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Phillies beat Rays 4-3 to win World Series four games to one

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Phillies beat Rays 4-3 to win World Series four games to one

BY MARK FEINSAND

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

October 29th 2008

 

alg_phicelebrating.jpg

Pensinger/Getty

The Phillies mob the mound after winning the second World Series in team history.

 

PHILADELPHIA - The World Series that wouldn't end is finally over. And after 28 years, the Phillies are finally champions again.

 

The Phillies emerged with a 4-3 win over the Rays Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, a game which took more than two days to play start to finish.

 

The championship is the first by a pro team in one of the four major sports by a Philadelphia team since 1983, when the Sixers won the NBA title, and the Phillies' first World Series trophy since 1980.

 

In fitting fashion, the Phillies won the title under bizarre circumstances, playing a 3 ½-inning game Wednesday night after Game 5 had been postponed by heavy rain and wind in the middle of the sixth inning on Monday night, then postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday.

 

Philadelphia didn't seem to care. After a quarter-century, they'll take it any way they can get it.

 

The Phillies won the series, 4-1, upsetting the Rays, who had been favorites in the World Series after beating the Red Sox in a classic seven-game ALCS.

 

As the umpiring crew took the field at 8:36, many fans took an opportunity to boo, letting them know what they think of this series' officiating. Those jeers were nothing, however, compared to the ones that were heard as the Rays took the field roughly two minutes later.

 

Six minutes later, the Phillies had the lead. For a little while, anyway.

 

The go-ahead rally started with pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins, who drilled Balfour's 3-2 pitch into right-center field, out of the reach of a streaking Rocco Baldelli. Jenkins cruised to second base with a stand-up double, pumping his fist twice as the crowd went wild.

 

Jimmy Rollins bunted Jenkins to third base, then Jayson Werth popped up a 2-2 pitch to shallow center field. With the infield playing in, Akinori Iwamura tried to chase it down with his back to the infield, but he couldn't make the play, as the ball fell in for a base hit, easily scoring Jenkins from third to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

 

Ryan Madson, who had allowed just two runs in the entire postseason, came out to start the seventh for the Phillies, freezing Dioner Navarro on a called third strike to start the inning. But Rocco Baldelli drilled Madson's next pitch into the left-field seats, tying the game at 3.

 

The Rays put the go-ahead run on right after the homer, as Jason Bartlett singled to left. J.P. Howell, who entered the game in the bottom of the sixth, bunted Bartlett to second, putting him in scoring position. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel pulled Madson for lefty J.C. Romero, who came in to face the lefthanded Iwamura.

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