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World Series, Game 5

27

October

It's over

Phillies defeat the Rays four games to one

End of eight, 4-3 Phillies

End of seven, 4-3 Phillies

Rocco Baldelli got the Rays back even when he whipped a pitch into the leftfield stands without even getting his arms extended, but another lead-off double hurt the Rays in the bottom half. Pat Burrell very nearly went deep leading off, but his two-bagger led to the go-ahead run as the Phillies keep exerting pressure.

End of sixth, 3-2 Phillies

First move won by Charlie Manuel. Pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins, who batted .246 in the regular season and was 0-for-3 in the postseason, mashed a lead-off double against Grant Balfour, whom manager Joe Maddon kept in instead of going to a left-hander.

Pre-game

It's cold. Really cold. Not like when you think it's cold in December and you can't wear shorts for a few weeks. This is ridiculous. Windchills will dip into the 30s during the game, most likely.

But we've got an interesting little mental exercise getting ready for tonight. The Phillies have three more outs, bat first and last, and know that by scoring one more run they win a World Series championship. The Rays are playing with the house's money and have always been loose in such circumstances. "It's like a three-inning war," potential Game 6 starter James Shields said.

Strategy, strategy

Check out this gameplan.

And either way, the Rays are coming home tonight, either for Game 6 or to pack their lockers.

Machine gun Brett

Phillies potential Game 6 starter Brett Myers blew off a little steam on Tuesday.

Game notes from Monday

The Rays tied it on a Carlos Pena single and after the inning, umpires order the tarp onto the field. There is a general sense of insurrection here in the cradle of liberty.

Middle of the sixth, 2-2

Grant Balfour in for Scott Kazmir. Crews are spreading drying compound on the field.

End of five, 2-1 Phillies

Balfour's best outing in quite a while. Huge shutdown to bail out Kazmir.

End of four, 2-1 Phillies

Fooled ya again didn't he? Kazmir just can't seem to stand prosperity tonight. As for the lineup, Pena's first hit of the World Series (a double) plus Longoria's first (a single) equaled a run.

9:33 p.m.: It's raining harder now than at any time tonight.

End of three, 2-0 Phillies

Good news: Scott Kazmir has calmed and the Phillies seem suddenly willing to swing early and without much selectivity. Bad news: Cole Hamels is motoring - though he just allowed his first hit - and hasn't even used his changeup much yet.

End of two, 2-0 Phillies

Much better inning from Kazmir despite the two-out single.

End of first, 2-0 Phillies

The de-evolution of Scott Kazmir continues. Is two enough for Hamels?

Pre-game

8:27 p.m. - Carlos Pena concludes his Haka dance in the dugout. Cole Hamels is warming up. Everyone else is cooling down.

Take note the wind is blowing out hard. Someone (or five) might just hit the launch a wind-aided monster tonight.

Pretty simple from here. Win and return to Tropicana Field for Game 6. Win again and play for a world title Thursday. The problem is, the once-unflappable Rays are flapping in the chilly Philadelphia breeze. They're not hitting, pitching or even fielding like the team that won the American League pennant, and the Phillies are better right now than the team that captured the NL flag.

Oh, and the Phils' Cole Hamels, who beat the Rays in Game 1, who will attempt to become the first pitcher to go 5-0 in a postseason, will be on the mound as a city awaits its first chance to celebrate a major title since 1983. (Sorry Bon Jovi, you don't count.) Dr. J and Moses Malone may finally have to start paying for their own drinks again.

Weather update

7:48p: Raining a little harder now and a few more fans are jamming into the sardine-packed concourse. With tempatures dipping deep into the 40s, the wind howling straight out to center and rain, this is going to be a nasty night.

Local Quadruple DoppleViper shows that it will begin to mist momentarily. From 10-11 p.m., rain is forecast to increase in intensity and more so around midnight.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:43am]

    

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