Baseball: Philadelphia capture World Series
Thursday 30 October 2008
The Philadelphia Phillies have won the World Series after beating the Tampa Bay Rays in last night's rain-delayed Game Five.
Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz each drove in a run to beat the Rays 4-3, clinching their first World Series title since 1980 and the second in franchise history.
Relief pitcher JC Romero picked up the win and closer Brad Lidge completed his perfect season with a scoreless ninth inning for Philadelphia, who took the series, four games to one.
"It's honestly very hard to control the emotions right now," Lidge said. "I mean, this is so incredible, I'm so happy to be here. These fans are amazing and my teammates are the best in the world and I couldn't be happier right now.
"I just did everything I could to try and take (my regular season success) into the post-season. I never thought about the alternative. I just felt like I had no fear this year, because I had already been through everything."
With the game tied at 2-2 in the middle of the sixth inning on Monday as rain poured onto the field and showed no signs of letting up, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig decided to suspend the game until the weather cleared.
The conditions finally became playable on Wednesday, and the Phillies showed absolutely no rust.
"(Manager) Charlie (Manuel) does a great job in keeping us mentally prepared, he has all year long," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "And even though we've had a day and a half off, we all went home, with the game still playing in our minds. We never sat down. We had that attitude."
"I think that the lay-off didn't hurt either team," Manuel said.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was gracious in defeat.
"I want to say congratulations to the Phillies," Maddon said. "(I) look in the mirror and I see us a little bit. They're a lot like us. We're a lot like them. (The Phillies are) truly a wonderful team and deserving to win the World Series."
Cole Hamels, who pitched the first six innings - allowing two runs and five hits while striking out three - on Monday and earned a win in Game One, was named the World Series MVP.
"To come away with a World Series ring is more important to me than an MVP, because truly I'm one of 25 guys on the team," Hamels said. "So I think winning the World Series is a far more greater accomplishment than anything I can do. I feel like a winner now."
It was Victorino's two-run single in the first that put the Phillies on the board on Monday, with RBI hits by Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena accounting for the Rays' runs.
"I don't really feel, as a club, we have anything to be ashamed of," Longoria said. "I think we went out there and represented the American League pretty good and played our best. They just beat us."
"I always though we'd win the World Series," Manuel said. "I knew we could beat anybody in our league, and when I look at my guys, I see our chemistry and our attitude, our makeup, how much we like to play and how much the Philadelphia fans back us.
"I knew we (could) win the World Series."
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