Philadelphia Phillies: Citizens Bank Park's Top 5 Moments of the Last 5 Years
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With the Philadelphia Phillies having now clinched a historic fifth consecutive National League East title it is an appropriate time to put that in perspective.
This current Phillies run is now the third longest run of consecutive division titles behind only the 1991-2005 Atlanta Braves and 1998-2006 New York Yankees. Regardless of what happens going forward this is a great achievement that deserves recognition.
As part of such recognition, it is time to take a look at the Top 5 moments at Citizens Bank Park from this current Phillies run.
Honorable Mention: The Comeback Part II
Phillies clinch back-to-back division crowns.
Following the stunning 2007 September surge many people around baseball were wondering what came next. Was this a fluke? Were the Phillies primed to take another step forward in 2008? Would the Mets come back with a vengeance?
Carlos Beltran fired the first shot of the season when he proclaimed that the Mets were the team to beat in 2008.
Brett Myers replied by saying no one likes a sequel.
With all due respect to Brett, turns out Phillies fans did indeed like the sequel. Phillies this time came back from only 3.5 games back with 17 left to play to win the division on the second to last day of the season.
Lidge, who was and would go on to be perfect for the season got himself into a bases loaded jam with only one out against the Washington Nationals.
With their best hitter, Ryan Zimmerman, at bat Lidge induced a grounder that appeared to be going up the middle for a base hit that would blow the save.
A Jimmy Rollins dive later, the Phillies had turned two, Lidge remained perfect, and the Phils were repeat NL East champions.
A good start to the sequel, but this was just a preview of things yet to come.
5. C.C. Ya Later!
Victorino delivers the fatal blow.
In 2011, Shane Victorino has a well known reputation for being a clutch player and is currently in the midst of his best season.
Back in 2008 he was still just a young starter earning his stripes. But by the end of the postseason, his reputation for the clutch would be cemented.
One such moment was when he preceded Matt Stair's infamous pinch-hit home run with a game-tying two-run homer.
But the first of these moments came in the NLDS with newly acquired Brewers' ace C.C. Sabathia on the mound. During the final stretch run Sabathia had been downright dominant, virtually carrying the Brew Crew into the playoffs by himself.
Enter Citizens Bank Park. With two outs in the second inning, Sabathia faced weak hitting Brett Myers at the plate. In an at bat that later earned him a standing ovation, Myers worked a full count as he repeatedly fouled off pitches before finally drawing a walk.
The clearly shaken Sabathia promptly walked Jimmy Rollins on four pitches to load the bases and set the stage for the Flyin' Hawaiian.
Then on a 1-2 count, Victorino launched a shot that snuck inside the foul pole for a Grand Slam.
Sabathia was toast and from that point forward the Brewers were dead men walking.
4. The Comeback: Part I
Brett Myers ushers in a new era of Phillies baseball.
The most improbable of the Phillies division titles remains the first. While they have since had a few other September comebacks, 2007 will always be the best.
After all, it was the first time in major league history any team down seven games with only 17 left to play managed to come back and win the division.
It was a surreal year that saw all five starting pitchers on the disabled list at some point and had opening day starter Brett Myers finish the year as the closer.
MVP candidates Chase Utley and Ryan Howard each spent time on the DL as well. Through it all there was one constant. The 2007 National League Most Valuable Player, Jimmy Rollins.
Tied with the Mets, it all came down to the final day of the season. In a day that would turn the fortunes of both franchises, the Mets behind future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine got blown out by the lowly Marlins.
Meanwhile the Phillies backed up J-Roll's powerful preseason proclamation of being "the team to beat" and won not only the game but the division crown.
3. Jimmy Rollins Makes His Mark
J-Roll comes through.
It has been said that in the 2005 postseason, Albert Pujols' monstrous home run off Brad Lidge broke him. It was not until he came to the Phillies in 2008 that his career resembled what it did before that home run.
Now the same can be said about Jonathan Broxton. After giving up a moon shot go-ahead home run to professional hitter Matt Stairs, it has become apparent that the Phillies are in his head.
Time and time again the Phillies have victimized Broxton. But the best moment came nearly a year to the day after Matt Stairs' heroics.
Once again in a pivotal Game 4 of the NLCS the Phillies faced Broxton. After Matt Stairs intimidated Broxton into a four pitch walk, the stage was set for Jimmy Rollins.
Sure enough with the tying and go ahead runs on base, J-Roll delivered a walk-off double to give the Phillies a commanding three games to one series lead.
2. Doc's Playoff Debut
Franzke's call of Halladay's playoff no-hitter.
Roy Halladay hand picked the Phillies as his destination after watching the playoff atmosphere in Citizens Bank Park in 2008.
So when the man who had never been to the playoffs in his illustrious career finally got his chance in 2010 with the Phillies, boy did he leave his mark.
All he managed to do was throw the second ever postseason no-hitter.
1. Harry Finally Gets to Make His Call
Harry's call of the final out of the 2008 World Series.
"The 0-2 pitch... Swing and a miss! Struck him out. The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball. Brad Lidge does it again and stays perfect for the 2008 season..."
28 years of injustice were finally remedied with those words. Many people forget that in 1980 Harry Kalas was robbed of the opportunity to call the final out of the World Series due to MLB policy.
Players like John Kruk and Mike Schmidt said their teams used to wait in the clubhouse in the postgame after big moments until someone brought a tape of Harry's call. To them, it was not real until they heard Harry say it.
Phillies fans agreed as well, as their outcry from 1980 led to a rule change that allowed team announcers to make the radio call during the postseason.
So in 2008 it was more than the title that led to this city's euphoria. The man affectionately known as Harry the K got to finally make his long awaited call.
Just in the nick of time too. Little did we know at the time, but 2008 was Harry's last postseason as the following April he would pass away.
For all of the excitement of winning, it just would not have been right if anyone but Kalas called the final out. It made the moment better. It made the moment real.