10/28/08 1:58 AM EST
Rain delays Phils' possible celebration
Hamels stellar, but Game 5 suspended in sixth with score tied
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
"It was the worst conditions imaginable to try and pitch in," said Hamels, a San Diego native not accustomed to inclement weather. "It's something you don't train for. You have to do your best. It's not the way you want to finish your last start of the year, but Mother Nature won. Now I have to let our bullpen and our hitters finish it off."Play was halted after Tampa Bay tied the score in the top of the sixth. With a hard rain pelting the field, B.J. Upton drove a hit past Jimmy Rollins into center field. On his way to second base, Upton kicked up water and mud as he stole the bag, then scored on Carlos Pena's single to left. Racing home, Upton slowed down around third to catch his footing and took a wide turn as the ball skipped to left fielder Pat Burrell. Upton beat a close play at the plate. "It was real bad out there," catcher Carlos Ruiz said. "The worst I've ever played in. It was very hard for Cole to pitch." Unable to grip the slick ball for his changeup, Hamels said he threw mostly fastballs. After Evan Longoria ended the inning with a fly to center -- with Shane Victorino struggling to stay on his feet -- the tireless grounds crew raced out with a fresh supply of Diamond Dry. Crew chief Tim Welke intervened and, after a brief discussion, ordered the tarp on the field. Thirty minutes later, for the first time, a World Series game was suspended while in progress. Game 3 of the 1989 World Series was postponed due to an earthquake, but the game hadn't started. "It will be resumed when I believe that weather conditions are appropriate," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "We can't tell you tonight when we'll resume. ... We are not going to resume until we have decent weather conditions." The rule reads: "A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date" for a number of reasons, with section 6 specifying "a regulation game that is called with the score tied." In this scenario, the rule (4.12c) for suspended games is enacted: "A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup." Before the introduction of this rule after the 2006 season, the suspended game would've reverted to the beginning of the inning, with the Phillies leading 2-1, since Philadelphia didn't bat in the bottom of the inning. But that's no longer the case, and therefore, Game 5 will resume in the bottom of the sixth with the score tied at 2. Selig said he decided before the game that it wouldn't end that way. "You can't end the World Series and not play nine innings," Brad Lidge said. Already raining, albeit lighter, when the game started, Hamels set the Rays down in order on seven pitches in the first. The Phillies then took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning on a two-run single by Victorino. The Rays broke through in the fourth when Pena doubled and scored on Longoria's single. As the rain increased, so did the amount of Diamond Dry applied to the playing surfaced, delaying the start of innings. "It was bad," Pedro Feliz said. "You could see the puddles all over." While the situation wasn't ideal for either team, the Phillies are still in a position to win the second World Series in franchise history -- and the score is still tied. "I remember playing a game in Little League, where guys were wearing rubber boots," Matt Stairs said. "It's a shame we lost Cole, but we're not going to have a problem being fired up when we do play. We'll come back and the score will be 2-2. [If we win] the champagne will taste as good, maybe colder. You can't control the weather."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.