Chooch Chooch Train

It was one of the latest games played in the World Series. After 1:31 rain delay, the first pitch was thrown at 10:07 PM. Carlos Ruiz' walk off dribbler ended the game at 1:47 AM. A late night in Philadelphia, but everybody will sleep well.

Jamie Moyer grew up watching the Phillies as a kid. He skipped school to attend the 1980 World Series parade. Moyer, who had never pitched in a World Series, was living his life long dream.

Moyer had a tremendous regular season for the Phillies posting a 3.71 ERA. Not bad for a 45 year old. However, Moyer struggled during his first two postseason starts, posting a 13.00 ERA.

Moyer would try to redeem himself against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, a young, fastball hitting team, is just the team Moyer excells against. If he got the corners called, the Rays would be in for a long night. And that is just what happend.

Moyer was able to get the Rays hitters off balance. He lasted 6.1 innings, allowed 3 earned runs on 5 hits. He struck out 5, and walked just 1. Most of his troubles came in the 7th inning. Carl Crawford bunted down the first base line. The ball was hit into no man's land. However, Moyer made a spectacular diving play, with an amazing glove flip to Ryan Howard. Howard bare handed the ball. The replay shows that Crawford was clearly out, but the call was safe, and it led to 2 Rays runs.

The Phillies offense got off to a good start. Matt Garza, the Rays starter, started the game wild. With 2 runners on and Chase Utley up, Joe Maddon made a trip to the mound to talk with his young, emotional pitcher. Whatever he said worked for the time, as he escaped the inning only allowing one run.

In the second inning, Carlos Ruiz hit a solo homerun to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

Ruiz has stepped it up big time during the postseason. He did not have a very good regular season. He hit just .219 with 4 HR, and 32 RBI. What he did well all year was handling the pitching staff and playing very well defense. Despite making a throwing error in the 8th, which led to a tie game, Ruiz has been outstanding behind the plate.

This postseason, Ruiz' bat has started to awaken. His postseason numbers might not be eye popping, hitting .263, 1 HR, 4 RBI, but its the time of his hits. Many of his hits has led to big innings for the Phillies. Perhaps his biggest hit, besides last night's walk off, was his single to bring up Matt Stairs in the NLCS. Timely hitting, especially from the bottom of the order, is what the Phillies need, and that is what Carlos Ruiz has provided.

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit back to back homeruns in the 6th inning for the Phillies, which gave them a 4-1 lead at the time. Tampa faught back with that crazy inning against Moyer to make it 4-3. B.J. Upton's infield single, 2 stolen bases, and Ruiz' error tied the game.
Garza, the ALCS MVP, was not as good as he was in the ALCS. He allowed 4 ER in 6 IP. He struck out 7, and walked 2.

Evan "Don't call me Eva" Longoria came so close to giving the Rays a lead. He smoked the ball of Moyer, but the wind blew it in so Burrell could catch it right in front of the fence. Any other time of the year, that ball is in the second deck.

The 9th inning was wild. Grant Balfour was asked to keep the game tied and make the night even longer by getting to extra innings. However, that was not the case. He hit Eric Bruntlett with a pitch. After wild pitch and an overthrow Bruntlett moved to third base. Nobody out.

Joe Maddon had a confrence on the mound. He decided to go with a 5 man infield, bringing in his right fielder, Ben Zobrist, to play right behind second base. They walked Greg Dobbs to load the bases. With just 2 men in the outfield, the Rays hoped for a force out at home. Carlos Ruiz was up to bat, another golden oppurtinty for him to get another big hit. His hit wasn't so big, but it got the job done. The ball was squeaked down the third base line. Longoria charged the ball, as Eric Bruntlett charged home. Evan flipped the ball to Dioner Navarro, but it sailed over his head, and the run scored. Phillies win!


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