Marlins 2, Phillies 1
Game 157 - Friday Night, September 28th in Miami
Record - 78-79, 3rd Place, 17 games behind the Nationals
One Sentence Summary: The Marlins walked off with the win when Carlos Lee singled off Josh Lindblom in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Fish a 2-1 win.
What It Means: It was inevitable, but the loss means the Phillies have been officially eliminated from the postseason for the first time since 2006.
What Went Wrong: Mark Buehrle held the offense in check over eight innings and the Phils failed to bring runners in scoring position home in both the eighth and ninth innings. Cliff Lee had another solid outing, allowing only a run in seven innings while throwing only 86 pitches.
Ryan Howard tore his achilles' tendon making the final out of 2011 N.L.D.S. Game 5. It was a wonderful, magical and unforgettable run and I'm glad I made sure to savor and appreciate it while we were in the midst of the best stretch of Phillies baseball in the franchise's history.
This card highlights the defining moment of the 2007 season, when the Phillies took advantage of the Mets' complete and total collapse to win their first of five division titles. In late August, the Phils completed a four-game sweep of the first place Mets, drawing them to within two games of the top spot in the East. I'll never forget the entire team streaming out of the dugout to celebrate when Chase Utley knocked in Tadahito Iguchi with the winning run in the fourth game. The team had so much ahead of them then - a World Championship in 2008, a return trip to the World Series in 2009 and a record-setting 102-win season in 2011.
The 2012 season is all but over, but I'd like to think (and hope) that the team has so much more ahead of them. Come April 2013, it will be time to start another Golden Era.