, I knew you had. Yes, I am talking to you Roy Halladay. This wasn’t your first Opening Day. Hell this wasn’t even your first Opening Day on the road. It was, however, your first in a Phillies uniform.

We came from far and wide to see this game. I know I drove from Virginia Beach with 15 of my closest friends to watch this game. Phillies Nation brought bus loads of fans from Philly. We made Nationals Park a home game for our beloved Phillies. It was incredible. Even President Obama showed up to see Halladay in action. Well, that, and to throw out the opening pitch.

Oh right, the game. It was Opening Day in baseball; a day I have long petitioned for to be made into a national holiday. The build up to this day was excruciating. The Phillies went out and got the man they had been pining over since the 2009 trade deadline. Halladay came to the Phillies at the cost of Cliff Lee, a topic that was highly debated all season long. As we all know, those discussions are finally over.

Halladay did not disappoint. He worked beautifully through the Nationals line up going seven innings allowing one run on six hits while striking out nine.

This was Halladay’s eighth Opening Day start. The previous seven had all come while wearing a Blue Jays uniform. When asked about starting for the Phillies, Halladay said it was a lot different.

“It’s been fun for me. Nothing against Toronto, but it kind of gives you renewed energy coming over here. It’s a team that wants to win and can win.”

It was the first Opening Day for the Phillies in five years. Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco hit home runs. Polanco had three hits including a grand slam and six RBIs on the day while every Phillies starter had at least one hit. Halladay even had a hit and RBI. It was a great start to the season.

The PN tailgate festivities started the day off properly and Halladay finished it as only he knows how. With a win. His first in a Phillies uniform on his way to the Cy Young.

After the game MLB Commissioner Bud Selig attempted to make sense off the massive amounts of Phillies fan in DC for the game.

“I think it’s great for the sport, I really do,” he said. “There’s enormous interest, obviously, in Philadelphia and the fact that people travel as much as they do now. … It’s only a testament to this game’s popularity.”

Popularity for the game, yes. But Philly fans in general are about as passionate as anybody in the sports community.

Welcome to Philadelphia Roy Halladay.

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Top Moment #9: Moyer Oldest to Throw Shutout

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, February 08, 2011 12:45 PM Comments: 28

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson

Jamie Moyer should have this quote written under his cap. It was made for him.

Moyer has been in baseball longer than maybe he should be. But even nearing the end of what has been an incredible, lengthy career, Moyer was able to set an impressive record on May 7, 2010. Against the Atlanta Braves – the Phillies toughest divisional opponent – the then 47-year old went the distance allowing just two hits on the evening. Neither crossed home plate and in the process Moyer became the oldest pitcher to toss a complete game shutout in the history of this fine sport.

Think about that: for all the talk that Moyer needed to hang ‘em up and go on his merry way as he inched toward 50, his performance against the Braves was basically him throwing up a middle finger to those who said he couldn’t, he shouldn’t, he can’t.

In the 7-0 victory, Moyer’s line could have been mistaken for Roy Halladay‘s: 9 innning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts, 105 pitches, 71 strikes. After the performance, Moyer was asked about the game ball and if it has a special meaning.

“What did I do with the ball?” Moyer said. “I think one of my kids has it. I don’t know if it’s in the [batting] cage and they’re hitting with it, or they’re going to give it to one of the dogs at home.”

When talking about looking back on some of his accomplishments later in his career, Moyer said, “I feel like there’s plenty of time when I retire to reflect on things. I’m sure at home we’ll talk about it tonight. It’ll be a topic of conversation. As far as sitting back, tomorrow I’ll probably sit and not necessarily think about what happened, but kind of rehearse the game in mind, go through the game again and be able to see pitches, and thoughts will come back.

“A lot of times at night that happens for me. I usually go sleepless when I pitch — win, lose or draw. It’s usually a long night for me, but it can be fun, because it’s nice to reenact things and see things. Maybe a thought that went through your head comes back. Something may come to mind.”

Using a dash of luck, a pinch of hard work, and heaps of dedication, Moyer put together the finest performance by an aging baseball player ever. Of course, in true Jamie Moyer fashion, he took it in stride.

(Photo: Associated Press)

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Top Moment #10: Werth Walks it Off for Lucky No. 7

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, February 07, 2011 06:40 PM Comments: 5

It was a mighty fine precursor to a huge series with the Braves in mid-September.

Jayson Werth launched a walk-off two-run home run for the Phillies, as they completed a four-run ninth-inning comeback over the Washington Nationals to win 7-6. Werth’s blast catapulted them to a three-game advantage over Atlanta in the division just before the two teams would meet.

The ninth inning began with three straight base hits (a leadoff single by Placido Polanco, a double by Chase Utley, and a two-run single by Ryan Howard) before Werth sealed the deal off of Nats closer Drew Storen.

Although there was a happy ending here, it didn’t begin that way. The Phillies were forced to rally because of a lacking offense, middle-inning madness from their starter Joe Blanton, and a leaky bullpen.

Blanton would allow three runs in the sixth inning – four all told – on a Mike Morse blast into the seats.  Blanton handed the ball to Danys Baez who got through the seventh, but not without allowing another run, which pushed the Nats lead to 5-3. In the eighth, J.C. Romero got two batters out, and allowed one more run to make it 6-3.

The Phillies managed two runs in the fourth on two singles and a double. They tallied another in the fifth by using small ball: Plaicdo Polanco was hit by a pitch to start and then stole second with two outs. He was brought home by Werth on a single.

In the end, Werth would finish it out, leading into the Braves series on September 20. If you recall, the Phils would sweep them at CBP to take a six game lead in the division. And the rest was history.

(Photo: CSN Philly)

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Top Moment #11: Pit Stop in Denver, 9-run 7th inning, No Big Deal

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Mon, February 07, 2011 08:28 AM Comments: 3

And that just happened.

It was getting late in the season at this point. The Phillies had been dealing with injuries all summer long. This was a time they needed their rest and cherished every day off they had. The Phightins had been on a West Coast road trip on the tail end of playing 16 straight games. They needed this day off. Instead of flying right back home, Mother Nature: The May Edition had them stopping in Denver for a make-up game cancelled earlier in the season due to rain.

Through the seventh inning the Phillies looked sluggish and couldn’t keep up with the Colorado Rockies who were desperately looking for a win. The Rockies, who were getting back from their own California road trip, were 6 1/2 games behind Philly in the Wild Card and 7 1/2 behind the West leading Padres.

Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin held it down for 5 1/3 innings allowing only one (earned) run on five hits. He handed the ball off to the bullpen and the Phillies could not have been happier. In the seventh inning the Phils collected nine hits and nine runs off three Colorado relievers. Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth both went deep in the inning and Chase Utley launched a grand slam, attached to it was the Rockies playoff hopes.

Nine runs made it 12-7 Phillies. Enter Chad Durbin. He offered up three of those runs back before sneaking out of the seventh. J.C. Romero and Jose Contreras managed the eighth before Brad Lidge, once again, made it interesting in the ninth allowing one run. Lidge was able to hold and walk away with his 19th save in 24 chances.

This was really a game of numbers. The two teams combined for 35 hits and 23 runs. Add in three errors, six home runs and Carlos Gonzalez who extended his extra base hit streak to 10 games and it was stat sheet chaos.

The top four hitters (Eric Young Jr., Dexter Fowler, Gonzo, Troy Tulowitzki) of the Rockies line up went 11 for 22 in the game. This was a game the Phillies seemed destined to lose for the first six innings and then again even after they rallied. But the force was strong with this team. On that night, it was very strong.

Oh and real quick; the Phillies would go on to play seven games in six days after beating the Rockies totaling 37 games in 38 days. Now I know this is baseball and its a grueling and demanding schedule but even that is hard. Go Phillies! Seven days….

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