Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

World Series Tampa Bay Rays: Iwamura commits rare errors

Akinori Iwamura can’t handle a ball hit by Jimmy Rollins in the fourth, one of his two Game 4 errors.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Akinori Iwamura can’t handle a ball hit by Jimmy Rollins in the fourth, one of his two Game 4 errors.

PHILADELPHIA — Throughout the Rays' turnaround, Akinori Iwamura has been almost automatic in the field.

The six-time Gold Glove winner in Japan made a seemingly seamless transition from third to second before this season, often cited as a big reason for Tampa Bay's defensive improvement.

But Sunday night, in Game 4 of the World Series, Iwamura made two uncharacteristic miscues in the first two-error game of his career. (He had just seven errors during the regular season.)

Both errors led to runs in a 10-2 loss at Citizens Bank Park that left the Rays one game from elimination.

Iwamura wasn't alone as the Rays have totaled five errors in the first four games of the World Series.

"I don't want to make any excuses," Iwamura said through interpreter Bori Uchibori. "I wanted to back up (starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine) in every angle, but I couldn't do it (Sunday)."

Each of Iwamura's errors helped a leadoff man reach and eventually score.

In the third, Chase Utley slapped a grounder to Iwamura, 29, who got in front of it and put his glove down on an apparent routine play. But the ball bounced off his glove. Four batters later, Pedro Feliz singled to score Utley and give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

"There was a bad hop. But at the same time, I was kind of rushing myself. And I don't know why I was rushing myself," Iwamura said. "If I could, I'd like to get back the moment."

Then in the fourth, the speedy Jimmy Rollins hit a grounder between second and first. Iwamura raced to his left and reached his glove out. But the ball bounced off the bottom tip of it and past him. Three batters later, Ryan Howard ripped a three-run homer for a 5-1 Phillies lead.

"I saw the edge of the turf, and the ball bounced less than expected," Iwamura said. "And so I kind of put the glove up a little bit.

"That's why the ball went down off my glove."

Iwamura bounced back in the seventh with a brilliant play to spark an inning-ending double play. On a sharp, low liner by Carlos Ruiz, Iwamura dived to his right to make the grab. He then picked off Feliz, who had strayed too far from first.

Iwamura pointed to his team's resiliency all year for why he's confident about tonight's Game 5.

"Whoever knows about the Tampa Bay Rays, we're known for bouncing back," Iwamura said. "We've done it. We've proved it. And I want to believe in that for (today)."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith @sptimes.com

On the run

B.J. Upton tied a Series record Saturday by stealing three bases in a game, and he matched another as the 12th player to steal two in one inning. The top thieves:

Player, team Series

B.J. Upton, Rays 2008

Lou Brock, Cards 1968

Lou Brock, Cards 1967

Willie Davis, Dodgers 1965

Honus Wagner, Pirates 1909

World Series Tampa Bay Rays: Iwamura commits rare errors 10/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 2:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  2. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American

    Blogs

    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  3. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.
  4. Today he secures Bucs games; 30 years ago he played in them

    Bucs

    TAMPA —- Whenever the Bucs play a home game, Sankar Montoute is on hand to supervise more than 50 officers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on duty at Raymond James Stadium.

    Sankar Montoute, who oversees Homeland Security for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, was a replacement player for the Bucs during the 1987 strike. 
Montoute, who had a sack and interception in the same NFL game, oversees the 50-plus officers who work at Bucs games, most of whom have no idea he played. [Times files (1987)]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Looking back at what went wrong

    Bucs

    In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman says Monday brought good news relating to Jameis Winston's shoulder injury.

    A frustrated Mike Evans sits on the bench during the second half of the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Arizona. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]