When Jamie Moyer looked back at his long career last spring, it was no surprise when he said that he treasured the 2008 season with the Phillies. It yielded the only World Series championship he experienced.
However, Moyer is very fond of the 2001 season with the Mariners when he and his Seattle mates won 116 games.
“Anytime you win 100 plus games, that’s pretty special,” Moyer said. “It was incredible that season. You just don’t see teams win that many games. Every time we came to the ballpark, we felt like we were going to win.”
The Phillies are in the 100-plus win class this year and Ryan Howard believes that the 2011 campaign is extraordinary.
“I’ve felt confident since I’ve been up here with this team; but this year, I think we’ve taken another step,” Howard said. “You come to the ballpark and you expect to win every night with this starting staff, which is just incredible. We also know we can hit and we have a very good bullpen. We didn’t win this many games by accident.”
Yes, the Phillies did win a lot of games. One hundred and two, to be exact, a new franchise record for victories. But several players won’t feel completely satisfied until another championship banner is flying high above Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park.
“It’s been a great year so far,” Howard said. “When I think about it, I realize how special it is. I just don’t think about it a lot since having a great regular season isn’t our main goal. Our goal isn’t to have the best regular season record in the majors.”
Shane Victorino thinks that he’ll look back at the season with pride years from now.
“Once I get some distance from it, yeah, I’ll be able to see how cool this experience has been,”
Victorino said. “But I won’t fully be able to enjoy it unless we win the World Series. I don’t want it to be like, ‘Wow, we won a lot of games, but we didn’t win it all that year.’ Winning the World Series and having the kind of regular season we’ve had, yeah, it’ll go down as really special for me. But we got a ways to go before that happens. We have some work to do.”
Ring’s the thing
It’s nice to win 100-plus games, but it doesn’t guarantee championships. Here’s some other great teams that fell short:
Most wins by NL team (116) and MLB-best .763 win percent. Lost the World Series.
Won 111 games, but lost Series in four games — and didn’t return until 1995.
Moyer’s special squad set AL mark for wins (116). Then, fell to Yanks in ALCS.
Then-Philadelphia A’s won 107 games, then fell to St. Louis in World Series.
1976, ’77 Phillies
Each Phils squad won 101 games. Each Phils squad lost in the NLCS.