2008 World Series

Pitch switch

When you think of the Phillies, you probably think more of the big bats of Utley, Howard, Rollins and Burrell and less of Joe Blanton and JC Romero. But it was almost inarguably the pitchers that played a bigger role in bringing the Phils their first World Series trophy since a breathless nation learned who shot JR (with apologies to those of you who are 28 years behind on your Netflix TV series DVD queue, it was Kristin Shepard).

I’d also like to say for the record something I think we’ve all known for a while: queue is an odd little word that seems like it shouldn’t be possible. I think it thinks nobody’s watching, but we are. It would be nothing without Netflix. And England. It seems like it somehow got through committee and should be up for review any time now. I’ve been waiting for news of a recall for years now, but, so far, nothing.

In 14 post-season games in 2008, the Phillies scored 64 runs and allowed 44. That’s a rate of about 4.57 runs scored per game and about 3.14 runs allowed per game. They scored runs at a rate lower (worse) than they did during the regular season (in the regular season they scored 799 runs in 162 games, about 4.93 runs per game) and allowed runs at a lower (better) rate (they allowed 680 runs in 2008, about 4.19 runs per game).

The 3.14 runs per game allowed in the post-season for the Phils is outstanding. Over the regular season this year the team in all of baseball that allowed the fewest runs was the Toronto Blue Jays. They allowed 610 runs in 162 games, about 3.77 per game.

The Phillies got ten quality starts in 14 post-season games, including five quality starts in the five games of the World Series (here’s the post-season Start Log). Cole Hamels has made six post-season starts for the Phils between 2007 and 2008, all six of which have been quality starts.

As a group, the Phillies bullpen threw to a 1.79 ERA in the 2008 post-season.

The Phillies used four starting pitchers in the post-season. Here’s what they did during the post-season, what the same group did during the regular season and what all of the Phillies starters (including Hamels, Myers, Moyer and Blanton) did during the regular season:

  IP ERA Ratio K
Hamels 35 1.80 0.91 30
Myers 19 4.74 1.32 12
Moyer 11.2 8.49 1.63 10
Blanton 17 3.18 1.29 18
         
Total
post-season
82.2 3.70 1.19 70
         
Total regular
season (this group)
684.1 3.79 1.27 531
         
Total regular
season (all PHI SP)
966.2 4.23 1.36 670

They were better in the post-season than they were during the regular season. Moyer had two miserable starts and one good one and Myers struggled twice, but Hamels and Blanton were both fantastic.

Moyer and Hamels have a bigger impact on the “Total regular season (this group)” than Blanton and Myers. They threw 423 2/3 innings with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.20 ratio. Blanton and Myers combined to throw just 260 2/3 innings with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.38 ratio.

Here’s what the seven relievers did during the post-season, and what all Phillies relievers did as a group in 2008:

  IP ERA Ratio K
Lidge 9.1 0.96 0.96 13
Madson 12.2 2.13 0.87 12
Romero 7.1 0.00 0.68 7
Durbin 3.1 2.70 3.00 3
Condrey 1.2 5.40 2.40 1
Eyre 3.0 3.00 1.33 2
Happ 3.0 3.00 2.00 2
         
Total 40.1 1.79 1.21 40
         
All PHI
relievers 2008 regular season
483.0 3.19 1.38 411

Lidge and Madson have been widely recognized as having played a crucial role for the Phillies in relief, but Romero belongs in that group as well. Romero, Madson and Lidge combined to give the Phils 29 1/3 innings in the post-season, throwing to a 1.23 ERA with an 0.85 ratio while striking out 32.

The Phillies won three one-run games in the World Series, taking game one 3-2, game three 5-4 and game five 4-3.

Rollins and Victorino won Gold Gloves. The best defensive players on the Phils not to win Gold Gloves were Feliz and Ruiz. David Wright won at third base and Yadier Molina at catcher.

The 2008 World Series Film will debut in Philadelphia area theaters on November 24. Ticket information and information about the DVD is available here.


Bat wrap

Here’s a look at what eight key Phillies did in the post-season and their OPS in the regular season:

Player AB AVG OBP SLG OPS Season OPS
Rollins 59 237 286 407 692 786
Werth 55 309 387 582 969 861
Utley 50 220 391 460 851 915
Howard 52 269 397 500 897 881
Burrell 44 227 346 455 801 875
Victorino 52 269 345 481 826 799
Feliz 44 250 283 273 555 704
Ruiz 46 261 346 391 737 620

Using OPS as the measure, Ruiz and Werth were better offensive players during the post-season than during the regular season. Rollins, Utley, Burrell and Feliz were worse. Victorino and Howard were about the same.

Here’s the group ordered by OPS in the post-season and then OPS in the regular season:

 
Post season
  Player OPS
1 Werth 969
2 Howard 897
3 Utley 851
4 Victorino 826
5 Burrell 801
6 Ruiz 737
7 Rollins 692
8 Feliz 555
     
 
Regular season
1 Utley 915
2 Howard 881
3 Burrell 875
4 Werth 861
5 Victorino 799
6 Rollins 786
7 Feliz 704
8 Ruiz 620

Werth didn’t have a good series against the Dodgers in the NLCS, hitting just 190/227/238 as he went 4-for-21 with a double and seven strikeouts. He was a monster in the NLDS and the World Series, though, going 13-for-34 with six doubles, a triple and a home run.

Howard went 2-for-11 against the Brewers. He hit .300 against the Dodgers, but with just one extra-base hit, a double. 6-for-21 with three home runs in the World Series.

Utley went 5-for-33 in the NLDS and World Series combined (but with two home runs, seven walks and a double), but had a fantastic NLCS. 6-for-17 (.353) with two doubles, a home run and six walks against the Dodgers.

Victorino had a huge series against the Brewers, 5-for-14 with three doubles and a home run, but cooled after that. 9-for-38 (.237) with a triple and a home run against LA and the Rays.

Burrell 9-for-30 (.300) with three home runs against the Brewers and Dodgers before going 1-for-14 (with five walks) in the World Series.

Ruiz was 1-for-14 against the Brewers, but 11-for-27 (.407) with three doubles and a home run after the NLDS.

Rollins terrorized the Brewers (375/412/688 with two doubles and a home run in 16 at-bats), but went 8-for-43 (.186) in the NLCS and World Series.

Feliz had one extra-base hit, a double, in 44 post-season at-bats. He’s now slugging .296 in 54 playoff at-bats for his career. We may have to cut him some slack, what with winning the World Series and all.

Ruben Amaro Jr will be the Phillies next GM.


Yes we did

I heard Sal Paolantonio on the radio earlier this week saying he got a ticket for game five and sat through the cold and rain because he wanted to see how it feels in Philadelphia when the Phillies win the World Series. It feels good. It feels like a lot of things. In this case, especially, it feels like relief.

The difference between this Phillies team and so many of the teams of the past is that for this team, even if you wouldn’t quite let yourself believe it until you saw it, instead of waiting to see them lose we’ve been waiting to see them win.

It was a magnificent run for the best Phillies team in a long time — 13-3 to end the regular season followed by an 11-3 drive through the playoffs. After a loss to the Marlins on September 10, the Phils were 79-67 and 3 1/2 games back in the NL East with 16 games left to play in the regular season. They started a four-game set with Milwaukee just about needing to take three of four or be done for the season. They are 24-6 since.

It’s a fantastic and fitting ending for a group of players who are just about as selfless as a team can be. Time after time this year, we saw players do what was right for the organization with hardly a word of protest. From Brett Myers going to the minors, from Pat Burrell taking a quiet seat in the seventh inning time after time to Geoff Jenkins losing his job in right field without a peep except to say that he was going to keep working and playing hard. For a long time now there has been a team-first approach that defined this group of players.

The most impressive thing is not that Jenkins and the rest of his teammates said those things, it’s that they did them. Last night’s finish was a telling testament to that. Jenkins has had as miserable a season as you can imagine, but his double to the gap in right center to start the bottom of the sixth is about as big a hit as you can have. It was his third hit since August 22. Pat Burrell put up yet another solid year for the Phils, but was an ugly 0-for-13 in the World Series before he doubled high off the wall in center to start the seventh. Unlikely hero Pedro Feliz poked the game-winning single through in the seventh. Likely hero Brad Lidge was lights out yet again in the ninth, culminating a team effort that saw the Phils win their final game of 2008 in the way they played the rest of them.

The Phillies won the World Series last night, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3. The Phillies win the series four games to one.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

He faced a Tampa Bay lineup that went (1) Akinori Iwamura (2B/L) (2) Carl Crawford (LF/L) (3) BJ Upton (CF/R) (4) Carlos Pena (1B/L) (5) Evan Longoria (3B/R) (5) (6) Dioner Navarro (C/S) (7) Rocco Baldelli (RF/R) (8) Jason Bartlett (SS/R). Crawford moves up to second in the order from fifth. Upton drops to third and Pena to fourth. Baldelli starts in right after Zobrist started game one against Hamels.

The Rays started the game with six players on their bench: Michael Hernandez (R), Ben Zobrist (S), Willy Aybar (S), Fernando Perez (S), Eric Hinske (L), Gabe Gross (L).

Iwamura led off the first and flew to left on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Crawford lined the first pitch of his at-bat to short. It popped out of Rollins’ glove, but Rollins picked it up and threw to first to nip Crawford. Upton grounded an 0-1 pitch to short to set the Rays down.

Seven pitches in the inning for Hamels.

He started the second up 2-0. Pena led off and bunted the first pitch, but too hard. Howard took it at first and beat Pena too the bag for the first out. Longoria swung at the first pitch, too, and flew to center. Navarro was next and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch, but Baldelli popped to second to leave him stranded. Ten pitches in the inning had Hamels at 17 for the game.

Bartlett started the third with a long at-bat that ended with him grounding to short. Hamels struck the pitcher Scott Kazmir out on three pitches for the second out, but Iwamura lined a single back through the middle for the first hit for the Rays. Crawford again swung at the first pitch and grounded to second. Sixteen pitches in the inning, 33 for the game.

Upton chopped a 1-1 pitch to deep short to start the fourth. Rollins made a strong throw to get Upton for the first out. Pena was next and he hit a ball high off the wall in right field that Werth nearly caught at the wall. Pena had a double and came in to score when Longoria followed with a single past a diving Rollins and into left-center. Pena’s run cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Navarro got ahead 3-0, but grounded a 3-1 pitch to short and the Phils turned the double-play to end the frame. Hamels threw 13 pitches in the inning and had thrown 46 for the game.

Werth had a good chance to catch Pena’s ball at the wall. He jumped high enough to catch it, just missed it with his glove.

Pena and Longoria finally break through with a pair of hits, and it gets Tampa Bay a run.

Hamels started the fifth after being hit on the hand while trying to bunt in the bottom of the fourth. Baldelli led off and popped a 2-0 pitch high to short. Rollins parked under it, but the wind blew it and Rollins had to come in. The ball went off the heel of his glove for an error. Bartlett was next and hit a broken-bat ground ball to second. Utley made a great play. He charged and made a spinning tag on Baldelli as he went past for the first out, then threw to first to double-up Bartlett. Kazmir again struck out on three pitches to set the Rays down. Nine more pitches for Hamels, 55 for the game.

Iwamura struck out looking 2-2 for the first out in the sixth. Crawford chopped a 1-0 pitch to first for the second out. Upton hit a 2-2 pitch to the left of Rollins. Rollins moved to his left and got a glove on the ball, but Upton had an infield single. It brought up Pena with the field in miserable condition and cold rain continuing to fall. Upton stole second as Hamels delivered strike one to Pena. Pena hit a 2-2 pitch the opposite way, into left field for a single. Upton came around third and slid in safe just ahead of Burrell’s throw, which was on line but a little late. The game was tied at 2-2. Longoria was next and swung at a low 1-0 pitch that Ruiz failed to catch, allowing Pena to move to second. Longoria flew to center on the next pitch, leaving Pena stranded.

Even with the field in good condition, I think Upton’s ground ball to short may have been a hit. The weather was certainly a factor in the inning, but you have to wonder if Hamels’ hand may have been as well after he was hit on the hand trying to bunt in the fourth.

Hamels threw 21 pitches in the inning and had thrown 76 for the game.

And then the game was suspended. It started again two days later. Really.

Madson came out to pitch the seventh with a 3-2 lead. He got ahead of Navarro 0-2 and struck him out looking at a 1-2 fastball on the inside corner for the first out. Baldelli was swinging at the first pitch and lined it out to left field, tying the game at 3-3. Bartlett was next and he singled into left on an 0-1 pitch. With one out and a man on first, the Rays let Howell hit for himself. Howell bunted back to the mound and Madson threw to first for the second out as Bartlett went to second. Iwamura was next and Romero came in to pitch to him. Romero got Iwamura to hit a ground ball to the right of Utley. Utley fielded the ball with his momentum taking him behind second and had no chance to get Iwamura at first. Bartlett stormed around third and tried to score. Utley made an awkward throw, a little up the third base line, but Ruiz took it and tagged out the sliding Bartlett to end the inning. Very aggressive by Bartlett, who would have been out by a lot if Utley had time to set and make a better throw.

Bunting with Howell, who faced one batter in the bottom of the seventh, who doubled, before leaving the game was a gift. That’s a bad decision.

Romero came back for the eighth with the Phils again ahead, this time 4-3. Crawford led off with a single into center. Romero stayed in to face the righty Upton with the lefty Pena on deck. Upton swung at the first pitch and hit a double-play ball to short. The Phillies turned it easily, even with Upton running this time. Pena got ahead 3-0 before he lined a 3-1 pitch to Bruntlett, who ran for Burrell in the bottom of the seventh and stayed in to play left, in left for the third out.

Romero stays in to face the righty Upton and gets a huge double-play. Other choices included bringing in Lidge to get six outs and bringing in Condrey or Durbin to face Upton and then Eyre to face Pena. Worked out pretty well.

Lidge started the ninth with the Phils still up a run. He got ahead of Longoria 0-2 before Longoria popped a 2-2 pitch to Utley for the first out. Navarro got behind 0-2 as well, but he shattered his bat singling into right on the next pitch. Fernando Perez ran for Navarro at first and switch-hitter Ben Zobrist hit for Baldelli. Perez stole second, putting the tying run in scoring position, but Zobrist lined a 1-2 pitch to right for the second out. Perez held second and Hinske hit for Bartlett. Hinske fouled Lidge’s first pitch off and tried to check his swing at the second pitch, but couldn’t. The 0-2 pitch was a slider away. Hinske swung and missed and the game was over.

The Phillies pen went three innings in the game allowing a run on five hits. The run scored on the Baldelli homer off of Madson in the seventh. In the series they allowed two runs in 11 2/3 innings. Both runs were earned, so their ERA as a group was 1.54.

Phillies starters allowed 13 runs in 32 1/3 innings. Twelve of the runs were earned (3.34 ERA).

Tampa Bay relievers threw four innings and allowed two runs. They allowed ten runs in 16 1/3 innings in the series. Nine of the runs were earned, which puts their ERA as a group at 4.96. The three lefties out of their pen combined to allowed six runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Tampa Bay starters allowed 14 runs in 25 2/3 innings, 12 of which were earned (4.21 ERA).

Upton was 5-for-20 (.250) in the series with five singles.

Longoria 1-for-20 (.050) and struck out nine times.

Crawford 5-for-19 (.263) with two home runs.

Iwamura 5-for-19 (.263) with a double.

Navarro 6-for-17 (.353) with a double.

Pena 2-for-17 (.118) with a double.

Bartlett 3-for-14 (.214).

The Phillies lineup against lefty Scott Kazmir went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz.

The Phillies started the game with six players on their bench: Bruntlett (R), Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins flew to left for the first out in the first. Werth was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Kazmir’s first pitch to Utley hit Utley in the back. It put two men on for Howard, but Howard struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Burrell walked on a close 3-1 pitch, loading the bases for Victorino. Victorino lined a 2-1 pitch into left for a single, scoring Werth and Utley to put the Phils up 2-0 with men on first and second. Feliz was next and he went down and hit a low 0-1 pitch into left for another single. Everyone moved up a base and the Phils had the bases loaded again. Ruiz swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Burrell had no chance to score on Feliz’s hit, which was right at Crawford. He may, however, have had a chance to go to third on Victorino’s single, which forced Crawford to move towards the left field corner. If he had gone to third on Victorino’s single he would have scored on Feliz’s.

Kazmir struck Hamels out on three pitches to start the second. Rollins flew to right on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Werth followed with a single into left, but Utley popped to third to end the inning.

Howard struck out again, this time on three pitches, for the first out in the third. Burrell flew softly to right on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Victorino struck out on three pitches for the third out.

Quick nine pitch inning for Kazmir, who had thrown 57 through three innings.

Feliz struck out swinging 0-2 to start the fourth. Ruiz was next and singled into left. Hamels came to the plate and showed bunt. Kazmir’s first pitch to him was inside and hit him on a finger of his left (pitching) hand as he held the top part of the bat. Hamels did bunt the next pitch, but too hard back to the mound. Kazmir took it and threw to second to force Ruiz. Kazmir walked Rollins on a 3-2 pitch to put men on second. Werth followed with another long at-bat, walking on the tenth pitch on a 3-2 offering that was low and outside. It loaded the bases for Utley. Utley got ahead 3-1 and took strike two on the inside corner before he grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Ninety pitches for Kazmir through four innings.

Howard led off the fifth and walked on four pitches. Burrell was next and he walked as well, getting two calls on pitches that were very close, including the 3-2 pitch. Grant Balfour came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino bunted the first pitch foul, then swung away and popped to left for the first out. Feliz popped an 0-2 pitch to Pena for the second out. Ruiz popped up to Pena as well and both runners were left stranded.

No infield fly rule called on the pop-up by Feliz after Rollins was unable to field a pop-up on the infield in the top of the inning.

Nothing for the Phils after putting their first two runners on base.

After the top of the sixth inning, the game was suspended.

Play resumed on Wednesday night, two days later. Really it did.

Jenkins left off the bottom of the sixth and Balfour stayed in to pitch to him. He got behind 1-2, but battled back and blasted a 3-2 pitch to right-center for a double. Rollins bunted him to third for the first out. Werth was next and he popped a 2-2 pitch behind second. Iwamura went back and tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center, but dropped the ball. Werth had a single, Jenkins scored and the Phillies led 3-2. Jenkins probably would have scored even if Iwamura had caught the ball. Howell came in to pitch to Utley and struck him out for the second out. Werth took off for second with Howard at the plate, but left too early. Howell threw to first, but Werth beat Pena’s throw to second. Howard popped to third to leave him stranded.

Everyone knew that Rollins was going to bunt. There is little chance he would bunt in that situation in a regular game. Presumably the Phils are trying to win both.

The lefty Howell was still in the game when Burrell came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with the score tied at 3-3. Burrell blasted a 1-1 pitch deep to center and off the top of the wall, just missing a home run by about a foot. The ball bounced off the wall and rolled a while towards right field, but Burrell could only get two. The ball looked like it was gone, and Burrell might have thought it was as well. He may have been at third if he had been running hard all the way. Bruntlett ran for Burrell at second. Chad Bradford came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino tried to bunt twice and failed, missing one pitch and fouling off another. He swung away 1-2 and grounded to first for the first out, moving Bruntlett to third. The Rays brought the infield in, and Feliz hit an 0-1 pitch back through the middle. Bruntlett scored and the Phils were up 4-3. Ruiz was next and he hit a ball hard back up the middle, but Iwamura made a nice diving play to take a hit away from him and force Feliz at second for the second out. Romero hit for himself and grounded to second to end the inning.

Bunting for Howell in the top of the seventh so he can come back to pitch to the righty Burrell is just baffling to me.

Romero appeared in 81 games for the Phillies this season and did not have an at-bat. No objection to letting him hit with two outs and a man on first, but that isn’t the way the Phillies would have done it in a regular game.

David Price started the eighth with the Phils still up 4-3. Rollins flew to left for the first out. Werth went down looking at a 2-2 fastball on the outside part of the plate. Utley drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch and stole second. Again Howard came up with a man on second and two down. This time he struck out swinging 3-2.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 5-for-22 (.227) with two doubles and a walk in the series.

Werth 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI in the game. He drove in Jenkins in the sixth with his bloop to center that Iwamura didn’t handle. 8-for-18 (.444) with three doubles, a home run and six walks in the series.

Utley was 0-for-3 with a walk and five men left on base in the game. Kazmir got him to ground to second with the bases loaded and two down in the fourth. 3-for-18 (.167) with two home runs and five walks in the series.

Howard was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk in the game. 6-for-21 (.286) with a double, three home runs and six RBI in the series. He struck out nine times and led the Phils in both strikeouts and RBI.

Burrell 1-for-2 with a double and two walks in the game. 1-for-14 (.071) with five walks in the series.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a two-run single in the first. 5-for-20 (.250) with five singles and two RBI in the series.

Feliz was 2-for-4 with a huge RBI in the seventh. 6-for-18 (.333) with six singles in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 and left six men on base, most notably flying out to left with the bases loaded and two down in the first. 6-for-16 (.375) with two doubles and a home run in the series.

Phillies hitters drew 27 walks in the series. The Rays drew ten.

No game today. Nobody left to play. Cole Hamels faces TBD in April, 2009.


Bud Selig versus the tie game, round two

My money is on the tie game. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to lose home field advantage in the World Series in the bottom of the 15th in a game that otherwise doesn’t count.

This whole thing was just unusual. Still is. I would like to say I think the gravitas of the World Series can be restored with a simple change to the rules that ensures the league whose team wins game five of the World Series gets home field advantage for the All-Star game the next year. It’s simple, really, and at least some good can come out of this.

Game five of the World Series was an adventure, and it’s not over yet.

The Phils and Rays played the game through a cold, steady rain. The cold was to be expected — no doubt an environmental byproduct of hell freezing over as the Phils inched ever closer to winning the World Series. The rain was a problem, though, turning the field into a puddle-strewn, unplayable mess. They played for a while after it was unplayable.

A two-run single by Victorino put the Phillies up 2-0 in the bottom of the first. The Rays cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the fourth when Carlos Pena doubled high off the wall and came in to score on a single by Evan Longoria. The field was a mess by the end of the fifth, with players, Phillies mostly, failing to catch popups, umpires not calling the infield fly-rule cause nothing was routine and pitchers struggling with the slush where the mound ought to be. I think I saw Feliz calling for a rescue-at-sea at one point. In the top of the sixth, BJ Upton reached on an infield single, stole second and came in to score on a Pena single to the opposite field to tie the game at 2-2. And then the game was suspended.

The big issue, of course, is what would have happened if the game had been suspended after five innings (or if the Rays hadn’t scored in the top of the sixth) with the Phillies leading by a run. Pretty clearly you can’t declare the Phillies the winner and say that the season is over. At the same time, though, if there was 100% agreement and clarity that if the game was suspended after five innings it would have still been finished, regardless of whether it was on the same day or not, I don’t think there’s any reason to allow them to play the top of the sixth inning in the conditions that they did.

The whole thing felt a bit like chaos. I was a little worried that Selig might declare that in accordance with rule 293.17.U everyone needed to head over to the Wachovia Center so the players could strap on their skates for the shootout or something.

That said, though, I don’t think the Phillies got screwed or are the victims of a conspiracy. If it’s easier to hit than pitch in conditions like that, they put men on first and second with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth and came away with nothing. Prior to the start of the sixth inning I can guarantee you that there were a huge number of Phillies fans hoping that the game would not be called because 1) the Phillies were 12 outs away from winning the World Series and 2) Cole Hamels was on the mound and whenever the game was suspended there was a good chance it meant that his season was over.

Sooner or later they are going to play again. When they do, the Phillies will play with an advantage. To win the game, they need to get nine outs and score at least one run more than the Rays. The Rays need to get 12 outs and score at least one run more than the Phillies.

The game is going to come down to the bullpens, and the suspension of the game gives Romero and Madson a day of rest after they had both pitched two days in a row. The Rays get an extra day of rest for Edwin Jackson and Dan Wheeler, each of who threw at least 22 pitches in game four. Whether they play tonight or Wednesday could be critical in terms of whether Hamels would be available to pitch game seven if it came to that — if they played Wednesday instead of tonight he almost surely would be.

If you want to worry about something I think the direction to go is clear, however: Pena and Longoria came into the game 0-for-29 and went 3-for-6 with both of the Tampa Bay RBI. The Phillies were doing a great job of keeping those guys down — hopefully they will whenever game five resumes as well.

The Phillies played 5 1/2 innings of a game last night before the game was suspended in the bottom of the sixth due to weather with the score tied at 2-2. The Phillies lead the Rays three games to one in the best-of-seven World Series.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and is officially still in the game, although there is near zero chance he will pitch again if they resume tonight or tomorrow night. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out three.

He faced a Tampa Bay lineup that went (1) Akinori Iwamura (2B/L) (2) Carl Crawford (LF/L) (3) BJ Upton (CF/R) (4) Carlos Pena (1B/L) (5) Evan Longoria (3B/R) (5) (6) Dioner Navarro (C/S) (7) Rocco Baldelli (RF/R) (8) Jason Bartlett (SS/R). Crawford moves up to second in the order from fifth. Upton drops to third and Pena to fourth. Baldelli starts in right after Zobrist started game one against Hamels.

The Rays started the game with six players on their bench: Michael Hernandez (R), Ben Zobrist (S), Willy Aybar (S), Fernando Perez (S), Eric Hinske (L), Gabe Gross (L).

Iwamura led off the first and flew to left on a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Crawford lined the first pitch of his at-bat to short. It popped out of Rollins’ glove, but Rollins picked it up and threw to first to nip Crawford. Upton grounded an 0-1 pitch to short to set the Rays down.

Seven pitches in the inning for Hamels.

He started the second up 2-0. Pena led off and bunted the first pitch, but too hard. Howard took it at first and beat Pena too the bag for the first out. Longoria swung at the first pitch, too, and flew to center. Navarro was next and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch, but Baldelli popped to second to leave him stranded. Ten pitches in the inning had Hamels at 17 for the game.

Bartlett started the third with a long at-bat that ended with him grounding to short. Hamels struck the pitcher Scott Kazmir out on three pitches for the second out, but Iwamura lined a single back through the middle for the first hit for the Rays. Crawford again swung at the first pitch and grounded to second. Sixteen pitches in the inning, 33 for the game.

Upton chopped a 1-1 pitch to deep short to start the fourth. Rollins made a strong throw to get Upton for the first out. Pena was next and he hit a ball high off the wall in right field that Werth nearly caught at the wall. Pena had a double and came in to score when Longoria followed with a single past a diving Rollins and into left-center. Pena’s run cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Navarro got ahead 3-0, but grounded a 3-1 pitch to short and the Phils turned the double-play to end the frame. Hamels threw 13 pitches in the inning and had thrown 46 for the game.

Werth had a good chance to catch Pena’s ball at the wall. He jumped high enough to catch it, just missed it with his glove.

Pena and Longoria finally break through with a pair of hits, and it gets Tampa Bay a run.

Hamels started the fifth after being hit on the hand while trying to bunt in the bottom of the fourth. Baldelli led off and popped a 2-0 pitch high to short. Rollins parked under it, but the wind blew it and Rollins had to come in. The ball went off the heel of his glove for an error. Bartlett was next and hit a broken-bat ground ball to second. Utley made a great play. He charged and made a spinning tag on Baldelli as he went past for the first out, then threw to first to double-up Bartlett. Kazmir again struck out on three pitches to set the Rays down. Nine more pitches for Hamels, 55 for the game.

Iwamura struck out looking 2-2 for the first out in the sixth. Crawford chopped a 1-0 pitch to first for the second out. Upton hit a 2-2 pitch to the left of Rollins. Rollins moved to his left and got a glove on the ball, but Upton had an infield single. It brought up Pena with the field in miserable condition and cold rain continuing to fall. Upton stole second as Hamels delivered strike one to Pena. Pena hit a 2-2 pitch the opposite way, into left field for a single. Upton came around third and slid in safe just ahead of Burrell’s throw, which was on line but a little late. The game was tied at 2-2. Longoria was next and swung at a low 1-0 pitch that Ruiz failed to catch, allowing Pena to move to second. Longoria flew to center on the next pitch, leaving Pena stranded.

Even with the field in good condition, I think Upton’s ground ball to short may have been a hit. The weather was certainly a factor in the inning, but you have to wonder if Hamels’ hand may have been as well after he was hit on the hand trying to bunt in the fourth.

Hamels threw 21 pitches in the inning and had thrown 76 for the game.

And then the game was suspended.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Scott Kazmir went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz.

The Phillies started the game with six players on their bench: Bruntlett (R), Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins flew to left for the first out in the first. Werth was next and he walked on a 3-2 pitch that was outside. Kazmir’s first pitch to Utley hit Utley in the back. It put two men on for Howard, but Howard struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Burrell walked on a close 3-1 pitch, loading the bases for Victorino. Victorino lined a 2-1 pitch into left for a single, scoring Werth and Utley to put the Phils up 2-0 with men on first and second. Feliz was next and he went down and hit a low 0-1 pitch into left for another single. Everyone moved up a base and the Phils had the bases loaded again. Ruiz swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Burrell had no chance to score on Feliz’s hit, which was right at Crawford. He may, however, have had a chance to go to third on Victorino’s single, which forced Crawford to move towards the left field corner. If he had gone to third on Victorino’s single he would have scored on Feliz’s.

Kazmir struck Hamels out on three pitches to start the second. Rollins flew to right on a 3-2 pitch for the second out. Werth followed with a single into left, but Utley popped to third to end the inning.

Howard struck out again, this time on three pitches, for the first out in the third. Burrell flew softly to right on a 1-1 pitch for the second out. Victorino struck out on three pitches for the third out.

Quick nine pitch inning for Kazmir, who had thrown 57 through three innings.

Feliz struck out swinging 0-2 to start the fourth. Ruiz was next and singled into left. Hamels came to the plate and showed bunt. Kazmir’s first pitch to him was inside and hit him on a finger of his left (pitching) hand as he held the top part of the bat. Hamels did bunt the next pitch, but too hard back to the mound. Kazmir took it and threw to second to force Ruiz. Kazmir walked Rollins on a 3-2 pitch to put men on second. Werth followed with another long at-bat, walking on the tenth pitch on a 3-2 offering that was low and outside. It loaded the bases for Utley. Utley got ahead 3-1 and took strike two on the inside corner before he grounded to second to leave the runners stranded.

Ninety pitches for Kazmir through four innings.

Howard led off the fifth and walked on four pitches. Burrell was next and he walked as well, getting two calls on pitches that were very close, including the 3-2 pitch. Grant Balfour came in to pitch to Victorino. Victorino bunted the first pitch foul, then swung away and popped to left for the first out. Feliz popped an 0-2 pitch to Pena for the second out. Ruiz popped up to Pena as well and both runners were left stranded.

No infield fly rule called on the pop-up by Feliz after Rollins was unable to field a pop-up on the infield in the top of the inning.

Nothing for the Phils after putting their first two runners on base.

Balfour has thrown nine pitches in the game.

Update: Game five has been scheduled to resume at 8:37 PM Wednesday night. That’s good news for the Phillies. Hopefully Cole Hamels doesn’t throw another pitch this season, but if they need him for a game seven you would assume he will be available (as long as they don’t cancel the travel day after a short finish Wednesday night).

Update again: They will try to play game five tonight (Wednesday). No off day tomorrow if the Phillies lose. Game six on Thursday, game seven on Friday and no Hamels on regular rest in game seven. Go Phils.

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Everybody, no, seriously, everybody, hits

Whoohoo.

The Phillies went 13-3 to end the regular season and now, after winning game four of the World Series in a blowout, have gone 10-3 on a memorable playoff run. If they can win one more game there isn’t going to be anyone left to beat. There are so many Phillies playing well it’s hard to keep track of all of them. I’ll give it a try.

Joe Blanton was outstanding last night. He held the Rays to a pair of runs on four hits over six innings and became the first pitcher since 1974 to hit a home run in the World Series. Ryan Howard looked a little lost coming into the World Series. He doesn’t anymore. Howard put the Phils up 5-1 with a three-run blast to the opposite field in the fourth inning and added a titanic shot out to right in the bottom of the eighth to put things out of reach at 10-2.

Lost in the heroics of Howard and Blanton will be the offensive production the Phillies are getting out of the top of the order. After coming into game three of the World Series without a hit, Rollins has gone 5-for-his-last-9. Over the last two days, Rollins and Werth have combined to go 8-for-15 with three walks. Last night they combined for three doubles and a home run.

Just about everything sets up perfectly for the Phillies in game five. The Rays are struggling in so many different areas and the Phils are coming in waves now. Cole Hamels, just about perfect in the playoffs, takes to the mound tonight with a chance to put an end to the season. The Tampa Bay bullpen had a long night in game four. But if there’s any team that should know it’s not over till it’s over, it’s the Phillies. The Rays didn’t win 97 games and the AL East because Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria never get a hit and their bullpen gives up five runs in four innings. In part because everything sets up so well for the Phils, the momentum shift for Tampa Bay if they can find a way to win game five and send the series back to Florida would be huge. So here’s hoping that Hamels and the bats can come up with one more big night. And then they can finally rest.

The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays last night, winning 10-2 to take a three games to one lead in the World Series.

Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out seven.

Blanton faced a Tampa Bay lineup that went (1) Akinori Iwamura (2B/L) (2) BJ Upton (CF/R) (3) Carlos Pena (1B/L) (4) Evan Longoria (3B/R) (5) Carl Crawford (LF/L) (6) Dioner Navarro (C/S) (7) Ben Zobrist (RF/S) (8) Jason Bartlett (SS/R). Zobrist plays right after Baldelli started in right in game two against Myers.

The Rays started the game with six players on their bench: Michael Hernandez (R), Fernando Perez (S), Willy Aybar (S), Gabe Gross (L), Eric Hinske (L) and Rocco Baldelli (R). Cliff Floyd was removed from the roster with a shoulder problem and the lefty Hinske added prior to the game.

Iwamura led off the game and blasted a 3-2 pitch to left, but Burrell took it at the wall for the first out. Not exactly inspiring, but it got better from there. Upton struck out looking at a 1-2 fastball on the outside corner. Pena swung at the first pitch and popped to Ruiz in foul territory to set the Rays down.

Blanton threw 13 pitches in the first inning.

He struck Longoria out swinging 1-2 to start the second with the Phillies up 1-0. Crawford was next and Blanton got him swinging 1-2 as well. Navarro bunted an 0-1 pitch foul before he singled into right with the count full. Zobrist swung at the first pitch and flew to Victorino in shallow center to end the frame. Blanton threw 15 pitches in the second to put him at 28 for the game.

Bartlett struck out swinging for the first out in the third. Sonnanstine was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch into left for a single. Iwamura chopped a ball to short, but hit it too slowly for the Phils to turn two. Rollins took it and threw to second to get Sonnanstine for the second out. Upton grounded to short for the third out. Blanton threw 14 pitches in the inning to put him at 42 for the game.

He started the fourth up 2-0. Pena led up and struck out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Longoria hit a 1-0 pitch in the hole between short and third. Rollins fielded and made a strong throw to nip him for the second out. Nice play by Rollins. Blanton got ahead of Crawford, but Crawford popped a 1-2 pitch just out to right to cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. Navarro swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and grounded to Rollins, who fielded behind second and threw to first for the third out. Twelve pitches in the inning had Blanton at 54.

Blanton had a 5-1 lead when he started the fifth. Zobrist got ahead 2-0, but Blanton pumped two strikes over before Zobrist flew to center on a 2-2 pitch for the second out. Bartlett was next and hit a 1-1 pitch back up the middle. The ball went off of Blanton’s leg and rolled toward third. Feliz made a fantastic play, barehanding the ball and throwing to first to get Bartlett. Great play by Feliz and it saved the Phillies a run, cause Hinske hit for the pitcher Andy Sonnanstine and blasted a 2-1 pitch way out to center. Hinske’s solo shot cut the lead to 5-2. Iwamura grounded back to the pitcher for the third out. After 15 pitches in the inning, Blanton was at 69 for the game.

He started the sixth up 6-2, thanks to his own fifth-inning home run off of Edwin Jackson. Upton got ahead 2-0, but flew to right on a 2-2 pitch for the first out. Blanton walked Pena on a 3-2 pitch, but struck Longoria out looking at a 1-2 pitch on the outside corner for the second out. Crawford was next and Blanton hit him in the foot with an 0-1 pitch, putting men on first and second for Navarro. Blanton got behind 1-0, but then got the call on a pitch that looked outside for strike one. With the count 2-1, Blanton got another call with Navarro again looking at a ball that may have been outside. Navarro swung out swinging at a high 2-2 pitch to leave both runners stranded.

Long inning for Blanton — 24 pitches had him at 93 for the game.

He came back to start the seventh still up 6-2 and walked Zobrist on a 3-2 pitch to start the inning. Durbin came in to pitch to Bartlett and got him to fly to center on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Willy Aybar hit for the pitcher Edwin Jackson and singled to right, moving Zobrist to second. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Iwamura. He almost lost him, getting behind 3-1 before Iwamura lined to Bruntlett, now the left fielder, for the second out. Madson came in to pitch to the righty Upton. Upton got ahead 3-1, but fouled off the next pitch and swung and missed at a 3-2 changeup to end the frame with both runners stranded.

Huge out for Madson to get Upton — otherwise he likely would have been facing the lefty Pena as the tying run. Romero was the other choice, but I don’t think Manuel would take Madson out of the game still needing to get seven outs to win. Eyre getting Iwamura was a big out as well.

Madson came back to start the eighth. Pena went down swinging hard at a 2-2 fastball for the first out. Longoria blasted the first pitch he saw from Madson way out but foul. Madson struck him out swinging two pitches later. Crawford grounded an 0-1 pitch softly to second for the third out.

Nice job by Madson against the 3-4-5 hitters of the Rays, which looked more important before the Phils blew the game open in the bottom of the eighth.

Romero started the ninth with the Phils up 10-2. Navarro led off and grounded a ball back to the mound. Romero fielded, but his throw to first was in the dirt and Howard couldn’t handle it. Navarro was safe and Romero was charged with an error. Zobrist was next and he hit a ground ball to Utley. Utley threw to Rollins to force Navarro for the first out without a relay to first to try to get Zobrist. Bartlett was next and struck out looking at a 2-2 fastball on the inside corner. Baldelli hit for the pitcher Trever Miller with two outs and a man on first. Romero struck him out with a high 2-2 fastball to end the game.

The Phillies pen went three scoreless innings in the game, allowing one hit, the single by Aybar off of Durbin in the seventh. They struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. They have been charged with one run in 8 2/3 innings in the series. Romero threw 19 pitches, Madson 16. All four of the relievers that the Phillies used in game four were also used in game three, so all four of them would be pitching for the third straight game if they pitch tonight. Romero and Madson both threw 15 pitches in game three while Eyre and Durbin both threw six.

The Tampa Bay pen went four innings in the game and allowed five runs. In the set they have now allowed eight runs in 12 1/3 innings. Jackson threw 32 pitches, Wheeler 22 and Miller 10.

After combining to go 0-for-7 in game four, Longoria and Pena have now combined to go 0-for-29 with 15 strikeouts in the series.

The Phillies lineup against righty Andy Sonnanstine went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz.

The Phillies started the game with six players on their bench: Bruntlett (R), Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins led off the first and pulled a 3-1 pitch past a diving Pena and into right field for a double. Werth followed and hit a 3-1 pitch to right deep enough for Rollins to tag and go to third. Utley walked on four pitches, putting men on first and third for Howard. Howard hit a ground ball back to the mound. Sonnanstine probably would have had an inning-ending double-play if he had gone to second, but he had Rollins caught off third and ran at him. Sonnanstine chased Rollins back to third but threw late and Rollins was called safe sliding into the bag. Replays showed that Longoria tagged him and he should have been out, but the Phils had the bases loaded with one out. Burrell was next and drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch outside, forcing in Rollins to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino dribbled an 0-1 pitch out in front of the mound. Sonnanstine made a nice play, charging, fielding and making a glove-hand flip home to force Utley for the second out. Feliz flew softly to center to leave the bases loaded.

Just one run for the Phils after loading the bases with one out.

Ruiz flew to right for the first out in the second. Blanton struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Rollins lined a 2-2 pitch into right center for another hit, this one a single. Rollins was 4-for-his-last-6. Werth popped a 1-1 pitch into shallow right for the third out.

Utley led off the third with a ground ball that Iwamura booted, having the ball go off the heel of his glove, for an error. Howard was next and ripped an 0-1 pitch into right for a single, sending Utley to third. Burrell got ahead 3-1 and watched a hugely hittable breaking pitch over the heart of the plate for strike two. He popped the 3-2 pitch to Bartlett in shallow left-center for the first out. Victorino popped a 1-2 pitch up to Bartlett as well, this time closer to third base, for the second out. Victorino had left five men on base through 2 2/3 innings. Feliz picked both of them up, though, lining a 1-1 pitch into left for a single. Utley scored to put the Phils up 2-0. Ruiz chopped a ball back through the middle, but Iwamura moved to his right and fielded it behind second base. Iwamura didn’t make a throw, but kept the ball in the infield and kept Utley from scoring. With the bases loaded and two outs, Blanton fouled out to Pena to end the inning.

Burrell still hitless as he fails to bring Utley in from third with nobody out. Victorino can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs for the second time in the game.

Sonnanstine had thrown 69 pitches through three innings and had just one strikeout — Blanton in the second.

Rollins led off the fourth with a ground ball under the glove of Iwamura and into right. Rollins was given a hit initially, but the call was changed and Iwamura given an error (either way, Iwamura should have made the play). Werth followed and walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Utley. Utley struck out on three pitches, swinging at an 0-2 slider inside for the first out. Howard got ahead 2-1 and blasted a pitch out to left for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 5-1. Howard finally hits the ball to the opposite field and he knew it was gone, watching the ball for a little longer than he usually does. Burrell fouled out to the catcher for the second out. Victorino popped to third to end the inning.

Righty Edwin Jackson started the fifth with the Phillies leading 5-2. Feliz swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and fouled out to Navarro. Ruiz grounded to third for the second out. Blanton was next and laced a 2-1 fastball out to left to make it 6-2. Rollins grounded to second for the third out.

First career extra-base hit for Blanton. First time since 1974 that a pitcher has homered in the World Series. In game four of the 1974 World Series, Oakland’s Ken Holtzman homered off of the Dodgers’ Andy Messersmith to put the A’s up 1-0 in the third. Oakland won the game 5-2 and won the series four games to one.

Blanton was 2-for-26 with two singles in his career coming into the game. 0-for-5 in the post-season and 0-for-2 in this game. That’s 2-for-33 (.061).

Werth led off the sixth with Jackson still on the mound and doubled off the wall in left. Jackson struck Utley out looking at an inside fastball 2-2 for the first out. Howard was walked intentionally, putting men on first and second for Burrell. Burrell hit a slow ground ball to short. Bartlett charged, fielded and threw back to second. The relay got Burrell to complete the inning-ending double-play.

No run for the Phils after the leadoff double.

Righty Dan Wheeler started the seventh for Tampa Bay. Victorino led off and blooped a ball into right. Zobrist charged and made a sliding catch for the first out. Feliz hit a ground ball to third that was stopped by a diving Longoria, but the ball came out of his glove and Feliz had an infield single. Ruiz was next and lined to second on a nice catch by Iwamura, picking the ball near the ground. Iwamura threw to first and Pena made a fantastic catch as his body tangled up with Feliz as Feliz scurried back to the bag.

With Wheeler still on the mound, Stairs hit for Madson to start the eighth and struck out swinging at a 2-2 fastball. Rollins jumped on Wheeler’s first pitch and blasted it high off the wall in right, missing a home run by less than a foot. He settled for a double. Werth was next, and with the count full he lined a ball out to left field for a two-run homer, putting the Phils up 8-2. Trever Miller came in to pitch to Utley and walked him. Howard was next and crushed a 1-0 pitch way out to right. 10-2. Bruntlett grounded to short for the second out. Miller got Victorino to fly to left-center for the third out.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with two doubles. He’s 5-for-19 (.263) in the series.

Werth 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a home. 6-for-15 (.400) with three doubles, a home run and four walks.

Utley was 0-for-2 with two walks. 3-for-15 (.200) with two home runs in the series.

Howard was 3-for-5 with two home runs, a walk and five RBI. 6-for-17 (.353) in the series. Three home runs in the last two games.

Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-12 with five strikeouts in the series. Phils could use him tonight against Kazmir.

Victorino 0-for-5 and left five men on base. 4-for-16 ( .250) with four singles in the series.

Feliz was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Big two-out hit in the third inning after it looked like the Phils were going to fail to bring a runner in from third yet again. Big defensive play ahead of the Hinske homer saved the Phils a run. 4-for-14 (.286) in the series.

Ruiz 1-for-4 in the game and 5-for-12 (.417) in the series.

Cole Hamels (14-10, 3.09) faces lefty Scott Kazmir (12-8, 3.49) tonight in game five. These pitches met in game one of the series in Tampa Bay and the Phillies won the game 3-2. Hamels was fantastic, holding the Rays to two runs over seven innings while improving to a perfect 4-0 in the post-season. Kazmir struggled badly early, but kept the Phillies from breaking the game open.

Utley hit a two-run shot off of Kazmir in the first inning of game one. Crawford homered off of Hamels in the fourth to cut the Philadelphia lead to 3-1.

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One for the aged

Jamie Moyer waited 22 years to get to pitch in the World Series, so when he had to wait another hour and a half he apparently was unfazed. The Phillies won game three of the World Series last night not in spite of Moyer, but in large part because of him. Years from now when you look back at his line for the game it won’t look like anything special. So we’ll just have to remember.

Moyer allowed a run in the second inning when Carl Crawford led off with a bloop double down the left field line off the glove of a sliding Burrell. Crawford stole third and came in to score on a sac fly to tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz gave the Phils another lead with a home run in the bottom of the second. Utley and Howard went back-to-back in the bottom of the sixth off of Matt Garza and Moyer took a 4-1 lead into the seventh. Crawford again got him, leading off with a pretty bunt down the first base line. Moyer made an even prettier play, though, diving for the ball, gloving and flipping to Howard at first who bare-handed, just nipping Crawford for the first out of the inning. One problem, though: Crawford was called safe and the Rays went on to score two runs in the inning they almost surely wouldn’t have had without the call.

BJ Upton used his speed in the top of the eighth to create a run off of Madson where there was none, tying the game at 4-4. The Phils won it in the bottom of a wild ninth. The inning featured a hit batter, a wild pitch, two intentional walks and finally Ruiz dribbling a ball down the third base line with five infielders playing for the Rays. None of them could do anything about the swinging bunt and the Phils had won game three.

The weak-hitting Ruiz is suddenly not so weak-hitting. After going 2-for-3 with a walk last night, Ruiz is hitting .500 in the series with three runs batted in. The Phillies have nine RBI in the first three games of the series — seven of them have been driven in by either Utley or Ruiz.

The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the World Series last night, winning 5-4. They lead the series two games to one.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He faced a Tampa Bay lineup that went (1) Akinori Iwamura (2B/L) (2) BJ Upton (CF/R) (3) Carlos Pena (1B/L) (4) Evan Longoria (3B/R) (5) Carl Crawford (LF/L) (6) Dioner Navarro (C/S) (7) Gabe Gross (RF/L) (8) Jason Bartlett (SS/R). The lefty Gross starts in right for Tampa Bay with the righty Baldelli and Ben Zobrist, who started game one against Hamels, on the bench.

The Rays started the game with six players on their bench: Michael Hernandez (R), Rocco Baldelli (R), Fernando Perez (S), Cliff Floyd (L), Ben Zobrist (S) and Willy Aybar (S).

The start of the game came about five minutes after ten after a rain delay of about an hour and a half.

Iwamura led off the first for the Rays and popped an 0-1 pitch into center for the first out. Moyer got two called strikes out the outside part of the plate before Upton grounded a 1-2 pitch to Rollins for the second out. Pena checked his swing at a low 1-2 pitch before walking on a 3-2 pitch that was low and outside. Longoria went down swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Crawford started the second and popped a ball into shallow left field, near the foul line. Burrell slid for it after a long run and the ball went off his glove. Burrell picked it up and threw to second, but Crawford had a double. Navarro was next and he hit a bloop to second that Utley took for the first out. Crawford stole third on the first pitch to Gross, and Gross delivered a long fly ball to right center that Victorino took on the warning track for the second out. It was more than deep enough for Crawford, though, and he tagged and scored to tie the game at 1-1. Bartlett flew to center for the third out.

Garza led off the third and grounded to third for the first out. Iwamura was next and he popped to right for the second. Upton went down looking 1-2 and didn’t care much for the call.

Pena flew to right on a 2-2 pitch to start the fourth. Moyer got ahead of Longoria 0-2 before striking him out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Crawford flew softly to left on a 3-1 pitch to end the frame.

Navarro led off the fifth with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Rollins tried to backhand, but the ball went off his glove. Navarro was given a single – Rollins may not have been able to throw him out even if he had fielded the ball cleanly. Gross popped a 1-2 pitch to left for the first out. Bartlett was next and he popped to short. Garza grounded to Utley to set the Rays down.

Moyer got Iwamura flailing 2-2 to start the sixth. Upton was next and he lined a 2-1 pitch into left where it fell for a single. Moyer threw over to first enough times that Upton was headed back to the base consistently as Moyer delivered to Pena, and Moyer got Pena looking at a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Before Moyer delivered a pitch to Longoria, Upton took off for second. Moyer threw to first and Howard made an accurate throw to Utley at second, but Upton just beat the throw and was safe at second with a stolen base. Longoria absolutely hammered a ball to left, but a strong wind blowing in knocked it down and Burrell took it on the warning track right in front of the wall.

Huge break for Moyer, cause they ball is well out of the yard on most days.

Moyer started the seventh having thrown 86 pitches with a 4-1 lead and Eric Bruntlett playing left. Crawford bunted the first pitch down the first base line. Beautiful bunt, but Moyer dove for it and made a glove-flip to Howard. Howard caught the ball with his bare hand and Crawford was called safe (replays show he was out). Fantastic play by Moyer and by Howard. Navarro ripped a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner for a double, sending Crawford to third. Moyer stayed in to pitch to the lefty Gross. Gross hit a ground ball to first that Howard took to the bag for the first out as Crawford came in to score and cut the Phillies lead to 4-2 with Navarro at third and one out. Durbin came in to pitch to Bartlett. Bartlett grounded Durbin’s first pitch to short for the second out, scoring Navarro to make it 4-3. Switch-hitter Willy Aybar hit for the pitcher Matt Garza. Durbin walked Aybar on a 3-1 pitch outside. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Iwamura and quickly got ahead 0-2 before striking Iwamura out swinging 3-2.

The missed call at first base on the Crawford bunt costs the Phillies two runs — Navarro would have doubled with one out and probably gone to third on the Gross ground out, but Bartlett’s ground out would have ended the inning without any damage. The Rays do get back the two runs they lost when the wind took away Longoria’s homer in the sixth.

Crawford came into the game with great numbers against Moyer and hurt him in this game, scoring two of the three runs charged to Moyer.

Madson started the eighth with a 4-3 lead. He quickly got behind Upton 2-0, but came back with two strikes to even the count before Upton chopped a 3-2 pitch back up the middle. Rollins fielded, but didn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly and Upton beat his throw easily for an infield single. Pena swung at a 2-0 pitch out of the strike zone and fouled it off. Madson struck him out with a ball down and in — Pena tried to check his swing but couldn’t. Upton stole second without a throw as Madson delivered ball one to Longoria. Upton took off for third on the next pitch. Ruiz’s throw to third was in the dirt, then off the body of Upton and toward the Rays’ dugout. Upton scored easily on the throwing error to tie the game at 4-4. Longoria hit a ball back up the middle that Utley made a nice play on for the second out. Romero came in to pitch to Crawford with the bases empty and two outs. Crawford swung at Romero’s first pitch and flew softly to right.

Romero came back to start the ninth and struck Navarro out with a pitch that bounced in front of the plate. He got the lefty Gross to ground softly to Utley for the second out. Romero stayed in to pitch to the righty Bartlett and Bartlett bounced a 3-2 pitch to Rollins for the third out.

I would have had Lidge start the inning, but that worked out great for the Phillies. Bartlett probably can’t hit a home run, but he hit 379/411/508 against lefties this season. I think you have to bring a righty in to pitch to him, even with two outs and nobody on. Manuel may have been thinking that the Phils were not in a great position to score in the bottom of the ninth with Bruntlett, Victorino and Feliz scheduled to hit.

The Phillies pen went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run. Upton’s speed and a bad throw by Ruiz helps Madson cough up a run — Upton needed his wheels to beat out the hit and then stole two bases. He stole three in the game. The bullpen has allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in the series. Madson and Romero each threw 15 pitches in the game. Durbin and Eyre each threw six.

The Tampa Bay bullpen allowed a run over two innings. They walked three batters, hit another and uncorked a wild pitch. Two of the walks were intentional. As a group they have now allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings. After an off-day on Friday, nobody in the Rays pen threw more than 16 pitches.

Pena and Longoria are a combined 0-for-22 with ten strikeouts and two walks in the first three games of the series.

The Rays scored four runs in game three and at least three of them wouldn’t have scored without their speed. Crawford stole third in the second, allowing him to score on the fly ball by Gross. He put down a beautiful bunt to start the seventh. He was out, but it wouldn’t have been close without his speed. Upton made a run out where there was none off of Madson in the eighth.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Garza went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz stays at third against the righty. Ruiz has been hitting well, but has made 12 straight playoff starts (with some time off in-between series) for the Phils and made his second error in three games last night.

The Phillies started the game with six players on their bench: Bruntlett (R), Taguchi (R), Coste (R), Dobbs (L), Stairs (L) and Jenkins (L).

Rollins led off the first for the Phils and lined a single into center for his first hit of the World Series. Werth was next and he walked on five pitches. Garza’s 0-1 pitch to Utley was in the dirt and blocked by Navarro, but the wild pitch allowed the runners to move to second and third with nobody out. Utley grounded a 3-1 pitch to first for the first out, scoring Rollins to make it 1-0 and moving Werth to third with one out. Howard got ahead 2-0, but then fouled off two pitches and struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Burrell swung at the first pitch and flew to left.

Phils get one run out of second and third with one out. Utley brings in a run with a ground out, but Howard strikes out with one down and a man on third. Again. The Phillies really had Garza on the ropes in the first, but he gets out with the help of the huge strikeout of Howard.

Victorino led off the second with game tied at 1-1. He hammered a 2-2 pitch on the ground, but right at Pena, who took it for the first out. Feliz was next and hit a ground ball back up the middle, but Bartlett made a nice play to get the second out. Ruiz was next and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left to put the Phillies up 2-1. Moyer struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.

Rollins started the third with another single, this one into right. Werth took a strike to even the count at 2-2 as Rollins took off for second. Navarro gunned him down for the first out. Werth reached out and poked an outside pitch into right field for a single. Utley drove a 1-1 pitch to center, but Upton caught it at the warning track for the second out. Howard waived at Garza’s first pitch, a breaking ball, and missed. He hit a 2-1 pitch to Bartlett, playing where you would expect the second baseman to be, to end the inning.

Not sure if the caught stealing cost the Phils a run or not. Rollins surely would have gone to third on Utley’s deep fly ball, likely putting men on first and third with one out for Howard. Not sure if the Rays would have been able to turn a double-play on Howard’s grounder or not.

Garza struck out the side in the fourth. Burrell went down swinging at a 3-2 pitch to get things started. Victorino struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch that looked high for the second out. Feliz struck out swinging at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt.

Ruiz led off the fifth and walked on a 3-2 pitch. Moyer tried to bunt, but popped the first pitch of his at-bat to the catcher for the first out. Rollins lined a 2-2 pitch to Iwamura at second for the second out. Werth flew to right on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning with Ruiz stranded.

Not a good bunt by Moyer, but the Phils still would have been turned away if Rollins and Werth had come up with the same results.

Utley led off the sixth and blasted a 2-1 pitch from Garza out to right to extend the Phillies’ lead to 3-1. Howard was next and he popped a 2-2 pitch out to right. 4-1. Burrell struck out looking at an inside fastball for the first out. Victorino popped up an 0-1 pitch in the infield. Pena took it for the second out. Feliz went down swinging to end the inning.

Chad Bradford started the seventh for the Rays and got Ruiz to chop a ball to short for the first out. Jenkins hit for Eyre against the righty Bradford and worked the count full before grounding to short. Rollins popped to short to set the Phillies down.

Bradford came back to pitch to Werth to start the eighth and walked him on four pitches. With Utley and Howard coming to the plate, the Rays called on lefty JP Howell. With the count 2-1 on Utley, Werth took off for second. The pitch was a ball and the throw down to second not in time. Utley fouled off the 3-1 pitch before Howell struck him out with a breaking ball that nearly ended up in the dirt for the first out. Howell picked Werth off of second with the count 0-1 on Howard for the second out. Howard struck out looking at a 2-2 breaking ball that swept into the strike zone.

Unbelievably awful play by Werth to get picked off.

Bruntlett led off the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 4-4 with the lefty Howell still on the mound for Tampa Bay. Howell got behind Bruntlett 2-0 and hit him in the leg with a 2-1 pitch. Grant Balfour came in to pitch to Victorino with the Rays looking for a bunt. Victorino showed bunt and took strike one. The next pitch was wild, right at Victorino. Victorino jackknifed out of the way and the ball went to the wall as a wild pitch. It bounced off the wall and came right back to Navarro, who had no chance to get Victorino but threw to second anyway. That throw was wild as well. It went in to center field, allowing Bruntlett to go to third. Victorino was walked intentionally, putting men on first and third with nobody out for Feliz. Dobbs hit for Feliz with the righty Balfour on the mound. Tampa Bay brought the right fielder Zobrist in as a fifth infielder, playing right on top of second base. Balfour walked Dobbs intentionally, loading the bases. Balfour threw a 1-1 pitch past Ruiz to put the catcher in a 1-2 hole. Ruiz dribbled a 2-2 pitch down the third base line. Longoria charged hard and barehanded, but didn’t have a chance with his momentum taking him into foul territory. His flip went way over the head of Navarro as Bruntlett scored to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.

Yet another good no-strikeout from Ruiz.

Hugely athletic play by Victorino to get out of the way of the pitch from Balfour, which was right at his body. Changed the game.

Rollins was 2-for-4 in the game and is 2-for-14 (.143) in the series.

Werth 1-for-2 with two walks. 4-for-11 (.364) in the first three games with three walks.

Utley was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. 3-for-12 (.250) and leads the team with four RBI in the series.

Howard was 1-for-4 with a home run last night. 3-for-13 (.231) with a double and a home run in the series. He has struck out six times, which is tied with Longoria for the most for either team.

Burrell 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 0-for-9 with two walks and five strikeouts in the series.

Victorino was 0-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 (.364) with a walk in the series.

Feliz was 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 2-for-10 (.200) with a walk in the series.

Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. He’s 4-for-8 (.500) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in the series.

Seven of the nine RBI for the Phillies have come from Ruiz or Utley. Howard has one and Bruntlett has one.

Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.69) faces righty Andy Sonnanstine (13-9, 4.38) tonight in game four. Sonnanstine was better in the second half of the season than the first, throwing to a 4.58 ERA with a 1.37 ratio before the All-Star break and a 4.08 ERA and a 1.17 ratio after. He’s made two starts in the post-season, going 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA and an 0.85 ratio.

He walked just 37 hitters in the regular season and has walked just two in two playoff starts.

He’s been tough on lefties this season, handling them a little better than righties. Righties hit 289/319/464 against him and lefties 265/303/426.

Stairs is the only Phillie to have faced Sonnanstine, he’s 4-for-12 with a double and a home run.

Blanton still hasn’t been charged with a loss since joining the Phils. After going 4-0 in the regular season, Blanton is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.45 ratio in two post-season starts.

He has an ugly history against the Rays. In eight starts against Tampa Bay, Blanton has gone 2-3 with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.73 ratio. Carlos Pena is 4-for-7 against him. Crawford 7-for-22 (.318). Upton 3-for-11 with a home run.

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