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Top 25 Moments of 2009

Top Moment No. 11: NLDS Game One

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Wed, January 06, 2010 11:09 AM Comments: 6

Cliff Lee's Complete Game in NLDSTop Moment #11: Cliff Lee’s Complete Game in NLDS

Gone, but not forgotten Cliff Lee.

Game One of the NLDS was time for the Phillies big midseason acquisition to show his value. After faltering down the stretch, Lee was handed the ball to start the NLDS against the Rockies. He did not disappoint.

Lee brought a shutout into the 9th inning and finished with five strikeouts, six hits and zero walks en route to a complete game. We would come to expect these types of big-time outings from Cliff.

The 24 mph winds were no match for the Phillies bats, that put together 12 hits that afternoon. All five of the Phillies runs came without a single homerun. After being knocked for their lack of timely hitting in the postseason over the past few seasons, including 2008 World Series run, the Phils went 4-11 with runners in scoring position.

With a 5-1 victory over the Rockies in the book, the Phillies jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the short series. A very different scenario than 2007 to say the least.

  • 6 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 12: Victorino’s 9th Inning Salami

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, January 05, 2010 10:44 AM Comments: 4

Top Moment #12:  Phillies rally in the ninth on Victorino’s grand slam

On April 24, Brett Myers pitched six solid innings against the Florida Marlins.  All three runs he allowed came in the first inning, thanks to Dan Uggla’s three-run bomb.  Myers was stellar, but Josh Johnson was better.

Johnson dominated, as he did all season.  He struck out eight in seven shutout innings.  The Phillies had trouble getting on base as Johnson only allowed three hits and two walks.

Clay Condrey and Ryan Madson combined for three scoreless innings to keep the Phillies in the game.  Still, the Phillies trailed 3-0 in top of the ninth, and were practically without hope.  One swing of the bat changed everything.

Jayson Werth started the rally by smacking a one-out double to center field.  He later scored on Matt Stairs’ single that squeaked through the right side of the field.  Jimmy Rollins drew a bases loaded walk. The bases remained juiced for Shane Victorino, who followed with a high drive down the right field line.  Victorino smashed his first official grand slam, and erased the Phillies’ deficit. 

Chase Utley followed with a two-run home run, and all of a sudden the Phillies put up a crooked seven on the scoreboard.  It was an unbelievable 7-3 victory, all thanks to the Flyin’ Hawaiian.

Highlights from the Post-Game Comments:

jmus97 Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 11:02 pm  

“did you think it would end any other way.. actually i had matt stairs tabbed in for a long ball once he got his count, but i’ll take a vic salami any day of the week”

BurrGundy Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 11:10 pm  

“Great finish. One for the books. Very exciting. I have no fingernails left.”

Brian of CO Says:
April 25th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

“Victorino does come up big for the Phightin Phils, but he and Stairs have a habit of coming up with key hits in pairs.”

  • 4 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 13: Jayson Werth Steals Home

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, January 04, 2010 12:34 PM Comments: 12

Jayson Werth Steals HomeTop Moment #13: Jayson Werth steals home against the Dodgers

In the first meeting between the Phillies and Dodgers since the 2008 NLDS, the story focused on whether or not this would be Chan Ho Park’s last start. Rocking an even 6.00 ERA, Chopper had a tendency of coughing up a handful of runs in the first couple innings. In fact, Park would make just one more start five days later before being relegated to the bullpen – where he proved to be much more effective.

Park looked to be right on track as a Juan Pierre lead-off double led to a run before Jimmy Rollins even saw his first pitch. Well actually, Shane Victorino was leading off for the Phillies with JRoll in the five hole as reward for an 0-for-13 slump. This meant that Chase Utley moved up to second followed by Jayson Werth in the third spot.

With the Dodgers up 2-1 in the fourth, Werth snagged the first of four bases he would swipe on the evening on a double steal with Ryan Howard of all people. They both scored along with JRoll in the inning to give the Phils a 4-2 lead – one that Park settled down and protected.

The Phillies received some insurance in dramatic fashion in the seventh inning. After a single and steal of second base, Werth advanced further on another double steal this time with Jimmy Rollins. Standing on third with Pedro Feliz at the plate, Jayson noticed that the Dodgers’ catcher Russel Martin had not so much as glanced down the third-base line. Taking advantage of the absent-mindedness, Werth fled for home after the fifth pitch to the absolute shock of Feliz, Manager Charlie Manuel, the 45,191 in attendance and thousands more watching at home. By the time Dodgers’ pitcher Ronald Belisario got the ball back to Martin, Werth’s slender left leg was already sliding over home plate leaving us all with our mouths on the floor.

Whether you were trying to figure out what just happened, or screaming “waaaaaahahaaa” in pleasure of sticking it to that smug Russell Martin, Werth provided a Phillies moment we won’t soon forget. Nor will the record books as he joined Sherry Magee and Garry Maddox as the only Phillies to steal four bases in a game. Pete Rose was the last one to steal three bases in an inning back in 1980.

After the crowd at Citizens Bank Park thanked Werth with standing ovation, they eventually witnessed the Phillies hold on for a solid 5-3 win.

  • 12 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 14: Phils Put Up 22 Against Reds

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, January 02, 2010 07:30 AM Comments: 16

Top Moment #14: Phillies 10-run first inning leads to 22-1 victory over Cincinnati

Before a pitch was thrown, this looked to be one of the better pitching matchups of the season with Cole Hamels looking to jump start a mediocre season and Johnny Cueto seeking to build on an all-star caliber first half.  After the first pitch was thrown, it was an entirely lopsided affair.

The Phillies jumped on the board early and often in the opening frame with a Shane Victorino home run, followed by a Greg Dobbs homer, run scoring doubles by Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins, and finally, a homer by Chase Utley to give them 10.  The last time the Phillies had scored that many runs in the first: June 2, 2002 against the Montreal Expos.  By the fourth inning, the Reds were in a 16-1 hole, and Cueto had been yanked after just 2/3 of an inning by allowing a healthy nine runs on 49 pitches.  He never recovered from that demolition, giving up three or more earned runs in six of his next seven games.

Following this offensive explosion, the Phillies reeled off 10 of 11 and jumped from just two games up in the NL East to six-and-a-half up over Atlanta.  Hamels breezed through seven innings of three-hit ball, saying after the game “They know there’s no real shot when you put 10 runs in the first inning. That kind of defeats them there. So knowing that, you just go out there and try to throw strikes.”  Unfortunately, he could not parlay this historical scoring binge into a string of efficient starts.  However, for one “Hollywood” was back on top of his game.

The 22-1 win represented the third largest margin of victory in the history of the 126-year old franchise.  The two largest came against teams nicknamed the “Hoosiers” and “Colonels”; so you know it’s been ages since an opponent got a whooping like the one Reds got.  Three players (Werth, Victorino, and Utley) had four or more RBI. There were 10 extra-base hits and 29 Phillies reached base.  All in all, it was a healthy showing by one of the feared offenses in the National League.  This game was also a stepping stone for the team as they never looked back in the NL East chase.

  • 16 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 15: Werth’s Walk Off

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, December 30, 2009 10:16 AM Comments: 6

Top Moment #15: Werth’s Walk Off Extends Winning Streak to Ten

July was an action-packed month for the Philadelphia Phillies. Headed into the All Star Break, the Phillies won five straight games.  They carried their hot streak into the second half of the season, leaving it to one of their All Stars to extend their winning streak in dramatic fashion.

Joe Blanton and Rich Harden, two former Oakland teammates, were in the midst of a pitcher’s duel.  Blanton allowed just one run in seven innings.  The Phillies scored one run themselves: a Jimmy Rollins solo home run.  The game stood at one a piece headed into extra innings.

The Phillies bullpen was superb.  Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combined for two scoreless innings.  Chan Ho Park ate three innings out of the bullpen, and Clay Condrey tossed a 1-2-3 thirteenth inning.  The defense was also praiseworthy.  Rollins turned a fantastic double play on a kick-save by Lidge, and Raul Ibanez made a tremendous diving catch.

Jeff Samardzija started the thirteenth with two easy outs, but walked Ryan Howard and Ibanez.  Jayson Werth stepped up to the plate, and sent Samardzija’s offering deep into the left field seats.  By the crack of the bat, everybody knew it was gone.  As the Cubs players headed towards the visiting dugout disappointed, Werth rounded the bases with his finger up in the air, and was mobbed at home plate to celebrate the 4-1 win.

The victory marked the Phillies tenth consecutive win, the Phillies longest winning streak since 1991.  Everything was falling the Phillies way.  The win streak was impressive, but Werth’s walk off made it much more memorable.

  • 6 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 16: HK’s Last Call

Posted by Nick "Beerman" Staskin, Tue, December 29, 2009 08:57 AM Comments: 34

Top Moment #16: Stairs Homers for Harry’s Last Home Run Call

It wasn’t until April 13th that the great Harry Kalas passed away. However, it was April 12th that we last heard his beautiful voice.

With the Phillies on the verge of falling to 2-4 to start the season, Chase Utley hit a 2-run home run off of Manny Corpas to tie the game.

It wasn’t that long ball that will be long remembered in Philadelphia, though. It was the 2-run pinch home run that Matt Stairs delivered in the top of the 9th inning off of Huston Street to win it. This would be the last home run call that the great Harry Kalas would ever deliver.

Brad Lidge came in to close out the game with a scoreless bottom of the ninth. When Chan Ho Park’s Phillies debut didn’t go as planned, 5 ER in 3.1 IP, the combination of Chad Durbin, Scott Eyre, Clay Condrey, Ryan Madson and Lidge put together 5.2 innings of 2-hit, shutout baseball to keep the Phillies in it.

But as stated before, it won’t be Utley’s game-tying home run that we remember…nor will it be the great effort of the bullpen on that frigid Denver afternoon. It will be Harry Kalas giving us one last “Outta Here.”

  • 34 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 17: NLDS Game Three

Posted by Amanda Orr, Tue, December 22, 2009 02:30 PM Comments: 2

Top Moment #17:  Phils take series lead on Howard’s sacrifice fly

The third game of the National League Division Series was truly one for the ages.  It had to wait an extra day due to snow, but for four hours and six minutes, the Phillies and the Rockies see-sawed in one of the most well played games of the postseason.

Chase Utley opened the scoring with a solo shot in the first inning.  The Rockies answered back against J.A Happ, who couldn’t seem to find a rhythm.  It wasn’t often Happ struggled, but the frigid temperatures got to him.  He lasted only three innings, surrendering three runs.

The Phillies finally got to Jason Hammel in the fourth.  Howard stroked a RBI single, Raul Ibanez drew a bases loaded walk, and Carlos Ruiz slapped a single to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.  After Carlos Gonzalez tied the game with a home run (he gave the Phillies plenty of trouble during the NLDS), Chooch delivered again to continue his unbelievable postseason hitting.  But again, the Rockies tied it.

In the ninth inning, Chase Utley checked his swing, and the baseball bounced off his foot.  However, the umpires missed the call (like they did so many times during the postseason), and a hustling Utley was ruled safe at first.  Ryan Howard followed with a deep sacrifice fly that scored Jimmy Rollins from third.  The Phillies took a 6-5 lead, and Brad Lidge completed the save despite allowing a couple base runners.

It is notable that Game 3 was the coldest game in playoff history, and it wasn’t over until 2:14 AM Eastern time.  The Phillies took a 2-1 series lead, and Philadelphia fans could finally get some sleep – but it was worth the late night.

  • 2 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 18: Pedro Outduels Lincecum

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, December 21, 2009 01:41 PM Comments: 5

Throughout the month, Phillies Nation will be counting down the Top 25 Phillies Moments of 2009.

Top Moment #18: September 3, 2009 – Pedro Martinez outduels Tim Lincecum in 2-1 victory

Entering September, it appeared the move to pick up Pedro Martinez was pure genius. His addition alongside the newly acquired Cliff Lee more than made up for the minor offensive slump the Phillies were experiencing late in the season.  This home game was Pedro’s fifth start with the team which had won his first four. He was facing the Giants young phenom, Tim Lincecum.  It was a much anticipated match up of the Old Goat versus the Freak.

As an archetypal competitor, Pedro was up to the challenge…well maybe, not at first.  The Giants opened the scoring when left fielder Eugenio Velez smashed the first pitch of the game over the wall for a leadoff home run. Pedro later said the hit was a wake up call.  He was able to recover and escape the inning then soon settled in for another impressive performance.

After Jayson Werth tied the game with an upper deck homer to left field in the second inning, Martinez and Lincecum went on auto pilot.  Then with two outs in the sixth, the Giants righty drilled Chase Utley with a fastball to the upper back. Ryan Howard made Lincecum pay by smacking a double to score Utley and give the Phillies the lead.

Pedro exited the game after seven innings and finished with five hits and one run allowed with nine strikeouts and no walks. Madson breezed through the eighth and Lidge overcame a stressful ninth to close it out for the Phillies’ 77th win of the season. Tim Lincecum’s eleven strikeouts helped to end the pitchers’ duel in just 2 hours and 8 minutes.  It also helped to send the Phillies offense deeper into a slump as Raul Ibanez struck out three times with Ultey and Howard each recording two.

Nonetheless, Pedro went on to finish the regular season 5-1, with the team going 8-1 when he pitched.  Unfortunately he came up short in the World Series with two losses; but no matter his future with the Phillies, he can point to this game as proof that the Old Goat has still got it.

Highlights from the Gameday Comments:

  • 5 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 19: Phils Slam Two

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, December 19, 2009 08:30 PM Comments: 15

Throughout the month, Phillies Nation will be counting down the Top 25 Phillies Moments of 2009.

Top Moment #19: Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez Slam Past Nationals

The Phillies had their share of grand slams in 2009; a major league leading eleven of them to be exact.  Grand slams are not classified as rare, but they aren’t seen on a daily basis.  Two grand slams in one game, however, may be a little rare.  After all it happened four times in franchise history: 1921, 1997, 2003, and April 27, 2009.

April was a rough month for Joe Blanton, and he continued his struggles in this game: 4.1 IP, six runs, eight hits and three walks.  The Phillies found themselves trailing 6-2 in the fifth, but Ryan Howard’s salami to straight away center field tied it up.

The Nationals were homer-happy themselves.  Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, Elijah Dukes hit a monster shot, and Nick Johnson broke the seventh inning tie with a two-run home run.  It started to look like it got out of hand for the Phils, who trailed 11-7.  But if there was one thing learned about the 2009 team, it was to never give up on them.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies were able to inch closer and load the bases for Raul Ibanez. ”I knew I hit it far and I was just hoping it wouldn’t hook out.  I was trying to go short with my swing and drive in the runner from second base,” Ibanez said.  He did that and more.  Ibanez smashed a grand slam which ultimately won the game.

After the game, Phillies Nation’s own Tim Malcolm recapped the victory: “This, my friends, was a game for the ages. And at this point, nobody can ever count the Phillies out of any game. These guys can win anything.”  We found that last sentence to be very true.

  • 15 Comments
 

Top Moment No. 20: Lee Blanks LA in NLCS Game 3

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, December 18, 2009 02:25 PM Comments: 6

Throughout the month, Phillies Nation will be counting down the Top 25 Phillies Moments of 2009.

http://blog.ticketchest.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/phillies-crush-dodgers-cliff-lee-shane-victorino1.jpgTop Moment #20: Cliff Lee fans 10 in 11-0 blowout over LA in Game 3

Put this one in the memory bank for 10, 20, or 50 years from now.  Allow it to impress upon your brain, because now that Cliff Lee has departed to cloudier pastures (the rainy northwest), it is this game that may conjure the most pleasantries.

He was here but for a minute (five months to be exact), yet in that short time frame, Lee made the most of it.  In Game 3 of the NLCS, following a dull performance in Game 2 by everyone not named Pedro Martinez, a surefire legend was in the midst of being consummated in South Philadelphia.  Cliff Lee detached the Dodgers limb by limb, going eight innings, while allowing just three hits, and striking out 10.  Try to fathom that, because it’s something that had NEVER happened before in playoff history.

Yep, Cliff Lee, by striking out 10 and walking none, while allowing nary a single Dodger to reach home plate, became the first pitcher in MLB Playoff history to achieve the feat.  Tom Seaver didn’t do it, Randy Johnson never did, only Clifton Lee has accomplished it.

Of course, the man needed some help from his friends – the offense – and he got that immediately.  The Phillies slapped on six runs through the first two frames, including a two-run triple compliments of Ryan Howard in the opening inning.  The Phillies never looked back, and they didn’t have to.  They were in good hands from start to finish.  After 114 pitches, Cliff Lee was through, but not before changing the direction of the series.  The Phils went up two-games-to-one, and polished off L.A. two games later to secure back-to-back NL Crowns.

And although Cliff Lee is now just a memory following his questionable trade to the Mariners, performances like this will forever make him a favorite in the hearts of Phillies fans.

  • 6 Comments
 
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