Game staying in Philly, no matter what

October, 27, 2008
10/27/08
7:05
PM ET
11:32 p.m. ET
More from Selig, who says there is no chance this game will be picked up in Tampa. It will be resumed in Philly.

"We'll stay here even if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here. … It will definitely be a night game. It will be the same starting time whether it's Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night or whenever."

Game will officially resume Tuesday (11:25 p.m. ET)
The game will resume Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Here's what Bud Selig just said at the news conference:

"We've talked to the Phillies … it will be a usual starting time of a game, and we'll know many hours beforehand. We have to watch the weather. This is tricky.

"We want to get up tomorrow, talk to everybody, see exactly what the situation is. … I don't want to speculate now. We're not going to resume until we have decent weather conditions."

By the way, click here to keep updated on Philadelphia weather over the next few days.

Rays' tying run in sixth saves MLB (10:52 p.m. ET)
The run the Rays scored in the sixth inning (after they had two outs and nobody on) might have saved Major League Baseball from one of its all-time October embarrassments.

Because that run tied the game, the rules now permit the game to be stopped, suspended and resumed when the skies clear -- whatever day, week or month that is.

But had the Phillies held on to the lead and the game then was stopped, the rules wouldn't have allowed a suspension. So baseball might have been faced with having the World Series end with the first rain-shortened game in Series history.

So talk about your clutch hits. When Carlos Pena lined that RBI single, the Rays might have been down to their final strike of the season -- in the sixth inning.

If this game can't be resumed tonight -- and at this point, that's actually the most likely scenario -- it's expected it would be scheduled to resume Tuesday night. But MLB's COO Bob DuPuy told Fox that because the forecast for Tuesday was equally horrendous, it's possible it might not be possible to finish this game until Wednesday.

Asked what the chances were of finishing the game Monday night, DuPuy replied: "Right now, we're not optimistic."

If this situation had arisen in any World Series game before 2007, baseball wouldn't have had the option to suspend the game. Under the old rules, it would have been declared a tie and started over from the first inning. But a 2007 rule change required that, once games become official, all tie games would be suspended and resumed at a later time from the point at which they're stopped.

And now for yet another complication: The Rays checked out of their hotel in center-city Philadelphia, in anticipation of flying home after the game -- and they can't get back in, because the hotel is sold out.

They're scrambling to find rooms -- somewhere -- as we speak.

--Jayson Stark

The following is from the MLB Official Rules regarding suspended games, keeping only the parts that apply to the current situation in Game 5:

4.12: SUSPENDED GAMES

(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:

    (5) Weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead; or

    (6) It is a regulation game that is called with the score tied.

(b) A suspended game shall be resumed and completed as follows:

    (1) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game between the two clubs on the same grounds; or

    (2) Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader between the two clubs on the same grounds, if no single game remains on the schedule; or

    (3) If suspended on the last scheduled date between the two clubs in that city, transferred and played on the grounds of the opposing club, if possible;

    --(i) Immediately preceding the next scheduled single game, or

    --(ii) Immediately preceding the next scheduled doubleheader, if no single game remains on the schedule.

    (4) Any suspended game not completed prior to the last scheduled game between the two teams during the championship season shall become a called game. If such game becomes a called game and

    --(ii) has progressed far enough to become a regulation game, and the score is tied, the game shall be declared a "tie game." A tie game is to be replayed in its entirety, unless the league president determines that playing the rescheduled game is not necessary to affect the league championship

(c) A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup.

Rays starting pitching disappoints (10:13 p.m. ET)
As Scott Kazmir departs, it's time to review just how lousy Tampa Bay's starters have pitched in this World Series. They've pitched a combined 25 2/3 innings in five games -- and allowed 53 baserunners. That counts runners who reached on errors, but it's still an official mess.

--Jayson Stark

Hamels left hand OK? (9:59 p.m. ET)
One consequence of Cole Hamels not getting the bunt down well enough to advance the runner: He had to be a baserunner, so he couldn't get treatment on the finger that was hit during his first bunt attempt. Then he had to stand in the rain for several minutes during a long half-inning. We'll see how it affects him.

--Jim Caple

Pena, Longoria finally end hitless streak (9:44 p.m. ET)
Well, you can cancel that 0-for-the-World Series watch on Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria. They were a combined 0-for-31 until they each got their first hits of this Series in the fourth.

A few factoids to put that little skid in perspective:
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pena and Longoria made the Rays the second team in history to go hitless out of the No. 3 and No. 4 spots for four straight games in a World Series. The other: the 1911 Giants, against the A's.
  • Longoria had been the first rookie to start a World Series with 16 consecutive hitless at-bats since Flea Clifton of the Tigers in 1935, according to Elias.
  • The record for biggest 0-fer over an entire World Series is 0-for-22, by Dal Maxvill, of the 1968 Cardinals. Of course, Maxvill was hitting eighth -- not third or fourth.

--Jayson Stark

More zeroes for Hamels (9:23 p.m. ET)
Cole Hamels' efficiency this postseason has been ridiculous. He started this game with three shutout innings, which means that in his first 32 October innings, he hung a zero in 27 of them. And in all five of the innings in which he was scored on, he gave up only one run.

--Jayson Stark

Familiar start for Kazmir (9:01 p.m. ET)
If you thought Scott Kazmir's first inning looked familiar, you weren't dreaming. He has made five postseason starts and given up a two-run first in four of the five. That's half as many two-run innings as Kazmir allowed all season -- in any inning.

--Jayson Stark

Maddon tweaks lineup, bats Crawford second (8 p.m. ET)
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he wanted to "unfreeze'' the slumping Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria by giving them a new perspective in the batting order, so he inserted Carl Crawford in the second spot and moved B.J. Upton, Pena and Longoria down a notch to the 3-4-5 spots.

Crawford is certainly comfortable batting second. Of his 443 regular season at-bats, 351 came in the No. 2 spot. Crawford hit .271 with all eight of his home runs in the second spot in the order.

Maddon dropped Crawford to the fifth spot against Chicago in the Division series to facilitate the left fielder's return from a finger injury, and Crawford remained there until Monday's lineup realignment.

--Jerry Crasnick

Late bloomers (7:55 p.m. ET)
Joe Blanton, who homered and won Game 4 for the Phillies, is developing a reputation for getting stronger as the season progresses. Blanton is a career 24-9 after Aug. 1, for a winning percentage of .727. According to Stats Inc., the only active pitchers with better winning percentages after Aug. 1 are Houston's Roy Oswalt (.806) and the Mets' Johan Santana (.746). Philadelphia's Cole Hamels ranks fourth on the list with an 18-8 record and .692 win percentage after Aug. 1.

--Jerry Crasnick

We're on schedule (7:54 p.m. ET)
Well, it looks like we'll likely start this game on time. The tarp isn't on the field, but more importantly, Cole Hamels just walked out to the bullpen to start warming up. The crowd started to roar, and that's when I saw Hamels making what he and the Phillies hope is the last journey out to the bullpen for any starter this series.

--Amy K. Nelson

Wind factor (7:50 p.m. ET)
You should see the flags in center field. If the winds hold up, any decently hit fly ball to left-center field, center and right-center is going go a long, long way.

--Gene Wojciechowski

Eternal optimist (7:45 p.m. ET)
Mr. Positive, aka Rays manager Joe Maddon, has been listening today to the Rolling Stones' tune, "Start Me Up." Makes sense -- his team is down, 3-1, in this series.

You have to admire Maddon's attitude. He is absolutely, positively convinced the Rays are going to make a comeback in this series.

"To get back home, I think things could shift dramatically," he said.

And who knows, maybe he's right. But the last time a team recovered from a 3-1 World Series deficit was 1985, Kansas City Royals over the St. Louis Cardinals. So I don't like his odds.

Anyway, you can see from Maddon's lineup that he bumped Crawford up to the 2-spot and dropped Pena to the cleanup spot and Longoria to the 5-spot. Pena and Longoria have a combined World Series 0-fer.

If it were the regular season, said Maddon, he might have considered giving one of them a mental health day: take the day off, watch a major league game from the bench. But he doesn't have that luxury, even with both Pena and Longoria in the tank so far.

--Gene Wojciechowski

Rain in the forecast (7:10 p.m. ET)
As I was standing on the field, I started to feel pellets of rain come down. I hadn't realized we were due for another front, and by the time I got back to the press box, all the talk was about how we could all be in for another long night.

The local news showed a front moving north, and one colleague told me it's supposed to come down harder than it did on Saturday night, when the start of the game was delayed 91 minutes because of rain. I'm told it could be really bad around 11 p.m. As of right now, at 7:10 p.m., it's coming down lightly outside, but the Rays are still taking batting practice.

--Amy K. Nelson

'Sheed's a Phillies fanatic (7:07 p.m. ET)
Each year the team hosting the World Series has a postgame party celebration. These parties are usually held on the club levels in each ballpark, but the Phillies decided to have theirs in a large tent outside the park. Fans with tickets to these parties are invited, as are media, baseball officials and anyone else associated with the game. Well last night as I was walking into the party, I spotted a very tall man, standing on the corner. He was wearing a throwback Tug McGraw jersey and was taller than anyone else in the room.

I then realized it was Pistons power forward Rasheed Wallace. So a little while later I spotted Wallace in the tent. No one was bothering him, and he was with four of five of his friends. Just hanging out, like everyone else. Wallace grew up here in Philadelphia and told me he's a huge Phillies fan. He was at the game, and was excited about the team's chances of winning the World Series. There was one thing he was disappointed about, though, "I can't be here [Monday]," he said. "Gotta to [Detroit] on Wednesday."

Wallace turned his Phillies hat around on his head to show me his team love. He had to get ready to prepare for the Pistons camp, but he'll be watching.

--Amy K. Nelson

Game 5 starting lineups (7:05 p.m. ET)
The weather forecast doesn't look good for tonight. Light rain has begun to fall during the Rays' BP session. Here are the lineups for Game 5:

Rays lineup
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
B.J. Upton, CF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Dioner Navarro, C
Rocco Baldelli, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS
Scott Kazmir, P

Phillies lineup
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Jayson Werth, RF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Pat Burrell, LF
Shane Victorino, CF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Carlos Ruiz, C
Cole Hamels, P

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