Philadelphia Phillies Beat Tampa Bay In The World Series Behind New Faces
The Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series.
The funny thing, is Game 5 involved many players who were not Philadelphia Phillies last year. It is eerie how many new faces contributed to yesterday's win alone, let alone the whole World Series.
He had many key at bats this season, and even won a couple of games with pinch hit walk off home runs.
His first ever postseason however was not as kind to Jenkins, as towards the end of the season his role was diminished. When Game 4 resumed however, he pinch hit to lead off the bottom of the sixth.
He faced hard throwing righty Grant Balfour, and laced a double that hit off the wall to start the sixth. He came around to score on Jason Werth's RBI single.
Werth himself is one heck of a story, if only because last year he was not a key factor off the bench, and because even as late as this year, he was not even a starter.
He would platoon with Jenkins in right field. However when Jenkins went down, Werth was given the nod by Charlie Manuel to start everyday, but only if he could improve his stats against right handers which were ugly.
Soon he was an everday staple in the lineup.
Which leads us to Pat Burrell who did not even have a hit yet in this World Series. But after his double to lead off the 7th inning, Eric Bruntlett had to pinch run.
Eric Bruntlett is the "other guy" who came from Houston in that trade this offseason. But when Jimmy Rollins went down early on this season, this utility infielder stepped up.
His numbers during his replacement time were fine, but at the end of the season he became Pat Burrell's pinch runner, and defensive replacement.
And who came in to score the game winning run? Bruntlett.
Who drove him in?
You guessed it. Pedro Feliz, a former San Francisco Giant who tasted a World Series defeat at the hands of the Angels not to long ago.
Coming in as a free agent, Feliz was supposed to be an everyday third baseman with the hands, and hopefully a consistent bat in the lineup.
His defense was his specialty alright, but his offensive numbers were down, and it eventually led to the platooning at third with an offensive alternative Greg Dobbs.
But through it all, Feliz started every game of the World Series, and came up with certainly the biggest hit as a Phillie, and without a doubt, the biggest of his career.
And last but certainly not least, Brad Lidge.
He was "The Guy" to come in that trade from Houston. Everyone was wondering how his health was, and how good of a closer he could be.
Boy did he silence those critics and doubters.
He went a perfect 48-48 in save opportunities. But that is another story. All we have to look at is Save #48.
Lidge worked his way around a 1 out single by Dioner Navarro and a stolen base by his pinch runner, but once he struck out that final batter Eric Hinske, his perfect season was in the books.
And in Phillies lore forever.
All of these players were not always in the spotlight all the time.
But for one game (or half game courtesy of Bud Selig), all of these players etched their names into postseason lore. We know the rest of this Phillies team deserves just as much credit, if not more.
But Pat Gillick knew this team needed that extra spark.
And it came in a huge trade, some small free agents, and smart baseball choices.
It is what wins a World Series.
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