Only in Philly could this happen. The city known for passionate fans and hard-luck teams, finally on the brink of the first major championship in 25 years, had that dream delayed for at least another day.
No, not because of the Rays, although they very well could end up winning Game Five, which enters the bottom of the sixth inning ties at two. Because of rain. Huge, pounding, relentless raindrops that began bombarding the field around the fourth inning and continued until the umpires reluctantly postponed the game after Cole Hamels retired the Rays in the top of the sixth.
Hamels, the Phillies' ace left-hander, was expected, and needed, to finish out the series tonight. It was highly anticipated that Hamels would shut down the young Rays team, who had struggled all series, close the door, and allow Philadelphia's championship-starved fans to celebrate on their home turf.
Not so fast. The city has waited 100 combined sports seasons, since the 76ers' NBA title in 1983, for a major sports title. The Phillies have not won since 1980, with that being their only World Series title in 125 years of play. They will have to wait at least a little longer.
I can honestly say, without exaggeration, that I have never seen anything like what occurred on Monday night. For the last three-and-a-half innings of the game, the rain poured down harder than any rain that baseball would normally be played in. Usually, if the rain reaches anything more than a light drizzle, the game will be stopped.
However, due to the magnitude of the game and the futility of the weather forecast, they played on. The swirling winds reached the point that Gold Glove shortstop Jimmy Rollins missed a seemingly routine pop-up and the infield-fly rule was eventually discarded due to the fact that nothing could be considered routine.
The puddles were comical, looking like quicksand waiting to engulf would-be base stealers. Fortunately for B.J. Upton, he was able to swipe second, putting himself in scoring position for Carlos Pena's eventual game-tying hit.
As it stands, the game is tied heading into the bottom of the sixth. Hamels will have to be removed from the game, negating the Phillies' decided advantage in starting pitching. It will have to go to the bullpens, and although the Philadelphia 'pen has been stellar, the unusual nature of this situation can't have anybody feeling too comfortable.
This has to be seen as an advantage for Tampa Bay. Hamels' influence on the game has been denied. It's tied and he will not be able to continue. In a three-and-a-half inning battle, one big hit could decide it.
And if this game goes back to Tampa, it's anyone's game and both the home field and pitching advantages go right back to the Rays. The Phillies simply must close things out at home.
But who knows when this will happen. Tuesday night? Maybe. The forecast isn't exactly pristine for tomorrow. If it goes until Wednesday, the entire series gets pushed back a day. That potential can only be viewed as a disaster.
So here's hoping that the Phillies can come out and find a way to not only get the game played on Tuesday, but finish off the Rays in what would be the shortest day of clinching baseball in World Series History.
Well, as it would seem, that would only happen in Philly.