World Series Game 5 1/2: What To Expect
Alright so the game everyone is waiting to see the end of, will be played tonight. Commissioner Bud Selig has announced that Game 5 of the World Series will go on as scheduled, at 8:37 eastern time.
Now that these two teams will actually get to play, what can we expect to see tonight from them?
The first the thing obviously expect will be very cold weather. The temperature right now is expected to be in the 30's with wind chills possibly putting it in the 20's. Also it is going to be a very windy game, with winds blowing from left to right, making it hard for those right handed batters to pull one out of the park.
Then the Phillies and the Rays both immediately will be faced with decisions that will impact the rest of the game.
With Cole Hamels scheduled to bat first in the bottom of the 6th, the Phillies will have to send a pitch hitter to the plate then choose a reliever to start in the top of the 7th.
The Rays on the other hand will have the decision of either keeping righty pitcher Grant Balfour in or switching to a lefty pitcher like Price possibly.
When the Rays take the field in the bottom of the sixth Grant Balfour will be the man on the mound I think. Leaving a right handed pitcher out there though, will only last until Chase Utley comes up to the plate, then you will most likely see the lefty Price come into the game. The only reason Balfour will start the inning, is because of the man who is schedule to bat 3rd in the inning, Jason Werth, who led the league this season in home runs off left handed pitchers.
Matt Stairs will probably be the pinch hitter at the beginning of the inning, while the Phillies will be looking to get off to a quick start in these late innings.
With only having 3 innings left to pitch in this game, the Phillies will probably go with Chad Durbin to start in the 7th. The Rays have Navarro, Baldelli and Bartlett due up for the top of the 7th, and with Baldelli and Bartlett being right handed hitters, the righty Durbin seems like the right choice. If Durbin struggles early in this inning though expect to see Madson come in to pitch against the top of the Rays lineup.
Once this game hits the bottom of the 7th though, it will more than likely be what everyone expected to see from the start of game 5. Madson in the 8th, and Lidge in the 9th, with the Rays keeping Price in to finish the game.
So with the start of this game in sight the players and coachers are getting ready to head onto the field for thier 3 1/2 inning battle. No matter what happens though this will be an exciting game, that by the end of this 3 day thriller could declare a winner of the '08 World Series or send it back to Tampa for a game 6.
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