World Series: Phillies win title ove Rays 4-3
By Ben Walker
PHILADELPHIA ó From losingest team to longest game, the Philadelphia Phillies are World Series champions.
Strange as that sounds.
Strange as it was.
Brad Lidge and the Phillies finished off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in a three-inning sprint Wednesday night to win a suspended Game 5 nearly 50 hours after it started.
Left in limbo by a two-day rainstorm, the Phillies seesawed to their first championship since 1980. Pedro Feliz singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh and Lidge closed out his perfect season to deliver the title Philly craved for so long.
“It’s over,” Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. “It’s over, man.”
Bundled in parkas and blankets, fans returned in force to Citizens Bank Park and saw the city claim its first major sports championship in 25 years. No more references needed to those sad-sack Phillies teams in the past and their 10,000-plus losses.
It was among the most bizarre endings in baseball history, a best-of-seven series turned into a best-of-31/2 showdown when play resumed in the bottom of the sixth inning tied at 2.
While former NL MVPs Ryan Howard and Rollins drive the Phillies, it was others who won it on this chilly night and sent the young Rays home.
Tied at 3, Pat Burrell led off the seventh with a drive off the center-field wall against J.P. Howell. Chad Bradford relieved and one out later Feliz singled home pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett.
Rocco Baldelli’s solo home run off Ryan Madson, who relieved Cole Hamels when the game resumed, made it 3-all in the top of the seventh. The Rays almost got more, but All-Star second baseman Chase Utley alertly bluffed a throw to first on a grounder over the bag and instead threw out Jason Bartlett at the plate.
Pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins, the first batter Wednesday night, doubled and later scored on Jayson Werth’s bloop single.
In all, there were six new pitchers, three pinch-hitters and two pinch-runners when play restarted.