Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cheesesteaks for Everyone

The Philadelphia Phillies captured their second ever World Series title, and first since 1980, by downing the Tampa Rays tonight, 4-3. The game picked up where it left off on Monday, with the Phillies batting in the bottom of the sixth. With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Pedro Feliz singled home pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett with the go ahead run. Then it was up to Brad Lidge to close things out in the ninth. After allowing a broken bat single to Dioner Navarro, Lidge retired pinch-hitter Ben Zobrist on a line drive and struck out pinch-hitter Eric Hinske before dropping to his knees in celebration. The win closed out the series in five games as the Phillies won all three home games.

Pat Burrell led off the bottom of the seventh with a double that nearly left the yard off of J.P. Howell. With Chad Bradford on in relief, Shane Victorino failed in two attempts to get a sacrifice bunt down, but then pulled a Bradford delivery on the ground to first baseman Carlos Pena to move Bruntlett to third base. (Bradford was an odd choice by Joe Maddon since he's a ground ball pitcher and the Phillies needed a bunt or pulled groundball.) With the infield in, Feliz singled back through the middle to put the Phils up 4-3. A great diving stop by Aki Iwamura prevented a possible bigger rally.

The Phillies had taken an immediate lead when play resumed. Geoff Jenkins doubled to lead off the sixth against Grant Balfour and moved to third on Jimmy Rollins sac bunt. Jayson Werth brought Jenkins home with a single to shallow center.

The Rays came right back in the top of the seventh on Rocco Baldelli's game tying home run off of Ryan Madson. But this was not to be the Tampa Rays night.

We chose the Rays to win the series in six games due to their starting pitching, but we did say the Phillies had an advantage in the bullpen and that certainly played out.

Congratulations to the Phillies, especially manager Charlie Manuel.

Is is Spring Training yet?

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