World Series Game Three: Worth the Wait

C KSenior Analyst IOctober 26, 2008

Photo courtesy of ESPN

As game time rolled around for Game Three of the World Series, so did the rain (and the wind and the cold). In fact, the rain hung around for an hour and a half before they got the show on the road.

When the game finally began, the Phillies struck first.

The Rays went down easily in the first inning, which opened the door for the Phillies to come out and take the lead. The Phillies did so off of a Jimmy Rollins single, a Jayson Werth walk, a wild pitch, and a ground out.

So the Phillies took a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

In the top of the second, the Rays came right back.

Carl Crawford started out the inning with a double and later stole third. Crawford then scored on a sacrifice fly.

Yet, the Phillies came right back themselves.

With two outs in the bottom of the second, Carlos Ruiz hit a home run to right field to put the Phillies back on top.

After two, the Phillies lead 2-1.

The 2-1 score stayed on the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when the Phillies struck for two home runs.

Chase Utley stepped up and knocked one to left field on a 2-1 count to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. Ryan Howard then stepped up and hit a line-drive home run to left on a 2-2 pitch.

Phillies lead 4-1 after six.

The Rays came right back once again. It began on a Crawford bunt single (Crawford was incorrectly called safe). Dionner Navarro then stepped up and slammed a double that moved Crawford to third. Gabe Gross then came to bat and grounded out to Howard, but Crawford scored.

After Chad Durbin came in to pitch, Jason Bartlett grounded out to shortstop but Navarro still scored.

After six and a half, Phillies lead 4-3.

The Phillies could not score in the bottom of the seventh, so the Rays (or should I say Upton) came in in the eighth and decided to tie the ballgame right there.

B.J. Upton singled to lead off the inning. After Carlos Pena struck out, Upton stole second. Upton then stole third and walked home after a Carlos Ruiz throwing error attempting to throw him out.

All tied up after seven and a half.

This time, the Phillies did not come back. But to the Phillies liking, the Rays didn't score in their half of the ninth. So the Phillies were left with a chance to win the game right then and there in the bottom of the ninth.

It was about 1:30 AM in Philadelphia, and the crowd was just waking up. They had gone into a "lull" in the middle of the game, but who could blame them? They waited about four hours for the game to start, and then waited three and a half more to watch the game.

But now it was time to wake up, and they did.

Eric Bruntlett was hit by a pitch to start off the inning. While Shane Victorino was attempting to bunt him over, Grant Balfour threw a wild pitch that allowed Bruntlett to go to second. But, when the ball came off the brick behind home plate, Navarro thought he had a chance to get Bruntlett. He threw the ball, but it went into center. This allowed Bruntlett to walk to third.

Man on third, nobody out.

Since only the runner on third mattered in the score, the Rays decided to walk Victorino and Greg Dobbs.

Bases loaded, nobody out, Carlos Ruiz comes to bat.

Ruiz has been arguably the best hitter for the Phillies, so fans were pleased to see the little man come to the plate.

Ruiz ended up hitting a chopper down the third-base line that barely made it past the pitchers mound. It's hard to tell if it would have gone foul, but Evan Longoria had no choice other than pick it up and throw it home. When he threw the ball five feet or so above Navarro's head, Bruntlett scored and the Phillies had won.

Game over. Phillies win 5-4, take 2-1 series lead.