Sitting on the edge of my couch I watched on as Brad Lidge had a man on second with 2 outs. Up to the plate stepped Eric Hinske. The first pitch slider was fouled off. The second pitch was also a slider and was swung at. With his deadly slider working like it has all year, the same slider that saved 41 games in 41 chances in the regular season and another perfect 6 in the playoffs, Lidge decided to go with it one more time to get one more save.
To tell you the truth, Hinske didn’t stand a chance.
Hinske couldn’t touch it and at that moment, a lot happened. Lidge fell to his knees, Carlos Ruiz rushed him, Ryan Howard completely flattened him, and 50,000 people in attendance at CBP got on their feet and cheered. Thousands of others rejoiced around the country as their Phillies did what teams before them couldn’t do and that was win the World Series.
I sat there, staring at the TV. My roommate, who doesn’t like baseball that much was watching with me and rambling on and on. I turned to him and told him to shut up as a soaked in the glory of finally watching a team and city I followed for 15 years finally win.
The whole series, just like the playoffs, was one sided for the Phillies. After dominating the Brewers in four games and the Dodgers in five, a series versus the virgin Rays would be tough but in the end, it didn’t appear that way.
Game one was held in Tampa because the American League won the all star game on a Billy Wagner blown save and Brad Lidge loss (his only of the year). They got the game started early as Chase Utley hit a two-run homer in the first. Ruiz had an RBI in the 4th to make it 3-0. Tampa was able to add a run in the 4th and 5th but that was it. Cole Hamels was dominant as he allowed the only two runs the Rays could muster. Lidge got the save in the 3-2 win for Philadelphia.
Game two was the only game where the Rays had hope. They got two early runs in the 4th and added a couple more later in the game. The Phillies could get a run in the 8th and 9th and would lose 4-2.
Game three was a dramatic one and was where all the momentum became Philadelphia’s. With the game tied at 4 in the bottom of the 9th, Eric Bruntlett was hit by a pitch. He 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. Bruntlett scored the winning run on Carlos Ruiz’s 45-foot infield single.
Game four was complete and utter dominance as Ryan Howard hit two homers, Jayson Werth hit a shot, and Joe Blanton hit his first career home run while pitching a dominant game. The Phillies went on to win 10-2.
Game five was the screwiest game in the history of the World Series. They got things going early again as Shane Victorino drove in two runs in the first. The game got suspended after the top of the 6th inning due to heavy rain. The game was moved to two days later, where they resumed it in the bottom of the 6th.
Geoff Jenkins led off with a double and was bunted to third. Werth then drove in Jenkins to take the lead for the Phillies, 3–2. In the top of the 7th inning, Rocco Baldelli re-tied the game 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. Bruntlett, pinch-running for Burrell, scored on a single by Pedro Feliz to put the Phillies up by a run again, 4–3.
Now we move to the top of the 9th, with an 0-2 count to Hinske. Tell it to us one more time, Harry:
One strike away; nothing-and-two, the count to Hinske. Fans on
the their feet; rally towels are being waved. 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 watch the city celebrate! Don’t let the 48-hour
wait diminish the euphoria of this moment, and the celebration.
And it has been 28 years since the Phillies have enjoyed a World
Championship; 25 years in this city with a team that has enjoyed
a World Championship, and the fans are ready to celebrate. What a