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THE GOOD: No more Cole Hamels. The Rays are now 3 and a half innings away from sending the series back to the Trop and regaining home field advantage. And with last’s night game being suspended, they know Hamels is done for the series. Hamels only threw 75 pitches and despite the run in the 6th inning, he probably would have been good for at least one more inning…No more Scott Kazmir. While the suspended game cost the Phillies at least one inning from their ace, the Rays were already into their bullpen with Grant Balfour pitching the 5th inning…BJ Upton’s baserunning. We think it is safe to say that Upton’s trip around the bases in the 6th inning is enough to erase the 724 base running gaffes committed during the regular season. After reaching on an infield single, it was imperative that Upton get into scoring position with 2 outs. Despite 4 pickoff attempts, a tricky lefty on the mound and the River Jordan standing between he and second base, Upton got a great jump and stole second base easily. But Upton saved his best baserunning for last. When Carlos Pena drove a single into left-center, Upton first had to traverse the mud between second and third. The toughest part was then rounding third, crossing into the soaked grass while turning at near-full speed. You could see the strain on Upton’s face just to stay up-right as he raced home, slid past the catcher and slapped home plate. If the Rays go on to win the World Series, it is not hyperbole to wonder if that will go down as the biggest baserunning play in World Series history, on par with Dave Roberts’ stolen base in the ’04 ALCS.

THE BAD: Scott Kazmir. 103 pitches in 4 innings. 6 walks. Of course, maybe we should label that “Good” considering Kazmir gave up 4 hits, 6 walks and hit a batter in 4 innings and somehow only allowed 2 runs…Baserunning gaffes. In the first inning, Carl Crawford hit a line drive that Jimmy Rollins dropped. Crawford had stopped running. Otherwise he would have beat the throw to first. In the 5th inning, Rocco Baldelli led off the inning with a pop up that was dropped by Rollins. Baldelli could have easily made it to second base and yet was standing on first when the play ended. That was followed by Jason Bartlett grounding into a double play.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon stated after the game that Grant Balfour would be his pitcher to start the 6th inning. Balfour only threw 9 pitches last night and would not have been available to pitch tonight had Maddon used somebody else to start the 6th inning. The other option would have been to go with David Price who is a starting pitcher and would be used to the typical pregame routine. Of course, with Cole Hammels due to lead off the bottom of the 6th, it is possible that Maddon is starting with Balfour to force the Phillies to use one of their left-handed pinch-hitters and then will substitute David Price without Balfour throwing a pitch…This wouldn’t have happened in The Trop…Joe Maddon moved Carl Crawford up to the 2-spot in the lineup shifting BJ Upton, Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria down a spot. Maddon said he wanted to tweak the lineup but didn’t want to do anything too drastic…The Rays had already checked out of their hotel and had to bus 30 miles to Wilmington, Delaware to find a place to stay.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Bud Selig insists that he informed both teams prior to the game that a World Series game would not be shortened, only suspended no matter what the score. However, players in both clubhouses were unaware of the rule change and Rays players insisted they thought they were in their final at bat in the 6th inning. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Joe Posnanski says baseball should have never let the game start, saying they used “reasons that defied every bit of logic and sports-sense imaginable.” [Kansas City Star]
  • Rob Neyer wonders why the game wasn’t suspended after the 5th inning with the score 2-1 Phillies. Some Phillies fans are a little upset to say the least. [ESPN]
  • Jayson Stark says that no matter what happened before and what happens next, this series will always be remembered for the rain. [ESPN]
  • Gary Shelton says the Rays are not dead yet and if the Rays go on to win the World Series, they should add some infield mud to the trophy case. [St. Pete Times]
  • Joe Maddon said that he does not buy Joe Blanton’s explanation that it was just dirt on his cap. [St. Pete Times]
  • John Schlegel points out that rain delays and postponements are nothing new in the World Series. [MLB]
  • A Top 10 list of reasons last night’s game was suspended. [Big League Stew]

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why aren't the Umps listed under "bad"?! This has been the worst officiating I think any of us have ever seen. Strike Zone-What Strike Zone? It's like the Homeplate Ump was flipping a coin to decide strikes and balls without even considering the pitch and the Rays were the ones screwed over on his calls. Infield Fly Rule? Even 4 year olds who play tee-ball were wondering why that wasnt called last night. Give me a freakin break. I've heard the rumors about this series being fixed and have tried my best to ignore them but after last night it's hard to ignore the signs...

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  2. Anonymous says:

    fixed????? please....tim donaghy has not umped any baseball games...

    the fans got screwed...bud selig is the biggest jackass in history...dont give me that "in the best interest of the game" BS...this game should not even started....even joe buck thought it was a joke when they showed the doppler...then bud tried throwing the groundscrew and weathermen under the bus!

    so its bad enough the game was started, but to send the phils out there in the 6th was just asking for trouble...real convenient to immediately pull the tarp once the rays tied it...it was an absolute joke..

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  3. Brendan says:

    the officiating has been horrible going both ways. i am a rays fan and i think the umps fixing the game is prosposterous.alot of your points are valid. the strike zone was frustrating but the rays havent been exactly helping themselves. its hard to find a way to blame a 10-2 loss on the umps. both teams have been victimized by horrible calls.

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  4. DirtbagFan says:

    For those Philly fans who are whining that the umps/commish purposely waited until the Rays tied the game before calling it are obviously not real bright... You're just making it sound like the Phils are scared of a Rays comeback, so you'd rather win it with weather than on the field... sad.

    Why would you ever want the World freakin' Series to end due to inclimate weather?
    I guarantee you that every Philly player would much rather wrap this up by winning the game- not by the "powers-that-be" calling it due to weather.

    As far as the umps go, yes both teams have been screwed on a few things, but you have to be completely unobjective to say with a straight face that the strike-zone was the same for Myers and Garza, and equally looney to say it was the same for Hamels and Kaz!

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  5. Z. Hixon says:

    from jayson stark-

    "It's that simple. What happened to the Phillies on Monday should never happen to any team in this situation. And Bud Selig knows it.

    And here's what he also knows: The Phillies had better go on to win this World Series. Because if they don't, the always-magnanimous residents of Philadelphia aren't going to blame Charlie Manuel, the next three losing pitchers or good old Mother Nature.

    They're going to blame him, Bud Selig. "

    im sorry why??? is it a forgone conclusion that the phillies were going to win this series?? werent the rays playing on the same field?? this really bothered me.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    dirtbag.....

    no one is saying they should have called the game due to *inclement* weather and awared us the WS trophy...BUT, the conditions were HORRENDOUS in the top of 5th and 6th...it should have been delayed indefinitely from either of those two points...but it was bundled up oh so nicely for bud when the rays scored...in all fairness, they shouldnt have started the game period....thanks for wasting our ace, bud

    its a crock of shit...and a huge break for the rays

    bring on david price...i am not scared of a rookie who didn't pitch great against the phils in game 2...and the phils are still 6-0 at home...and rocco baldelli still thinks fenway is a more difficult place to play

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  7. cougar says:

    hey anonymous,
    if conditions were so bad in the top of the 5th and 6th, wouldnt it also make sense that conditions were bad in the bottom of the 5th?

    carlos pena made a nice catch on an infield fly with runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out (when infield fly rule was NOT called) in the bottom of the 5th. Both teams played in the same weather.

    I agree game should not have started, but even if they call the game in the top 5th, then Cole Hamels still is wasted.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Game off until Wednesday according to mlb.com.

    This will be the world series that never ends.

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  9. DirtbagFan says:

    Had it been, as you said, "indefinately delayed"- according to the rule book, they would've been saying in essence; "here's your trophy, enjoy never knowing..."

    Philly ain't Fenway pardner...
    I'm pretty sure Rocco has a better grip on where it's tougher to play, considering that you've never played at either place.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    ....Rocco had never played in Philly...in october....in the playoffs...whole new ballgame...its worked out GREAT so far for the rays

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  11. DirtbagFan says:

    Anon:

    You're right, everyone in the league quakes at the idea of having to play in Philly... cuz they're afraid that their wives and children will be raped or maimed

    Let me educate you on something: The Rays blazed their way through the toughest division in baseball, then de-throned the defending champions-- they aren't intimidated by the lowly Philly's.

    Now, whilst playing the worst baseball that they've played all season long they're still hanging on against Philly. Tampa's worst performances are barely losing (with the exception of game 4) to Philly's best shot, so just thank your luck stars that the Phils caught the Rays during a down cycle, and pray to whomever you pray to that they don't start getting hot again now...

    I won't even get into the postage-stamp-sized strike zone that the Rays' pitchers have had to try to pitch around...

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  12. Anonymous says:

    If the Rays go out tomorrow or whenever the weather clears in Philly and (gasp!) sink like a rock I will be very proud of what they have been able to accomplish this year. I have not been this excited about baseball in 20+ years and I am thankful for that.

    HOWEVER .......
    I am very disappointed with MLB and their relationship with broadcast television. They have sold their sole to the highest bidder (in this go-around Fox) and have allowed games to occur at 8:30 Eastern with the probability of these games occurring in locations where the weather is damned cold/wet or in transition.

    You don't have to be a climatologist to figure out that the weather in late October sucks where most of the teams in MLB play at. Can you imagine where this mess would be if the Red Sox had won game 7 and the series moved back to Boston?? They would be calling out the snow plows at Fenway.

    MLB has to look in the mirror and either shorten the regular season by a week (or more), or accept the fact that games may need to be played during the daylight hours when its not so cold.

    I also think a 'shame on Fox' should also be considered as it relates to this series. I'll give you the fact that they did pay a lot of $$ up front for the rights to broadcast the WS, and it is no secret that two small(er) market teams have hurt their ratings (ratings = return on investment). For these reasons, Fox is in a hurry to cut their losses and move on to the season premier of *insert show here*.

    I believe that they were placing extreme pressure on MLB to get these games over with, dangling a check with a boatload of zeros at the end of it. At the end of the day we (the 50 or so fans that will watch the entire series) have one game that didn't end until almost 2AM and another that should have not started in the first place. By the grace of God BJ did not slip on the grass coming home and blow out his knee last night(that sort of stuff happens when playing in a driving rain).

    I do hope that MLB learns that the quest for the almighty dollar isn't always worth it and next time they offer their sole for broadcast rights they insert some strings for the good of the game.

    -Rich

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  13. The Professor says:

    Rich,

    this is something we can all agree on. I always point to what has happened to the NBA. They sold their soul for a few extra dollars by going to cable-only networks. And in doing so they have lost touch with the fans.

    baseball needs to realize that they are a $6 billion industry and just selling out to the highest bidder and then letting THEM control how and when the game is played is idiocy. It should be their privilege to broadcast the World Series. And baseball should be making ALL of the decisions for the sake of the sport. If that means less money in the next deal, so be it. If that means Francisco Rodriguez only gets a $50 million contract instead of a $60 million contract, well I think we can all agree that he will still be able to provide for his family

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