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Top 20 Moments of 2011

Top Moment #11: Phillies Rebound from Slow Start in NLDS Game One

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, January 14, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 5

As Lance Berkman sent Roy Halladay’s offering deep into the right field seats, the hearts of Phillies fans sank.  It seemed like the game was over, but any true Phillies fan knows never to doubt their team.

Despite the three-spot in the first inning, Halladay pitched magnificently as he settled down.  The pitch to Berkman was the only mistake he made the entire night.  Unfortunately, Kyle Lohse was retiring batter after batter.  Luckily, that all changed in the sixth inning.

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Top Moment #12: Lee Does it All

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, January 12, 2012 08:15 AM Comments: 2

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

It is not surprising when a star pitcher tosses eight shutout innings and strikes out ten batters.  On the other hand, when a star pitcher hits a solo home run, it is surprising… and awesome!

On July 9, Cliff Lee hit his first career home run, but the Phillies fell short to the Atlanta Braves.  A month later, Lee single-handedly beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Top Moment #13: Chooch Ends Double Header with Walk-Off Single

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, January 09, 2012 12:05 PM Comments: 2

Photo: Philly.com

On June 15, the Phillies and Marlins took part in a double header.  The Phillies were all over the Marlins in the first game as Kyle Kendrick led the Phillies to an 8-1 victory.  The second game of the double header was closer and more exciting.

It was one of the rare games in which Roy Halladay was not dominant. The Marlins took an early lead, but luckily for Halladay, the offense saved him.

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Top Moment #14: Tempers Flare in San Francisco

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, January 07, 2012 08:25 AM Comments: 4

Photo: AP

The box score doesn’t tell the whole story.  Statisticians point to numbers to evaluate players, but it’s impossible to get a sense of the game just by looking at newspaper clippings.  August 5, 2011 was a perfect example: the Phillies demolished the San Francisco Giants 9-2, but the story line was much greater.

Being on opposite coasts, the Phillies and Giants aren’t known for a rivalry, but they shared some tension over the last couple years.  Jonathan Sanchez and Chase Utley exchanged words on multiple occasions.  Charlie Manuel proclaimed the Giants pitching staff “good, but not great.”  A new dimension evolved when the benches cleared in the sixth inning of a blowout game.

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Top Moment #15: Mayberry Keeps Game Alive

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, January 06, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 0

AP Photo/Chris Schneider

One strike: that’s all Huston Street needed to finish off a victory for the Colorado Rockies.  One pitch: that’s all John Mayberry Jr. needed to change the flow of the game.

An incredible 4-3 come-from-behind win lands fifteenth on our top moments list, and it was quite a thriller.  The Rockies led by two with two outs in the ninth inning.  With the count full, the Rockies were one strike away from the win, but Street left a pitch up in the zone that Mayberry did not miss.

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Top Moment #16: Let’s Go Eat

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, January 04, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 7

Several years ago at Veterans Stadium, a fan shouted “Everybody hits! Wahoo!”  That saying stuck.  Perhaps because the phrase was shouted every time the Phillies scored a run, but it stuck regardless.  Over time, new mottoes were created including those developed by players.

Before the “Everybody hits!” era, Tug McGraw’s “Ya gotta believe” optimism was dubbed the team’s slogan.  More recently — 2007 to be exact — Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the Phillies the “Team to beat,” and the Phillies were referred to that throughout the entire year.  In 2010, Roy Halladay claimed “It’s only going to get funner” and that stayed with the team throughout the postseason.  The 2011 Phillies had their own catchphrase.  One post-game interview defined Phillies baseball for the remainder of the season.

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Top Moment #17: Martinez Comes Up Clutch In the Ninth

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, January 02, 2012 08:00 AM Comments: 0

AP Photo | Charles Rex Arbogast

When the terms “Phillies” and “hero” are used in the same sentence, it is unlikely to find “Michael Martinez” in the middle of it, but  July 20, 2011 was an exception.  Mini Mart batted a season-high .247 in the month of July, which included arguably his most clutch hit of the year.

The Chicago Cubs took an early lead off Cliff Lee, which seemed to be all they needed.  Matt Garza mowed down hitters, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning.  Once Garza was removed, the Phillies were able to capitalize.

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Top Moment #18: Double-Header & Extra Innings in Walk-Off Style

Posted by Amanda Orr, Thu, December 29, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 4

The list of reasons why I love baseball is endless, but three things highlight that list: double headers, extra innings, and walk-offs.  Double headers and extra innings simply mean more baseball; what is better than more baseball?  Walk-off victories make the list because of the pure excitement.  It is hard to recall a walk-off victory that had a boring finish or lacked intensity.  In 2011, a game in September featured all three of these things, finding its way to our Top Moments list.

Due to hurricanes and other inclement weather, the end of the regular season contained several double-headers including September 15 against the Florida Marlins.

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Top Moment #19: Lee’s First Shutout of the Season

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, December 26, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 4

There’s nothing quite like a strikeout highlight reel.  The umpire continuously rings up batters or hitters keep swinging and missing.  The pitches look nasty, making the batter look like he never stood a chance.  All the pitcher’s opposition can do is walk back to the dugout with his head down.  Collectively punching out 1,299 batters in 2011, the Phillies pitching staff was featured in many of these highlight reels.  Cliff Lee created a highlight reel of his own during his third start in 2011.

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Top Moment #20: K-Rod Falters, Phillies Comeback

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, December 23, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 0

It wasn’t too long ago when the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets had a very heated rivalry. Both teams were fighting for the National League East, but over the last couple of years the Phillies have separated themselves from the rest of the division while the Mets found themselves near the cellar. The Phillies/Mets rivalry wasn’t as intense in 2011, but any Phillies fan can agree that beating the Mets is always a good feeling, especially when it involves the faltering of a very disliked closer.

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