Reigned out


POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PHILADELPHIA » There's no telling when we'll see the World Series again. Rain, rain made it go away last night.

A steady downpour did in Game 5, suspending it in the sixth inning with the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays tied at 2.

They could play tonight, but one look at The Weather Channel made that possibility doubtful. The Phillies lead three games to one, needing one more win for their first championship since 1980.

“;I can't tell you tonight when we'll resume,”; commissioner Bud Selig said. “;We'll stay here if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here.”;

There has never been a rain-shortened game in Series history, and this was the first suspension. Whenever this one resumes, it will pick up where it left off, with the Phils about to bat in the bottom of the sixth.

“;It was terrible. The field wasn't bad, but it was the worst conditions I've ever played in,”; Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria said.

Carlos Pena hit a tying, two-out single in the sixth for the Rays, and the umpires called it moments later. By then, every ball and every pitch had become an adventure because of the miserable conditions.

“;The infield was tough. The ball would do funny things,”; Phillies second baseman Chase Utley said. “;It was in bad shape. It was not playable.”;

If Pena had not tied it, Selig said he would not have let the Phillies win with a game that was called after six innings.

“;It's not a way to end a World Series,”; he said. “;I would not have allowed a World Series to end this way.”;

Fine by the Rays.

“;The World Series always should be decided by nine innings with somebody making the final out, not the weather or natural disasters or whatever,”; reliever Trever Miller said. “;That's what fans pay to see. That's what we work hard for all year.”;

Today was supposed to be a travel day, if necessary. Instead, the teams will stay in the area and then head back to Tropicana Field if the Rays win.

The delay, however, forced the Rays to find a hotel in Wilmington, Del., about 25 miles away.

About 10 minutes after the game was officially suspended, an announcement was made at Citizens Bank Park telling fans wrapped in plastic sheets they were done for the night.

By then, many had left their seats and streamed into the concourses. They crowded six or seven deep, trying to see any of the game before the umps signaled for the tarp.

Because it was only lightly raining when the game started, MLB hoped it could play a full nine innings. Quickly, however, the showers turned to a steady downpour and the field became a quagmire.

By the middle innings, the grounds crew was running shuttles onto the field, carrying bags of a drying agent—baseball's version of cat litter—to absorb the water.

No luck.

A puddle formed on home plate and umpire Jeff Kellogg resorted to using a towel rather than the usual whisk broom to wipe it clean.

Batters kept blinking back the rain drops and pitchers struggled with their footing. Strong gusts dropped the wind-chill factor into the 30s, and fielders covered their bare hands between pitches.

All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies chased a popup all over and dropped it for a tough error in the fifth. There were pools of water at every base and the Phillie Phanatic wore a rain slicker for his routine.

B.J. Upton beat out an infield hit with two outs in the sixth on a ball that Rollins bobbled. Upton stole second and hustled home on Pena's hit, with left fielder Pat Burrell's throw home plopping into a puddle in the grass.

Fans showed up hoping they'd be witnesses to a World Series championship. Shane Victorino, who hails from Maui, got them cheering with a bases-loaded single in the first for a 2-0 lead off Scott Kazmir.

Rays manager Joe Maddon tinkered with his lineup, dropping the slumping Pena and Longoria one spot each—they were a combined 0-for-29 with 15 strikeouts after four games.

The Tampa Bay stars ended their hitless ruts in the fourth when Pena doubled off the right-field wall and Longoria followed with an RBI single up the middle that made it 2-1.

A few innings later, it was time to go.

“;You couldn't do anything you normally do out there,”; Rays outfielder Carl Crawford said.

Rays 2, Phillies 2, susp., 5 1/2 inn.

Iwamura 2b301001.222
Crawford lf300000.222
Upton cf311000.263
CPena 1b312100.125
Longoria 3b301100.053
Navarro c100010.333
Baldelli rf200000.000
Bartlett ss200000.154
Kazmir p200002.000
Balfour p000000—-
Rollins ss200010.238
Werth rf111020.438
Utley 2b210000.176
Howard 1b200012.316
Burrell lf100020.000
Victorino cf301201.263
Feliz 3b301001.294
Ruiz c301000.400
Hamels p200001.000
Tampa Bay000101250

E—Rollins (1). LOB—Tampa Bay 3, Philadelphia 9. 2B—CPena (1). RBIs—CPena (2), Longoria (2), Victorino 2 (2). SB—Upton (4). GIDP—Navarro, Bartlett.
Runners left in scoring position—Tampa Bay 1 (Longoria); Philadelphia 5 (Utley 2, Ruiz 3).
DP—Philadelphia 2 (Rollins, Utley and Howard), (Utley and Howard).


Kazmir pitched to 2 batters in the 5th.
Inherited runners-scored—Balfour 2-0.
HBP—by Kazmir (Utley). PB—Ruiz.
Umpires—Home, Jeff Kellogg; First, Tim Tschida; Second, Tim Welke; Third, Kerwin Danley; Left, Fieldin Culbreth; Right, Tom Hallion.
A—45,940 (43,647).