Final

Playoff Series: Game 5 of 5

Philadelphia won 4-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 22
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Tampa Bay2
Game 2: Thursday, October 23
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Tampa Bay4
Game 3: Saturday, October 25
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Philadelphia5
Game 4: Sunday, October 26
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Philadelphia10
Game 5: Monday, October 27
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Philadelphia4

Rays 3

 

    8:00 PM ET, October 27, 2008

    Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 000101100 3 10 0
    PHI 20000110 - 4 8 1

    W: J. Romero (2-0)

    L: J. Howell (0-2)

    S: B. Lidge (2)

    Rays-Phillies Preview

    STATS LLC

    It's been 28 years since the Philadelphia Phillies secured the club's only World Series title with a decisive victory at home.

    The Phillies once again have a chance to clinch a title in front of their home crowd as they try to finish off the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 on Monday night.

    One day after posting a wild late-night victory in its first World Series home game since 1993, Philadelphia powered its way to a 10-2 win over Tampa Bay in Game 4 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

    After failing to come away with a championship in their previous two World Series appearances in 1983 and 1993, the Phillies are one win away from their first title since Tug McGraw closed out a 4-1 victory over Kansas City in Game 6 at Veterans Stadium on Oct. 21, 1980.

    Of the 42 teams to take a 3-1 World Series lead, 36 have gone on to win it all.

    "It will be absolute bedlam," Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard said of a possible title. "It will be one of the craziest places on Earth. It's kind of scary to imagine.

    "We just have to stay focused and hopefully come out with that 'W.'"

    Tampa Bay, meanwhile, looks to avoid a fourth straight postseason road loss as it faces elimination for the second straight series after beating Boston in seven games of the AL championship series.

    "It's win or go home. It's simple, and no one in here wants to go home and wonder what if," Tampa Bay's Cliff Floyd said.

    Despite going 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position Sunday and 6-for-47 in the Series, Philadelphia has used the long ball in its last two contests to overcome that particular shortcoming.

    Howard hit two home runs and Joe Blanton became the first pitcher since Oakland's Ken Holtzman in 1974 to homer in the World Series as the Phillies improved to 6-0 at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday. Jayson Werth also homered for the Phillies, who have hit seven in the last two games at their homer-friendly park. Sunday's run total matched that of their first three games of the Series.

    Howard went 3-for-4 with five RBIs with a three-run homer in the fourth and a two-run shot in the eighth. The major league leader in homers and RBIs has three home runs in his last two contests after failing to homer in his previous 11 postseason games this year.

    "To be able to have two home runs in the World Series is something you dream about as a teenager," Howard said. "To help my team win, that's a great feeling."

    Jimmy Rollins also had three hits with three runs scored Sunday, and is 5-for-9 in his last two games since going 0-for-10 to open the Series.

    Monday's contest features a rematch from Game 1 as Philadelphia's Cole Hamels looks to continue his postseason dominance while again facing Scott Kazmir.

    Hamels, the MVP of the NL championship series, allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of the Phillies' 3-2 World Series-opening win at Tampa Bay on Wednesday to improve to 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA this postseason. The 24-year-old left-hander looks to join the Los Angeles Angels' Francisco Rodriguez in 2002 and Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2001 as the only pitchers to record five wins in the same postseason.

    "Baseball is not going to allow you to be perfect. This is just a game of skill and luck, all mixed in one," said Hamels, who has 27 strikeouts in 29 innings during the 2008 playoffs. "You just have to work with what you've got and go after it."

    Kazmir, meanwhile, yielded three runs and six hits while striking out and walking four batters apiece in Game 1. Though the left-hander pitched well in that contest, he fell to 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four postseason starts.

    He also knows he has to be better in order to top Hamels.

    "He really has everything going right now. So it feels like you have to be on your `A' game to beat that guy," said Kazmir, who was drafted two spots ahead of Hamels in 2002. "So it feels like every pitch you throw is going to be a crucial pitch. You feel like you want to throw up zeros. And if you don't, it's going to be tough to get a win."

    It's been tough for the Rays to win hitting .187 as a team while scoring three runs per contest. Just added to the Series roster in place of the injured Floyd, Eric Hinske homered Sunday for Tampa Bay, which has three against the Phillies after hitting 22 home runs in the division and championship series.

    Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and Carlos Pena 0-for-3 while striking out twice Sunday as the Rays fanned 12 times and totaled five hits. No. 3 hitter Pena and cleanup man Longoria are 0-for-29 with 15 strikeouts in the Series.

    "We just got to get back into it. We know what's going on. We're just not reacting," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We have to not give them four outs in an inning, we have to have better at-bats."

    If the Rays win, the series will return to St. Petersburg for Game 6 on Wednesday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Gameday Matchup

     Tampa BayPhiladelphia
    W-L97-6592-70
    Night71-4468-46
    Grass38-3592-70
    Current StreakW1W3
    Last 106-47-3

    Pitching Matchup

    Tampa BayPhiladelphia
    S. Kazmir
    0-1, 4.50 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/27 at PHI
    4.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    C. Hamels
    0-0, 0.00 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/27 vs TB
    6.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.Tampa BayPhiladelphia
    1. A. Iwamura, 2B J. Rollins, SS
    2. C. Crawford, LF J. Werth, RF
    3. B. Upton, CF C. Utley, 2B
    4. C. Pena, 1B R. Howard, 1B
    5. E. Longoria, 3B P. Burrell, LF
    6. D. Navarro, C S. Victorino, CF
    7. R. Baldelli, RF P. Feliz, 3B
    8. J. Bartlett, SS C. Ruiz, C
    9. S. Kazmir, P C. Hamels, P