|Dates:||October 22 – October 29, 2008|
|MVP:||Cole Hamels, Philadelphia|
|TV announcers:||Joe Buck, Tim McCarver|
|Radio announcers:||Jon Miller, Joe Morgan|
|Umpires:||Tim Welke (crew chief), Tim Tschida, Jeff Kellogg, Tom Hallion, Kerwin Danley, Fieldin Culbreth|
|ALCS:||Tampa Bay Rays over Boston Red Sox (4–3)|
|NLCS:||Philadelphia Phillies over Los Angeles Dodgers (4–1)|
The 2008 World Series was the 104th World Series between the American and National Leagues for the championship of Major League Baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies as champions of the National League and the Tampa Bay Rays, as American League champions, competed to win four games out of a possible seven.
The Series began on Wednesday, October 22, and, after weather delays had postponed the end of Game 5, concluded the following Wednesday, October 29. The American League's 4–3 win in the 2008 All-Star Game gave the Rays home field advantage for the series, meaning no more than three games would be played at the Phillies' stadium, Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won their second championship in their 126-year history, taking the series four games to one. This was the first postseason series lost by a Major League Baseball team based in the state of Florida; previously, the Rays and Florida Marlins were 8–0 in post-season series.
The Philadelphia Phillies advanced to the World Series after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League's Divisional and Championship Series, respectively. The team won its position in the playoffs after its second consecutive National League East title. This was the Phillies' first World Series appearance in fifteen years. The Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the World Series after defeating the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox in the American League's Division and Championship Series, respectively. The team earned its first trip to the postseason in franchise history after winning the American League East title, only one season after finishing in last place. Since each team had come first in its respective division during the regular season, this was the first Series since 2001 without a wild-card team.
Philadelphia opened the season by posting a winning record in the opening month of April. The team scored 60 runs over a five game span in late May and went 14–4 into the beginning of June. The team lost 9 of 11 games to end June, but came out of the All-Star break with a 9–6 record following the midseason hiatus. The Phillies posted the best road record in the National League, at 44–37. Philadelphia traded sweeps with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August and went 13–3 in their last 16 games, to win National League East title for the second consecutive season. They defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the Division Series 3–1, and the Dodgers in the Championship Series, 4–1 to book their place in the 2008 Fall Classic. This was the Phillies' first World Series appearance in fifteen years.
The Tampa Bay Rays also began the season with a winning record in the opening month of April. The Rays became the first team since 1903 to have the league's best record on Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) after finishing in last place the previous season. The team went 16–10 in June, but lost seven consecutive games leading up to the All-Star break. In August, the Rays lost seven games to finish out the month with an overall record of 84–51. The team concluded the season, albeit with a 13–14 record in September; they won the American League East title for the first time in franchise history. The Rays beat the Chicago White Sox 3–1 in the American League Division Series. In the American League Championship Series, Tampa Bay defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games (4–3), to advance to their first World Series in franchise history.
The Philadelphia Phillies scored the first runs of the Series when Chase Utley hit a home run with Jayson Werth on base in the top of the first inning. The Phillies loaded the bases in the second inning, but were unable to score when Shane Victorino was thrown out at home plate by B. J. Upton. The Tampa Bay Rays loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning; however, Upton grounded into an inning-ending double play and the score remained 2–0. The Phillies extended their lead when Carlos Ruiz batted in Victorino in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the inning, a solo home run from Carl Crawford pulled the Rays within two runs. The Rays added their second run the following inning when a double by Akinori Iwamura scored Jason Bartlett. Tampa Bay starting pitcher Scott Kazmir was removed after six innings; J. P. Howell and Grant Balfour combined to shutout the Phillies for 1⅓ innings. Ryan Madson relieved Phillies' starter Cole Hamels in the eighth inning, pitching a single perfect inning. In the top of the ninth inning, two Phillies' runners reached base. Tampa Bay's Trever Miller was brought on and threw four pitches—striking out Ryan Howard—before he was relieved. Philadelphia stranded two runners, on second and third base, and entered the bottom of the ninth inning ahead by one run. Philadelphia's Brad Lidge struck out the first two batters he faced and retired the third batter to get the save.
Thursday, October 23, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida
Tampa Bay scored the first runs of the game in the first inning when Akinori Iwamura and B. J. Upton scored on consecutive ground outs by Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria respectively. The following inning Upton singled, scoring Dioner Navarro. Rocco Baldelli attempted to score from second base, but was thrown out by right fielder Jayson Werth, keeping the Rays lead at 3–0. Cliff Floyd extended the Rays lead to four runs after leading off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single, advancing to third base, and scoring on a Jason Bartlett sacrifice bunt. Rays starter James Shields shut out the Phillies through 5⅔ innings, before being relieved by Dan Wheeler who pitched an additional scoreless inning. Eric Bruntlett hit a home run in the top of the eighth inning to bring the score to 4–1. The Phillies added a second run in the top of the ninth inning, but were unable to score any more runs; Tampa Bay's win tied the Series at one game apiece.
The third game of the Series was delayed for an hour and 31 minutes because of rain. Country music star Tim McGraw, son of Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, spread his father's ashes on the pitching mound of Citizens Bank Park, prior to the game's start. The Phillies scored in the bottom of the first inning after Jimmy Rollins led off with a single and eventually scored when Chase Utley grounded out. In the next half inning, Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford doubled, stole third base and scored on a Gabe Gross sacrifice fly to center field. Carlos Ruiz gave the Phillies their second lead of the night when he hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. Starting pitchers Matt Garza and Jamie Moyer pitched six and 6⅓ innings respectively. The 2–1 score remained unchanged until the sixth inning when Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit the 14th back-to-back home runs in World Series history. Crawford scored his second run of the game in the top of the seventh inning when he was batted in by Gross again. Dioner Navarro continued the rally by scoring on a Jason Bartlett ground out—bringing the score to 4–3. In the top of the eighth inning, B.J. Upton led off with a single, stole second and third, and scored on a throwing error to tie the game. Eric Bruntlett was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the ninth, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a throwing error. Tampa Bay intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases, and brought in Ben Zobrist from right field to play as a fifth infielder behind second base. However, Bruntlett scored the winning run on Ruiz's 45-foot infield single, the first walkoff infield single in World Series history, giving the Phillies a 2–1 lead in the series.
Sunday, October 26, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia took a 1–0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Jimmy Rollins led off with a double and scored when Pat Burrell later walked with the bases loaded. The Phillies doubled their lead in the third inning when Chase Utley reached base on a fielding error and scored on Pedro Feliz's single. The Rays scored their first run when Carl Crawford hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning. Ryan Howard's three-run home run in the bottom of the inning brought the score to 5–1. Tampa Bay's Eric Hinske hit a pinch-hit home run to bring the Rays within three runs, but Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton responded with a home run of his own to re-extend the lead to four; it was the first time a pitcher hit a home run since Ken Holtzman in the fourth game of the 1974 Fall Classic. Blanton pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits to acquire his first win of the Series. Jayson Werth hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning—the Phillies third of the game—to bring the score to 8–2. Later in the inning Ryan Howard's second home run, and fifth RBI, increased the Phillies lead to eight runs. Philadelphia's four relief pitchers combined for three shutout innings, giving up one hit. Due to the late completion of the previous game, Games 3 and 4 each ended on the same calendar day.
Monday, October 27, 2008 (started) and Wednesday, October 29 (completed) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia scored in the first inning for the third consecutive game, taking a 2–0 lead when Shane Victorino batted in Jayson Werth and Chase Utley. Tampa Bay cut the lead in half in the fourth inning; Carlos Peña doubled and was batted in on Evan Longoria's single, both players' first hits of the Series. The Rays then tied the game in the sixth inning when B. J. Upton scored from second base on a Peña single. The game was suspended after the top of the sixth inning due to rain, making it the first game in World Series history not to be played through to completion or declared a tie.
After the game was suspended, umpiring crew chief Tim Tschida told reporters that he and his crew ordered the players off the field because the wind and rain threatened to make the game "comical." Chase Utley agreed, saying that by the middle of the sixth inning, "the infield was basically underwater." Rain continued to fall in Philadelphia on Tuesday, further postponing the game to Wednesday, October 29.
The game resumed with the Phillies batting in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pinch hitter Geoff Jenkins led off with a double and was bunted to third by Rollins. Jayson Werth then batted in Jenkins to take the lead for the Phillies, 3–2. In the top of the seventh inning, Rocco Baldelli re-tied the game at three runs with a solo home run. Later in the inning, Utley faked a throw to first, then threw Bartlett out at home for the third out in a play later described as having saved the Series for the Phillies. In the bottom of the seventh, Pat Burrell led off with a double. Eric Bruntlett, pinch-running for Burrell, scored on a single by Pedro Feliz to put the Phillies up by a run again, 4–3. In the top of the ninth, Brad Lidge gave up a single and a stolen base, but was able to strike out Eric Hinske for the Phillies' second World Series championship.
Under normal conditions, games are considered to be official games after five innings, or four and a half if the home team is leading at that point. However, post-season games are operated by the Commissioner's Office, thus are subject to the Commissioner's discretion of how to handle the scheduling of the games. So, with rain in the forecast for Philadelphia, Commissioner Bud Selig informed both the Rays and the Phillies management before the game began that a team would not be allowed to clinch the Series in a rain-shortened game.
Because of the rainfall, Game 5 was suspended after the top of the sixth inning. Rain continued to fall in Philadelphia on Tuesday, October 28, and the game ultimately resumed on Wednesday, October 29, at Citizens Bank Park. Official MLB records will show that even though the game was finished on October 29, the game was officially played two days earlier, and was completed on that date.
This was the first game in World Series history to be suspended. There had been three tied games in the history of the World Series: 1907, 1912, and 1922, all of them called due to darkness. In general, no ties would be needed under modern rules, which provide for suspension of a tied game and resumption of it at the next possible date. Weather has caused numerous delays and postponements in Series history (notable postponements beforehand coming in 1911, 1962, 1975, 1986, 1996 and 2006), but never any suspended games before 2008.
Although not officially a suspended game, the most notorious postponement of a World Series due to natural events was the 1989 World Series in which the start of Game 3 was delayed ten days, the longest in World Series history, due to the Loma Prieta Earthquake striking the San Francisco Bay Area.
Several Nevada sports betting agencies treated the suspended game as a completed game and a win for the Phillies on Monday, October 27. Under Nevada house rules, the final score of a baseball game is determined by reverting to the last completed full inning, and the Phillies led 2–1 at the end of the fifth inning. Game 5 side bets on Philadelphia were paid off while bets on totals and run-line bets were refunded.
During the following offseason, Selig's interpretation of the rules became codified, as the 30 Major League Baseball club owners approved a rule change stipulating that all "postseason games and games added to the regular season to determine qualifiers for the postseason" become suspended games if they are called before nine innings are played, regardless of whether the game would otherwise qualify as an official game, or the score at the time the game is called. The game is resumed when conditions permit at the same location from the point of suspension.
The Philadelphia Phillies (2008 champions of the National League) defeated the Tampa Bay Rays (American League champions) by four games to one, played in St. Petersburg and Philadelphia from Wednesday, October 22 to Wednesday, October 29, 2008.
|Game||Score (visitors listed first)||Date(s)||Location||Attendance|
|1||Philadelphia Phillies – 3||Tampa Bay Rays – 2||October 22||Tropicana Field,
St. Petersburg, Florida
|2||Philadelphia Phillies – 2||Tampa Bay Rays – 4||October 23||40,843|
|3||Tampa Bay Rays – 4||Philadelphia Phillies – 5||October 25||Citizens Bank Park,
|4||Tampa Bay Rays – 2||Philadelphia Phillies – 10||October 26||45,903|
|5||Tampa Bay Rays – 3||Philadelphia Phillies – 4||October 27, 29||45,940|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2||2||0||4||2||1||3||1||0||15||33||5|
|Total attendance: 219,369 Average attendance: 43,874|
|Winning player’s share: $351,504 Losing player’s share: $223,390|
Games 3 and 5 of the World Series were delayed by rain storms in Philadelphia, with the start of Game 3 on Saturday, October 25 being delayed an hour and 31 minutes (with that game ending at 1:47 am EDT Sunday, October 26). Game 5, begun on Monday, October 27, was suspended after 5½ innings and resumed Wednesday, October 29. Wet weather which affected Game 5 continued into Tuesday in the Philadelphia area, as Major League Baseball officials studied radar data to determine when Game 5 of the World Series would continue under conditions deemed "appropriate." Up to this point, there had never been a rain-shortened game in Series history, and this was the first suspension. As a result, had it been necessary to play them, Games 6 and 7 in St. Petersburg, originally scheduled for October 29 and October 30, were postponed until a later date.
With temperatures plummeting to the mid-40s Fahrenheit and a cold rain falling at Citizens Bank Park, some of the Phillies and Rays players opted for an "Elmer Fudd" look, wearing specially made caps with built-in ear flaps. The caps, manufactured by New Era, were introduced during this year's spring training but were not used on the field until Game 5. New Era also supplied regular ball caps to both teams, which some players continued to wear despite the cold weather.
The games were televised on Fox in the United States with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver as booth announcers and Chris Myers and Ken Rosenthal as field reporters. Jeanne Zelasko hosted the pre-game and post-game show with Kevin Kennedy and Mark Grace (Games 1, 2) or Eric Karros (Games 3, 4, 5). Fox Sports en Español did the simulcast of the Series in Spanish with Angel Torres, Miguel Morales and Cos Villa behind the microphones. Fox's broadcasts were also streamed online at MLB.com.
On radio, the Series was broadcast nationally by ESPN Radio with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan announcing, and a Spanish broadcast on ESPN Deportes Radio. Locally, Dave Wills, Andy Freed, Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane called the Series in English for the Rays on WHNZ-AM in Tampa, with Ricardo Tavaras and Enrique Oliu working the Spanish broadcast on St. Petersburg's WGES-AM. Harry Kalas, Scott Frankze, Larry Andersen, and Chris Wheeler called the Phillies' English broadcasts on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia, with Spanish announcers Danny Martinez, Bill Kulik and Juan Ramos on WUBA-AM. Following their contractual obligations, the non-flagship stations on the teams' radio networks carried the ESPN Radio broadcasts. MLB.com also carried the local radio broadcasts for online streaming, while XM Satellite Radio aired the local and national feeds to its subscribers.
For international viewers, MLB International televised the game with commentators Rick Sutcliffe and Dave O'Brien. This feed was also carried to U.S. service personnel stationed around the globe via the American Forces Network.
Game 1 was watched by 10.1 million viewers in the United States; Commissioner Bud Selig stated he was satisfied with the ratings. Overall viewership was 25% lower than the previous World Series.
One strike away, nothing-and-two to Hinske... Fans on their feet, Brad Lidge stretches... the 0–2 pitch... Swing and a miss; struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball! Brad Lidge does it again and stays perfect for the 2008 season, 48-for-48 in save opportunities... And let the city celebrate! Don't let the 48-hour wait diminish the euphoria of this moment and celebration! Twenty-five years in this city that a team has enjoyed a world championship and the fans are ready to celebrate. What a night! Phils winning, 4–3, Brad Lidge gets the job done once again!
World Champions. World fucking Champions!
I always thought we could win the World Series, I knew we could beat anybody in our league. I look at what I see in our guys, I see chemistry and attitude and our makeup and how much we like to play and how much the Philadelphia fans back us, I know we can win the World Series.…This is for Philadelphia! This is for our fans! I look around here and who's the world champions? I thank you!
In Game 2, home plate umpire Kerwin Danley appealed a call to the first base umpire after calling strike three; the first base umpire called ball four to award the Rays' Rocco Baldelli a walk. Baldelli indicated that the calls did not come up in the locker room, and he did not believe they had an effect on the results.
In Game 3, Phillies' pitcher Jamie Moyer threw the ball to Ryan Howard to force out the Rays' Carl Crawford at first base, despite umpire Tom Hallion calling Crawford safe in the game. In Game 4, Evan Longoria tagged Rollins at third base, though umpire Tim Welke had ruled Rollins safe. The league admitted these errors between Games 4 and 5.