Long night finally ends with wild finish
PHILADELPHIA -- You know it isn't just another World Series game when the clock above Ashburn Alley says it's 1:47 a.m.You know it isn't just another World Series game when the Tampa Bay Rays suddenly have more infielders running around than coaches. And you know it isn't just another World Series game when a ball that travels approximately 63 feet is about to turn into the biggest hit of the World Series for the team that somehow is winning the World Series. But that was the madness that unfolded at Citizens Bank Park as a soggy Saturday night turned into a madcap Sunday morning. Five insane hours packed with raindrops, pickoffs, E-2s, long balls, small balls and a whopper of an umpiring boo-boo nearly earned residence in World Series infamy. But if you nodded off sometime after "Weekend Update," take our word for it: The Phillies really did beat the Rays 5-4 early Sunday morning, on a game-ending, slo-mo thunker down the third-base line, against a five-man infield, by a catcher who gets an infield hit about once a decade. And because that happened, in real life, in a jam-packed ballpark in the middle of the night, this World Series has taken a dramatic, possibly pivotal turn.
Bruntlett, a utility infielder who unexpectedly spent most of this season serving as Pat Burrell's late-inning defensive caddie in left field, wound up scoring the winning run in this game -- at 1:47 a.m.Asked whether he could recall the previous time he'd scored a run at 1:47 a.m., Bruntlett scratched his head and concluded: "I'm pretty sure that's a first for me." And the way he came to score that winning run? That had to be a first, too.
But he was about to have a moment that would make all his other moments disappear.The count became 2-2. Towels swirled in the night. Nearly 46,000 exhausted voices did their best to wake up the residents of South Philadelphia. Balfour reared back and did what he does best -- launch one more 95-mile-an-hour smokeball. Ruiz took his mightiest swing. Only to thunk a little hip-hopper down the third-base line that was about to turn the World Series upside down. In raced Tampa Bay's brilliant third baseman, Evan Longoria. ("About the last thing you wanted in that situation was a ground ball," the Phillies' Chris Coste said. "And about the last person you'd want to field it was probably Longoria.")
WORLD SERIES GAME 3: PHILLIES 5, RAYS 4
After a 91-minute rain delay, the Phillies and Rays played a wild game, one the Phils won with a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Story | Series page
• Jayson Stark: Wild night ends with Phillies win
• Jerry Crasnick: Rays see it all in Game 3
• Gene Woj: You're missing a great Series
• Inside Edge reports: Phillies | Rays
• Game 3 blog
• Baseball Tonight Clubhouse: Game 4 preview
• Phillies take 2-1 lead over Rays in Series
• BBTN breaks down Phillies' win
• Jamie Moyer talks about his start
• Jayson Stark, Jim Caple video blog
• A look back at Game 3 and ahead to Game 4
• Jim Caple tours Citizens Bank Park
• Postgame interviews with Moyer, Utley, Ruiz