Despite a less-than-auspicious first inning by Scott Kazmir, who allowed two early runs and wriggled out of quite a bit of trouble (he would allow 3 runs in his 6 IP), the game did not turn into the slugfest it might have been. Instead, the Rays’ bullpen gave us a genuine pitching duel, as Kasmir and his replacements matched Cole Hamels almost pitch for pitch. Hamels went seven, but only allowed two runs; the difference in the game-- this game was one swing from tied from the fifth inning on. Contrary to the League Championship Series’, only two homeruns were hit tonight; one by Crawford, one by Utley.
Clinging to their 3-2 lead for most of the game, the Phillies’ pitching took it all the way to Lidge, who absolutely destroyed the heart of the Rays’ lineup in the bottom of the ninth to secure the road win. Crawford put up a valiant at-bat at the end, but was finally retired.
And what a game it was. If you like baseball, this series might be a dream come true. When all was said and done tonight, both teams left baseball fans wanting a little bit more. I’d like six more games like this, please.