World Series Phlashback: 2008—Game One

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

After being swept out of the 2007 playoffs by the Colorado Rockies, the Phillies were determined to not repeat their failures in 2008.

After clinching their second straight division title the Phillies dispatched of the hot Milwaukee Brewers and took out Manny Ramirez and the rejuvenated Los Angeles Dodgers. All that was left was a match-up with the Cinderella story from the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays.

For either team the 2008 Fall Classic was going to be the perfect ending to a wonderful season. Philadelphia though was looking to capture their first world championship in any sport in a quarter century.

We begin our next phlashback series with a look at game one of the 2008 World Series, which took place in Tampa.

2008 World Series

Tampa Bay Rays (97-65) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (92-70)
Game One: Phillies win 3-2, Lead Series 1-0

Looking to end a quarter century of frustration in the city of brotherly love, no Phillies fan would have sent any other pitcher but Cole Hamels to the mound in game one. Hamels entered the World Series on a hot streak, going 3-0 in the first two rounds and being named NLCS MVP.

The Phillies would look to Hamels to quiet the raucous crowd jammed inside Tropicana Field, home of the up and coming American League champion Rays.

Chase Utley got the Phillies off to a good start as he smacked a two run home run to right field following a walk to Jayson Werth. Hamels did his part to keep the pesky Rays off the bases and kept them from responding.

Shane Victorino increased the lead to 3-0 when Carlos Ruiz put down a ground ball. Ruiz was out on the play but Victorino’s run would prove to be critical later on. The Rays would score a run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Carl Crawford smacked a home run off of Hamels.

In the bottom of the fifth inning the Rays would put together one more run when Jason Bartlett scored from second off of an Akinori Iwamura double. Iwamura was the only Rays batter who could seem to find some effectiveness against Hamels, notching three of the five hits Hamels allowed.

Hamels was fantastic. He continued to pitch like the ace that had been showing off his stuff in the previous two rounds. In the rare instances where he did get into trouble, thanks to some poor defensive play by first baseman Ryan Howard, he found a way to wiggle out of it.

Howard went 0-4 on the night with three strike outs, leaving four on base. He did walk once but his struggles continued in the field.

Though he was only credited for one error, either he or Hamels made a mistake in the first inning when Iwamura was the beneficiary of a gaffe on some one’s behalf of not covering the base in time. Hamels was beat to the bag, but he had let up as Howard appeared to be charging to take it himself.

Jimmy Rollins went 0-5. Chris Coste, inserted as the designated hitter, went 0-4. Pat Burrell was 0-3. Ruiz was 0-3 but he knocked in a run so he was forgiven. All in all the Phillies left eleven batters, including way too many men at third and lead off base runners.

The Phillies held on in the late innings. After Hamels pitched seven great innings the game was handed to Ryan Madson, who worked a perfect eighth inning. Brad Lidge then entered the game and struck out Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria for the first two outs.

Lidge then forced Crawford to pop foul for the out and the Phillies captured the critical road win in game one. Up 1-0 in the World Series Phillies fans were starting to dream about the possibilities.

I originally recapped this game on my personal blog, before this site existed. Read it here.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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