Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God Doesn't Hate Philly After All - Phillies Finish Rays

By JC De La Torre

The Philadelphia Phillies are the 2008 World Series Champions, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in the resumed Game 5 to clinch the World Series, winning 4 games to 1.

Geoff Jenkins let off the bottom of the 6th with a double to deep right center. James Rollins bunted him over to 3rd base. Jayson Werth popped up but Aki Iwamurra couldn't get to the baseball, it fell and Jenkins scored to give Philadelphia the 3-2 lead. JP Howell would come in for the Rays and get Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

In the top of the 7th, the Rays came right back. After Dioner Navarro struck out, Rocco Baldelli blasted a solo home run to left field, tying the game back up at 3 a piece. Jason Barlett singled to left. JP Howell bunted Barlett to second. Aki Iwamurra hit an infield single to 2nd that Utley appeared to have no play on, but instead of attempting to throw to first Utley intelligently saw that Bartlett was breaking for the plate - and fired home, easily getting Barlett.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Phillies would answer, Pat Burrell doubled to deep left center field, barely missing a home run. Victorino grounded out to 2nd, advancing the pitch runner for Burrell, Bruntlett to 3rd. The light hitting Pedro Feliz came on against Tampa Bay's Chad Bradford. He fired a seeing-eye single past the pitcher and into center field. Bruntlett scored giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead.

On to the top of the 8th we went, Carl Crawford opened the inning with a single to left field. Unfortunately, BJ Upton swung at the first pitch he faced from JC Romero and grounded into an inning killing double play. Carlos Pena would pop out to retire the side.

David Price would work the bottom half of the eighth for Tampa Bay, getting rollins to fly out and striking out Werth. While he did walk Utley, he struck out Ryan Howard to retire the side.

On to the 9th, where there was high drama for Philadelphia. Super reliever Brad Lidge came in and got Evan Longoria to pop out to 2nd base. Dioner Navarro got a broken bat single to get on base. Fernando Perez came in to pinch run and promptly stole 2nd base. The tying run is on 2nd...Ben Zobrist came in to pitch hit for Baldelli (why...I'm not sure, perhaps Rocco's illness forced the change), Zobrist hit the ball well to Right Field but right at Jayson Werth for the 2nd out. One last chance for Tampa Bay and Eric Hinske camed in to pitch hit for Jason Bartlett. Hinske's last pinch hitting performance ended in a homer, so the Rays fans hoped for a big hit. Unfortunately, Lidge was at his best and struck out Hinske, and with that strike out, the Phillies ended 20-plus years of misery for the city of Philadelphia and claimed their first World Series title in 28 years, only their 2nd in 126 yrs of baseball.

So God doesn't hate Philadelphia. But we can still hate Philadelphia fans, who displayed their lack of class when their owner stated on the podium, "Let's congradulate the Tampa Bay Rays on a tremendous season," they booed. Why boo? Your team has beaten Tampa Bay, it was good, competive series that the Phillies deserved to win. Why not honor the Rays for their achievement in winning the American League pennant? Most fans greet that with a light applause. The Philadelphia fans? Boo. That's why you had to wait 28 yrs to win a title, and that's why the rest of America will hope you go another 28 yrs before you get another. Word is their rioting now in Philly...yeah, brilliant.

But you know what, no matter how crappy the fans are, hats off to the Phillies. They outplayed the Rays in every facet of the ball game, they got crucial timely hits, solid pitching from both the starters, the bull pen and overall were just the better baseball team. Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge were dominant. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were clutch. Just a great, great team.

Congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies, you were a fantastic group of Champions.

In the coming days, we'll reflect on the Rays, the Series, what was accomplished here and what will be coming down the line - but now's not the time. Tonight belongs to the Phillies.


Anonymous said...

Why boo?? Cause we owed you one big time for the loss we had in the NFC championship a few years back. JC. The one thing everyone doesn't understand about Philadelphia fans, is that most of what we do is to get a laugh out of someone. Ease up over there. There is always next year. Thank God. Brandon

Anonymous said...

Oh. And come on as a writer. Do you really have to lie. Word is that they were rioting. I was just in the heart of it. On Broad Street near the stadium. It was completely peaceful. Even the cops were having fun. How much class is that JC? You sound a little sore.

JC De La Torre said...

I wasn't lying, there was a report on Fox Sports Radio that they were burning cars and causing damage in Philadelphia. How do you explain this
or this -