PHILADELPHIA // The decision to suspend Game Five of the World Series after heavy rain left conditions unplayable was greeted with universal praise by the players of both teams last night. The Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays were tied at 2-2 in the middle of the sixth inning when play was halted and the contest will resume from that point on the next night that weather permits. The Phillies are one win away from claiming their second Fall Classic title, holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir, removed in the fifth for the Australian reliever Grant Balfour, said the field was becoming more treacherous. "Watching them out there in the sixth inning it felt like at any moment guys could slip and really hurt themselves," Kazmir opined. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels protected a 2-1 lead until the Rays tied it in the sixth as the weather worsened. Hamels said he did not think it was unfair that he had to pitch in the driving rain when the Rays knotted the score.
"Not really," Hamels said. "They had to hit under those conditions, too. "The inning before, when it was almost as bad, Balfour had to pitch in it too and we didn't take advantage." Balfour induced three successive pop outs after inheriting runners on first and second with no outs. The Rays manager Joe Maddon said he was proud of the way his club fought back and the determination showed by BJ Upton, who legged out an infield hit, stole second and then scored on Carlos Pena's single to tie the game in the sixth.
"BJ is on his own (to steal) and I was very proud of him right there," Maddon said. "I saw the slide on replay. It kind of looked like some kind of a finish of a horse race, with the hoofs kicking up the dirt and the mud at the same time." Kazmir said he held his breath as Upton rounded third. "I was watching Upton, puddles everywhere, and after that hit by Pena, we see BJ going around third to home you could see he was on his tiptoes. One bad move and there could have been a serious injury.
"It was a good decision to suspend this game." *Reuters