Forget the horror we all witnessed during Tuesday's home opener at Citizens Bank Park. Ryan Braun decided he wanted to destroy your dreams and the Phillies decided it would be a fun time to play like a bunch of muppets on crack.
Remembering the 10th home opener in the history of Citizens Bank Park will only make your tummy uncomfortable. Instead, let's focus on the shocking realization that CBP has been in our lives for 10 years now.
Ten years. A full, honest-to-goodness decade. One-tenth of a Wrigley Field.
Baseball in a real baseball park. It's been a lot of fun.
Citizens Bank Park brought the Phillies out of the darkness. Flush with freshly-printed American greenbacks lining their pockets, Phils' ownership used the new revenue streams created by leaving the decrepit concrete bowl to fund a team that brought a world championship to Philadelphia.
Sure, the play on the field can, at times, be just as ugly on the fresh green grass of Citizens Bank Park as it was on the brutal artificial surface at the Vet, but for some reason, it seems more quaint now. It's still more enjoyable. And having a state-of-the-art facility always means the Phillies will be able to spend more than they used to.
So as we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of CBP, let's take a look back at the 10 Greatest REGULAR SEASON moments in the park's short, yet, full history.
10. Jimmy Rollins Tortures The Reds
Just days before the All-Star break in 2010, the Phillies were struggling. They came into their Saturday night game against Cincinnati at 45-40, having real trouble stringing together any wins. Things didn't look to good when Travis Wood took a perfect game into the 9th inning against them. Of course, he was matched zero-for-zero by Roy Halladay, in what is perhaps the best pitching duel the park has seen since it opened.
Wood eventually lost his perfect game on a lead-off double by Ruiz in the 9th. The game would remain scoreless into the 11th, when Rollins finally sent everyone home happy.
The Phillies would sweep the four-game series from the Reds, winning all four games by one run, three of them in extra innings, heading into the All-Star break.
9. John Mayberry Opening Day Walk-Off
Man, 2011 sure was fun, huh? The Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-2 against the Houston Astros in what was both the season opener and the home opener. Things didn't look good. Then, in a glorious form of baseball water torture, the Phillies slowly sucked the life force from Houston closer Brandon Lyon one single at a time.
First, a Rollins single to right. Then, a Howard single to center. An Ibanez pop-out followed. Rollins stole third. Ben Francisco singled to left, scoring Rolllins. Ruiz singled to left, runners on 1st and 3rd. Wilson Valdez singled to left, scoring Howard. Then Mayberry smoked a single to center, scoring Francisco.
Phillies 5, Astros 4. The first of a team-record 102 wins was in the books. Ho hum.
8. Carlos Ruiz Crushes Broxton
It was a mid-August contest against the Dodgers in 2010, and the Phils were lifeless. They entered the bottom of the 8th trailing L.A. 9-2. Surely, the boys would just lay down and live to fight tomorrow.
Perhaps the most fun was their continuing torture of Jonathan Broxton. That never gets old.
7. Jim Thome #400
His time with us was too brief. But during his stay here, Thome gave us this great moment.
6. Ryan Howard 3 HR Game
Of course, the guy who replaced him could hit the occasional long-ball too. In his prime, was there anyone more fun to watch than Ryan Howard?
5. Wilson Valdez Saves Us
Playing a 19-inning game can be tough on a pitching staff. That's why, on May, 25, 2011, Wilson Valdez became a hero.
4. Phillies Sweep Milwaukee
The Phils were in danger of falling out of the playoff picture completely when the Brewers came to town for a four-game series in mid-September, trailing Milwaukee by four games in the wild card. The Phillies needed to win three out of four in order to stay in the race. A four-game sweep would put the Phillies in a tie for the wild card.
The Phils swept the four-game series, capped by a doubleheader sweep on Sunday.
This was the series that let you knew great things were possible.
3. 2007 Mets Series
This may have been the best pure series, and game, ever played at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason. The Mets came into town leading the Phillies by five games, but held a seven-game lead just two days before. By the time Thursday's series finale rolled around, the Phils had won the first three games, cutting the Mets' lead in the NL East to three games.
The Phils jumped out to a 5-0 lead, watched the Mets tie it at 5, then took an 8-5 lead in the 5th. However, a 5-run Mets 8th put the Phillies in a 10-8 hole. The Phils got a run in the 8th, making it 10-9. Then, this happened.
At the end of the day, the Phillies would cut the Mets' lead in the East to two games. And the rest was history.
2. 2008 NL East Title
It may be the single greatest play in Phillies regular season history that almost no one ever talks about. The insane Rollins-Utley double play that clinched the NL East was completely overshadowed by a postseason full of bigger plays. Still, this one is phenomenal and should forever be remembered as one of the greatest plays in Phillies history.
1. 2007 NL East Title
It was Game 162 and Phils and Mets were tied atop the standings and the Mets game started a half hour before the Phils' final match-up with the Washington Nationals. By the time the Phillies took the field in the first inning, the park had become more electric than perhaps any time before or since (yes, including the World Series). Fans watching the scoreboard saw the Marlins take a 7-0, first inning lead on New York. Barring an epic collapse, a Phils win would mean their first division title since 1993.
The Phillies would beat the Nats 6-1. Rollins cemented his case for NL MVP. Howard hit a mammoth homer. All was right with the world.
Citizens Bank Park... you are the best.