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World Series, Game 5: Tough conditions turn into 'perfect story,' Rays say

Catcher Dioner Navarro can do little more than look out at the raindrops before the game was suspended in the sixth.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Catcher Dioner Navarro can do little more than look out at the raindrops before the game was suspended in the sixth.

PHILADELPHIA — Evan Longoria said they were the worst conditions he has ever played in.

There were puddles in the infield. Carlos Pena said home plate was covered in water. Dioner Navarro said the ball was coming out of the umpire's pocket wet. J.P. Howell and the other relievers covered the bullpen mound with a tarp on their own. Rain was coming in sideways, which made catching fly balls an adventure. B.J. Upton said he worried that with one wrong step a career-ending injury could occur.

"It was weird," Howell said.

"It was tough to see, tough feel your fingers, tough to do everything," third baseman Evan Longoria said. "It was probably the toughest six innings of baseball I've ever had to play."

But why did Pena call Game 5's postponement with the score tied 2-2 in the sixth a "perfect story"?

The Rays were relieved and excited to live another day, and may have gained some momentum — despite trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

"The World Series should be won on the field," reliever Trever Miller said of the suspended game. "I don't care where we stay. If we have a bad ride in a cab getting here, if we're hurting, if we're tired, we don't care. We want to see baseball played on the field."

And the Rays feel good about their chances in battling back.

"It's tougher on (the Phillies)," Longoria said. "We're losing right now, we're playing for our lives. They've got to close this thing out. We're just gonna go out there and have fun and try to take this back to Tampa. They're probably more nervous with this decision than we are."

Said left-hander Scott Kazmir: "I think we like our chances. "(Cole) Hamels is a good pitcher and it doesn't look like we'll see him anymore. We've got another three innings to play. I think everything is looking good for us."

"When you start playing in conditions like that, you're talking about guys' careers," Upton said. "You take one wrong step and that could be it for somebody."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

World Series, Game 5: Tough conditions turn into 'perfect story,' Rays say 10/28/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 12:33pm]
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