Rays players thought they were down to their last out
And during this tsunami in Philadelphia, with the wind whipping, the cold biting their necks and down 2-1 after five innings, the collective belief in the Tampa Bay dugout was that if the Rays did not score in the top of the sixth inning, they would have lost the World Series.
So B.J. Upton, whose incandescence during these playoffs is reaching supernova intensity, reaches on an infield single. On the muddiest track of his life, he steals second. Carlos Pena, who through four games fit clearly in the category of great Series slumps (See: Winfield, Dave and Stargell, Willie) before awakening in his previous at-bat, singles Upton home to tie the game.The half-inning ended with the game tied 2-2. Upton and Pena had saved the season. Through the corridors of Citizens Bank Park, the fans thought they knew the rules, too, that if Upton hadn't scored and the inning ended with the Phillies leading 2-1, they would be the first team in baseball history to win a championship by rain-shortened decision. The title was theirs.
"I've seen rain delays, suspended games -- that happens in the regular season -- but the World Series and the clinching game should always be decided by nine innings and down to the last out," said Rays reliever Trever Miller. "Not by Mother Nature or whatever else could be thrown at us. That's what the fans pay to see and that's what we've worked our entire season to get to. For us not to get that hit right there that would be awful. That would be the most miserable offseason I would have ever had, trying to swallow that one down. That stuff doesn't digest. Hopefully they recognize this and in the winter meetings they establish some sort of protocol and this doesn't happen again."
Amy K. Nelson contributed to this report.Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He is the author of "Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball" and of "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston." He can be reached at Howard.Bryant@espn3.com.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Kemp laces winner in 10th to turn away Braves
- Cards deal for Masterson to bolster pitching
- Tigers' Scherzer sharp over 7, goes to 13-3
- Scratched Lester at Fenway amid rumors
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
WORLD SERIES GAME 5: PHILLIES 4, RAYS 3
The Phillies won the franchise's second World Series title by defeating the Rays 4-3 in a game that spanned three days.
Story | Series page
• Jayson Stark: Wait finally over for Philadelphia
• Jerry Crasnick: Just the beginning for Rays
• Amy K. Nelson: Grand finale for Burrell?
• Gene Woj: Manuel's mom right again
• Jim Caple: Suspended game not so bad after all
• Hamels named Series MVP
• Lidge finishes perfect season
• In-game chat with Rob Neyer
• Game 5 blog (Part II)
• Fans in Philly soak in title
• Inside Edge reports: Phillies | Rays
• ZOOM gallery: See the series in pictures
• Jayson Stark: Weather changes plan
• Jim Caple: Rays go hotel shopping
• Howard Bryant: Rays thought it was almost over
• Gene Woj: Bud did the right thing
• Selig: No shortened game
• In-game chat with Rob Neyer
• Game 5 blog
• Phillies win first title since 1980
• BBTN looks back at World Series
• Phillies players react to championship
• Hamels talks about being MVP
• Kruk on what this means for Philadelphia
• The managers break down Game 5
• Pena, Longoria examine loss
• Rays' season in review
• Stark, Caple Game 5 video blog
• Caple: This World Series all about weather?
• Postgame interviews