Tag:World Series
Posted on: October 28, 2008 1:29 am

Explaining the suspended game rule

PHILADELPHIA -- Even baseball officials aren't always sure about their suspended game rules.

After Game 5 of the World Series was suspended in the sixth inning with the game tied 2-2, they cited a 2007 rule change. But because the Rays had tied the game in the top of the sixth and the Phillies hadn't batted in the bottom of the sixth, the rule in effect was really one that was changed in 1980.

Before that, in a situation like Monday's, the tying run scored by the Rays could have been taken off the board, and the score could have reverted to 2-1 with the Phillies ahead. Starting in 1980, any official game in which the visiting team tied the game or went ahead in the top of an inning, and the home team didn't complete the bottom of the inning, became a suspended game and was resumed at the same point.

The 2007 change affected only games that were tied at the end of an inning after the fifth. Before 2007, those were considered tie games and were replayed in their entirety. Starting in 2007, those games also became suspended games and were picked up at the point where they had been stopped.

Posted on: October 28, 2008 1:02 am
Edited on: October 28, 2008 2:46 am

This is weird, and the Rays love weird

PHILADELPHIA -- The way the Rays see it, their whole season has been built around doing what's never been done before.

So a suspended World Series game has to work in their favor. That's how they see it, anyway.

"Anything that upsets the balance of nature seems to help us," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said, after Game 5 of the World Series was suspended in the sixth inning with the Rays and Phillies tied, 2-2. "When you're the perennial underdog, anything that upsets the applecart has to help."

The Rays had never had a winning season before this year. They lost Game 5 of the ALCS after leading by seven runs with seven outs to go, then lost Game 6, too, before beating the Red Sox in Game 7.

Now, down three games to one in the World Series, and 10 outs away from seeing their season end, they scored a tying run and now will wait out a day or more of rain.

"Nothing comes easy for this club," Rays president Matt Silverman said. "And nothing is predictable."

In other words, a suspended World Series game is very Rays-like. Besides, at the very least, their season isn't done.

"We'll roll with it," left fielder Carl Crawford said. "As long as we're alive."

One more positive sign for the Rays: Scott Kazmir, their starting pitcher Monday, walked six batters in five innings.

That's a positive?

Well, maybe it is. The last seven times that a pitcher has walked six or more in a World Series game, his team won the game.

It happened for Florida twice in the 1997 World Series against the Indians (with Al Leiter in Game 3 and Livan Hernandez in Game 5). It happened for the Mets in 1986 (with Ron Darling in Game 4). It happened for the Dodgers in 1981 (with Fernando Valenzuela in Game 3). It even happened for the Phillies in 1980 (with Steve Carlton in Game 2). It also happened for the Yankees in 1978 (Ron Guidry, Game 3), and also in 1977 (Don Gullett, Game 1).

The last time a pitcher walked six or more and his team lost? You have to go all the way back to Game 3 in 1971, when Mike Cuellar walked six in his 5-1 Game 3 loss to the Pirates.

If you want a positive sign for the Phillies, maybe it's that with the weather getting colder by the day, they have a Canadian on their team. And Matt Stairs has definitely played baseball games in worse conditions than this.

"I remember playing a game in Little League where guys had rubber boots on," said Stairs, who grew up in New Brunswick.

Not only that, but if it gets so cold that all this rain water freezes, Stairs says the Phillies are set.

"Pond hockey," he said. "And I'm the starting center."

Posted on: October 27, 2008 8:16 pm

Welke: More replay is coming, but not yet

PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Welke saw the replay, but not in time to change his call.

He knows that the television cameras pretty clearly showed Evan Longoria tagging Jimmy Rollins out in the first inning of Game 4. Welke, the third-base umpire on Sunday night, didn't see the tag and called Rollins safe.

"At the time I called it, I thought I was right," Welke said.

He knows now that he wasn't right. We know from watching replays that there have already been quite a few plays in this World Series where the umpires weren't right.

But Welke isn't ready for baseball to expand the limited replay system that was approved in August.

"I think where we're at is a good start," he said tonight. "I would assume at some point (expanded use of replay) is going to happen, but maybe not in my career. If I stay healthy, I'll probably work for 4-5 more years."

Welke, the crew chief for the World Series, still feels bad about missing the call Sunday.

"My goal as an umpire is to not have anything to do with who wins the game," Welke said. "If that's a 3-2 game, I walk off the field feeling sick to my stomach. If it's 10-2, I feel bad."

It was 10-2 Phillies in Game 4, and while Welke's call led to the first run, it's hard to argue that he cost the Rays the game.

Posted on: October 26, 2008 11:39 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2008 1:07 am

Phillies are one win away from second title

PHILADELPHIA -- When the postseason began, the Phillies had won just four postseason series in their 126-year history.

Now they're one win away from winning the World Series, after a 10-2 win over the Rays in Game 4 Sunday night. After beating the Brewers in four games and the Dodgers in five games, the Phillies could put away the Rays if their ace Cole Hamels can win Game 5 Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

Midseason acquisition Joe Blanton got the Game 4 win for the Phillies, and also became the first pitcher in 34 years to hit a World Series home run. Blanton's home run was the Phillies' second of the game, coming one inning after Ryan Howard's three-run shot had given the Phils a 5-1 lead. Howard homered again in the eighth, giving him five RBIs for the night. Jayson Werth also hit an eighth-inning home run for the Phillies.

Howard became the first player to homer twice in a World Series game since 2002, when three players did it. The only other Phillies with two-homer games in the postseason were Pat Burrell, who did it in the Division Series against the Brewers earlier this month, and Lenny Dykstra, who hit two in Game 4 of the 1993 World Series against the Blue Jays. Howard also became the second Phillie with a five-RBI game in the World Series, matching current Phils hitting coach Milt Thompson, who did it in that same Game 4 in 1993.

The Phillies are still just 6-for-47 (.128) for this series with runners in scoring position, but at least they finally got a couple of RISP hits that left the infield (including Howard's first and Werth's, which left the park). Meanwhile, the Rays are having trouble just getting runners into scoring position. In Game 4, they had solo home runs from Carl Crawford and Eric Hinske, but didn't advance another runner as far as third base for the first seven innings.

One more win, and the Phillies will celebrate just their second World Series title ever. The first came in 1980, when they beat the Royals in six games, with Steve Carlton winning the clinching game at old Veterans Stadium.

The Phillies are the 40th team to take a three games to one lead in a best-of-7 World Series. Of those, 35 have gone on to win the title, with 22 of them closing it out in the fifth game.

Scott Kazmir will start Game 5 for the Rays, trying to extend their season and take the World Series back to Tropicana Field, where Games 6 and 7 would be played. Hamels and Kazmir were the starters in Game 1, which the Phillies won, 3-2.

Posted on: October 26, 2008 9:31 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2008 10:26 pm

Blanton outdoes Sonnanstine -- with his bat

PHILADELPHIA -- Scratch that note on American League pitchers having just as many World Series hits as National League pitchers in the last eight years. Oh, and while you're at it, scratch that note about Cleveland's Chad Ogea having the last extra-base hit by a pitcher in the World Series.

Now that Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton has homered off Edwin Jackson in the fifth inning of tonight's Game 4, there are a whole bunch of new notes.

Blanton is the 15th pitcher to homer in a World Series game (Dave McNally did it twice). He's the first pitcher from either league to hit a home run since Oakland's Ken Holtzman hit one in Game 4 of the 1974 World Series. And he's the first Phillies pitcher ever to homer in a World Series game.

So much for Tampa Bay's Andy Sonnanstine, who had just a measly single in the third inning.

Blanton wasn't exactly the most likely guy to hit a home run. Including both regular-season and post-season games, he was 2-for-33 in his career entering that at-bat, with 21 strikeouts.

By the way, the only other Phillies pitcher to homer in a postseason game was Steve Carlton, who hit one off Don Sutton in Game 3 of the 1978 NLCS.

Posted on: October 25, 2008 5:25 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2008 9:45 pm

Game 3 to start at 10 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA -- Game 3 of the World Series is now scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.

Heavy rain at Citizens Bank Park delayed the start of the game, which was originally scheduled for 8:37 ET. Forecasters say the rain should now clear out of the Philadelphia area.

No more rain is expected until Monday at the earliest. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday night.

Category: MLB
Tags: World Series
Posted on: October 25, 2008 4:02 pm

Game 3, and shaking hands with Charlie

PHILADELPHIA -- For some reason, it was always Citizens Bank Park, and it was always Game 3.

Hey, this was Joe Maddon's vision, and he can visualize whatever he wants. And when his Rays had a chance to clinch the ALCS, Maddon visualized standing at home plate during the pregame introductions before Game 3 of the World Series, shaking hands with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

"You have to see it before it happens," Maddon explained.

And what Maddon saw was Citizens Bank Park, and Game 3. Tonight, he'll see it for real.


Posted on: October 24, 2008 2:53 am
Edited on: October 24, 2008 9:18 am

Shields does a Dice-K

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After James Shields lost to the Red Sox in Game 6 of the ALCS, Daisuke Matsuzaka told Japanese writers that he thought the pitching rubber had been shifted to Shields' benefit.

Not true, it seems, but funny, because in Shields' World Series win over the Phillies on Thursday, he kind of did a Dice-K.

Matsuzaka, you might remember, held opponents to a .201 batting average with runners in scoring position. His Red Sox teammates said he was a magician.

Sure enough, in Game 2 of the World Series, Shields held the Phillies to one infield single in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"I was just thinking about Dice-K, and what he said, because I think I took a page out of his book," Shields said. "Dice-K does a great job with runners in scoring position, and that's what I was able to do."


Cliff Floyd scored on a squeeze play Thursday, and Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz stole a base.

Ruiz became the first catcher to steal a base in a World Series game since Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski did it three years ago. No Phillies catcher had ever stolen a base in a World Series.

Ruiz had one regular-season steal.

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