MLB: Tampa Bay in More Trouble Than Thursday's Game Showed

William LippContributor IOctober 23, 2008

The World Series is now tied up at 1-1.  With the series moving to Philadelphia, how safe are the upbeat Rays?

The Phillies now have 3 straight games at home.  Thank God for that because Tropicana Field is an updated version of the shoddy Metrodome.  The ceiling is the same color as the ball, and the seating just plain sucks.

Next on the Rays' plate is the fact that Philadelphia's hitters started to come around when Shields left the game.  How long can they keep Howard from jacking one out?  Or even Utley for that matter?  Somehow, someway the Phillies will hit a long ball.

I'm very glad to see Rocco Baldelli seeing some good playing time.  He played very strongly for that team when nobody else was.  Now to get a chance to prove himself is great.  And what's best is that he is proving he belongs on that field.

One big problem that I've noticed is the lack of Evan Longoria.  What happened to the wonder kid?  He can't seem to hit the ball. 

Does anybody know why?

It's quite simple.  He can't hit a decent slider.  Brett Myers didn't throw him the slider in his first at-bat and Longoria hit into a fielder's choice for a RBI.  After that, nothing but a heavy dose of sliders.

Now, I've seen Longoria lift a poorly thrown breaking ball into the cheap seats a few times this season.  So if you can't throw a decent slider then stick to being careful.  But if you can throw a good slider then give it to him over and over again.

The last thing the Rays' should worry about is how much they are using David Price.  Two big games and both put on his shoulders.  When is he going to break? Everyone does, and he surely will.  He's sure a great kid to watch pitch.  97 mph fastball and 93 mph sliders are a very nice compliment to each other.

Whoever wins this year's World Series, they surely deserve it.  Neither team was supposed to be playing this late, and both should be considered underdogs.