The Philadelphia Phillies exploded out of the gates in 2011 and there has been no looking back.
This Phillies squad has experienced some pretty remarkable moments along the way. They have treated fans to a little of everything, from walk-off winners to milestone achievements.
Here is a countdown of the Top 10 moments, so far, in the 2011 season.
2011 MLB All Star Game
Of the Phillies' five All Stars only two were able to play.
Roy Halladay got the start for the National League and worked two scoreless innings. He was followed by teammate Cliff Lee who surrendered the American League’s only run.
From that point on the Phillies could only watch and hope that their All Star teammates would come through.
The National League rallied to win the game by a score of 5-1.
Like it or not, this game now determines home field advantage for the World Series. The Phillies might wind up reaping October benefits from an exhibition won in mid-July.
The Phillies hosted the Atlanta Braves for a pivotal weekend series leading into the All Star Break.
The Braves had fought to within two and half games of the first place Phillies. Either team had an opportunity to drastically swing the NL East race heading into the break.
Roy Halladay took the mound for the Phillies and went seven strong innings, allowing only two runs. However, the offense only mustered two runs of support for the pitching staff and the game went into extras.
Raul Ibanez stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning. Ibanez emphatically deposited a 2-0 pitch into the right field seats.
The Phillies were walk-off winners and put another game between themselves and the rival Braves.
May 23 was a day that brought relief and hope to Phillies fans everywhere.
Chase Utley made his first appearance with the Phillies after battling patellar tendinitis.
The Phillies were winning games without their star second baseman, but the offense was struggling mightily.
Utley’s return sparked the Phillies to 10 runs that night, an explosion by early season standards. His mere presence energized the lineup.
A healthy Chase Utley is bad news for the rest of baseball.
Fresh off of a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies traveled west to start a 10 game road trip in Colorado.
John Mayberry Jr. came to the plate in the ninth inning with the Phillies trailing 3-1. He represented the potential tying run and the Phillies’ last hope.
Mayberry battled to a 3-2 count, fighting off sliders, until Huston Street finally left one out over the plate.
Mayberry did not miss it; he launched the ball over the left field wall, tying the game at three.
Shane Victorino led off the top of the tenth inning and delivered the decisive blow. His solo home run would be enough as the Phillies won 4-3 in 10 innings.
The Phillies were able to salvage a game in which they were down to their final strike. This win kept momentum rolling as the Phillies swept the Rockies and then grabbed the first two games from the Giants.
This top moment goes all the way back to opening day.
The Phillies trailed the Houston Astros heading into the ninth inning. The team put together a number of singles and tied the game. Then, John Mayberry Jr. stepped in as a pinch hitter.
There was one out and the bases were still loaded.
The Astros outfielders played shallow in hopes of cutting down a run at the plate. However, Mayberry was able to take advantage.
He lofted a ball just over the center fielder's head giving the Phillies a walk-off win to start 2011.
The Phillies got their season off on the right foot. They did so in dramatic fashion and thanks to a most unlikely hero.
On April 29 the Phillies sent rookie right-hander Vance Worley to the mound. Worley was making his first start of the season and only the third of his big league career.
Worley was impressive as he shut down the Mets. He allowed two hits and walked four, during his six shutout innings. Worley and the Phillies picked up a 10-3 win.
This game is not significant for the win itself. The importance was the birth of “The Vanimal”. Worley came out and delivered in his very first start and has been flat-out nasty ever since.
Worley’s consistent big-time performances are what has enabled this pitching staff to weather injuries and remain dominant.
Cliff Lee was unhittable throughout June. His month’s totals: 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA, three shutouts and 29 strike outs.
Lee allowed one run over 42 innings of work!
This “moment” marks one of the most dominant runs by any pitcher in baseball history.
In the opening game of the Phillies’ home series versus the San Francisco Giants, Chase Utley accomplished one of the most exhilarating feats in all of sports.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Utley rocketed a Barry Zito pitch out to center field. The ball hit high off the wall in center and caromed away.
As the ball rolled down the warning track toward right field, Chase Utley charged around the bases. As Utley approached third, coach Juan Samuel waved him home.
The throw came in from the relay man, as Utley dove head first. He managed to slap home plate just before the tag was applied.
Chase Utley sent the stadium into a frenzy with the third inside-the-park home run of his career.
On May 25, the Phillies and Cincinnati Reds were tied 3-3 going into extra innings.
After trading one run each in the tenth, both teams’ bats seemingly went to sleep.
The Phillies exhausted their bullpen as they held the Reds scoreless from the eleventh inning all the way to the nineteenth.
In the bottom half of the inning Raul Ibanez delivered a sacrifice fly and a Phillies win.
While this game could be considered remarkable for its sheer length, there was a bigger story in play.
Utility man Wilson Valdez earned the win on the mound! Valdez pitched a perfect top half of the nineteenth and was the pitcher of record when the Phillies were finally able to end the game.
Nobody ever thought that Wilson Valdez would be mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Babe Ruth, but it is an honor he earned that night.
Valdez and Ruth are the only two players in baseball history to start a game in the field and then record the win on the pitcher’s mound.
Hunter Pence arrived in Philadelphia on July 30 and made his debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He managed one hit, and was robbed of another.
However, his impact can be seen more accurately through the man ahead of him, Ryan Howard.
Howard finished the game 4-4 including a home run and three RBI. Amongst Howard's four hits was the 1,000th of his career.
This game represented the most significant moment thus far in the Phillies season. Superstar, Ryan Howard, reached a milestone and more importantly, the team became complete.
With Pence in Philadelphia this team is now fully equipped to make the World Series run that is expected.
Do you have a favorite that didn't make this list?
Leave your Top Phillies Moment, of this year, in the comments section.