Philadelphia Phillies "Stun" the World by Losing to Washington Nationals

Asher ChanceySenior Analyst INovember 20, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez #61 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 12, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

We have known all season that this Philadelphia Phillies team would have the ability to stun the world.

We're not completely sure we thought it would happen in August.

Stunning victories are, for lack of a better word, stunning. Sometimes, they leave the viewer sitting agog in his or her seat, unable to conceive of what just happened.

Other times, a stunning victory will cause sheer elation—a moment of heightened sensation akin to the birth of a child or the winning of a lottery.

At the end of the day, though, it can be said that a victory stuns fans when it comes against all odds, against all expectations, in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

We all remember the great "stunning" victories:

In 1951, Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants "stunned" the Brooklyn Dodgers with his Shot Heard 'Round the World, to beat the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NL tiebreaker series, catapulting the Giants to the World Series.

Ten years later, in 1960, Bill Mazeroski stunned the baseball world with his World Series-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 against the mighty New York Yankees; the unlikeliest hero delivering the winning shot for the unlikeliest champions.

In 1969, Joe Namath stunned the world when he predicted that the New York Jets would beat the mighty Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, and then did just that.

So, too, was the world stunned in 1980 when the United States Olympic hockey team topped the Russian national team in Lake Placid, New York.

In 1988, Kirk Gibson stunned the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the World Series when, with two injured knees, he limped to the plate against Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley and cranked the game-winner over the right field wall.

Other stunning victories came for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 (Joe Carter), the Florida Marlins in 1997 (Edgar Renteria) and the New York Giants in 2008 (helmet catch).

These are just some of the many "stunning" victories over the years—shocking, momentous, unpredictable and somewhat unbelievable victories in important moments.

And now, we can add one more.

On August 12, 2011, Livan Hernandez took the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park in a divisional matchup between NL East foes. Little was in doubt, as the Phillies are running away with the division and the Nationals, loaded with young talent but not quite ready for prime time, are out of the race already.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: Alex Cora #13 of the Washington Nationals signals not to make the throw as Shane Victorino reaches first on a single at Citizens Bank Park on August 12, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 4-2. (Photo by Dre
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

It looked to be just another game in the dogs days of summer.

But Livan had other things in his mind.

Hernandez pitched 6.2 innings, allowing only one unearned run, and also managed to go 2-for-3 with two RBI singles. The Nationals held down the fort for Hernandez, and the Nationals won by a score of 4-2.

Just another night, right? Not if you are CBS Sports.

In the next day's recap, made up of compiled CBS Sports Wire reports, came under the following headline:

"Hernandez single-handedly stuns Phillies as Nats win."

And there it is.

Overreaction? Sure. Hyperbole? Maybe. A statement about the disparate positions of these two franchises? Of course.

But at the end of the day, Philadelphia Phillies fans, take a moment to love it.

It was just another game on just another August night; a game on a night in a sport in which any team can lose to any other team on any night.

But on this night, the losing team was the Philadelphia Phillies.

And in Major League Baseball in 2011, that fact alone stuns the world.