Philliedelphia’s Favorite and Least Favorite Moments from the 2011 Season by Kevin Durso

It feels too early to be reflecting on the 2011 season, but after the Phillies were knocked out of the playoffs by the Cardinals, we all need something to smile about. Philliedelphia writers have composed their favorite moments of the season, as well as their least favorite moment.

Kevin Durso

5. Cliff Lee's Stellar June

It's easy to reflect on how the pitching didn't give the Phillies what we all hoped for this October. But while looking back at this season, and how pitching is a lost art in baseball, the Phillies had an ace who turned in a month like no other, and it may never be duplicated, unless by the man himself. What Cliff Lee did in June was simply amazing, and by the time he finished the month with a two-hit shutout against the Red Sox, you weren't sure who the best pitcher on this team really was.

4. June/September Doubleheaders against the Marlins

This might be cheating, because technically, this is two moments. In June, the Phillies played a four-game series against the Marlins, and had won the first game by belting five home runs. The next day was a doubleheader. Game 1 went to the Phillies handily. Game 2 was another story. The Phillies never seemed interested in playing that second game, but oddly, there was a feeling that something good would happen. Being at the ballpark that night, I sensed this game wasn't over until the last out. Shane Victorino singled home a pair of runs with two outs in the ninth to tie. Carlos Ruiz won it in the tenth with an RBI single, and it was just as awesome as if it had been in October.

In September, a similar doubleheader took place. The Phillies held on for a Game 1 win, but again, Game 2 turned out to be the one with the real memory here. Cliff Lee was dazzling that night, working with one run and holding the lead the whole way. One strike away from his seventh shutout of the season, he gave up a game-tying solo shot to Jose Lopez. But Ryan Howard doubled home the winning run in the tenth to give the Phillies the win anyway.

3. Let's Go Eat!

Raul Ibanez had just won a game against the Pirates himself. He drove in four, belted two home runs, and hit the winning double. Hunter Pence was brand new to the lineup, and the look on his face as he crossed home plate as the winning run is all that you need to tell you about this moment. He followed that with one of the better quotes of the year, one that turned into a t-shirt phenomenon. "Let's go eat!" he proclaimed to Sarge after the win. It caught on pretty quickly.

2. Mayberry/Victorino comeback against Rockies

The Phillies won many games they had no right winning this season. But this one tops them all. Down by two with a 1-2 count, John Mayberry Jr. worked the count full, and blasted a game-tying shot to get the game to extras. Shane Victorino went deep to lead off the tenth, and the Phillies went on to win, 4-3.

1. May Marathon

I will never, ever forget this game. Staying up into the night to watch a game that likely had no bearing on the Phillies' schedule is a memory I will carry forever. Everything about that game was just exciting, and it was a game that had you hooked the whole way from Ryan Howard's game-tying shot in the 10th, to David Herndon working out of a bases-loaded jam in the 11th, to Danys Baez' five scoreless innings of relief, to Wilson Valdez taking the mound and retiring the heart of the Reds' order, to Raul Ibanez' walk-off sac fly in the 19th. The marathon game had you hooked, and was just one of many games this year throughout baseball that reminded you why we watch.

Least Favorite Moment: The 8-game losing streak Watching the Phillies throughout that week was so hard. I was in the ballpark the night before the division clincher, and the loss was disappointing. Four days later I was at the nightcap of the doubleheader against the Nationals. The Phillies were working on their fourth-straight loss. I've never had a more horrible time at a baseball game. There was just nothing to get excited about. For the rest of that week, baseball was just hard to watch. There wasn't really a reason to, with the division locked up, but after a season of very few moments to worry and panic, there was certainly a concern with the playoffs right around the corner. In hindsight, it was a huge concern, which I why I will remember the end of season collapse that commenced in the Postseason.

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