World Series Tampa Bay Rays: Phils' Moyer makes Game 3 worth his wait

Jamie Moyer went 61/3 innings for the Phillies in Game 3 and left with a 4-2 lead.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Jamie Moyer went 61/3 innings for the Phillies in Game 3 and left with a 4-2 lead.

PHILADELPHIA — Jamie Moyer hung on a tree alongside the route of the Phillies' 1980 World Series victory parade and wondered what it would be like on one of those floats.

Nearly 30 years later, as the second-oldest man to start a World Series game — with his hometown team, no less — Moyer on Saturday got his first opportunity to pitch on baseball's grandest stage.

Waiting an extra 91 minutes through a rain delay of Game 3 didn't seem to matter.

Moyer, 45, allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in 61/3 innings, leaving with the lead and to a thunderous ovation.

"This whole thing is really emotional for me," Moyer said Friday, anticipating the start. "It really is. It's a dream. Starting to understand the reality of it all, I'm kind of waking up with one eye open and one eye closed. I just feel it's really cool, and the emotion — I'm happy. It's fun."

Moyer began the game at 10:06 p.m. with a strike of Akinori Iwamura before a towel-waving sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

He allowed just three hits, a second-inning double by Carl Crawford, a single to lead off the fifth by Dioner Navarro and a sixth-inning single by B.J. Upton.

In the seventh, Moyer raced up the first base line to snare a Crawford bunt to lead off the seventh. He shoveled it with his glove to first baseman Ryan Howard in what appeared to be in time to get Crawford, but Crawford was ruled safe.

Navarro followed with a double into the leftfield corner to put runners on second and third. Moyer departed with a 4-2 lead after a run-scoring Gabe Gross groundout.

Otherwise, the Rays seemed perplexed by Moyer's kit bag of changeups and breaking pitches. They hit few balls hard and offered the Phillies' defense a string of easy fly balls.

Moyer dabbled inside and out enough to earn a few extra inches of strike zone, then he exploited it. The Rays never had more than one runner on at a time until the seventh.

Moyer had Evan Longoria baffled in particular, striking him out swinging in his first two at-bats. Longoria nearly got him back in the sixth, lifting a pitch to deep left. But Pat Burrell caught it at the warning track to strand Upton at second.

The Rays scored once off Moyer in the second. Crawford led off by flaring a double to left off the glove of sliding Burrell, then stole second. He scored with one out on a Gross sacrifice fly.

World Series Tampa Bay Rays: Phils' Moyer makes Game 3 worth his wait 10/25/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:58am]

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