Brett Phillips knocks in the tying and winning runs in the 9th and turns the series on its head.
By Ian Blum
I tried to start the recap blog twice as Game 4 unfolded. What can I say, these things take a little bit of time and I wanted to sleep. But each time I did something jaw dropping would happen that caused me to delete whatever I had.
Something to remember is I’m a new baseball fan. I really got into the sport in 2015. So I don’t have the sample size others do when I say that this was the greatest game I have ever seen. Of course it feels like every October this happens. But considering the twitter persona I have taken on and puling for the Rays I will at least say it’s my favorite.
I’m not going to be able to hit on everything because literally everything happened, or at least it felt like it. So I’m just gonna run through what stuck out to me.
Justin Turner did what he does and mashed another baseball tonight. He came up in the 1st inning and hit another homer as he did on Friday night. Then Corey Seager did the same in the 3rd inning and it was quickly 2-0 Dodgers.
That would be followed up Randy Arozarena’s 9th postseason home run to put the Rays on the board and make it 2-1. Max Muncy drove in Corey Seager to extend the Dodger lead 3-1 and off they went.
This thing went completely off the rails with either team scoring at least a run in every inning for the remainder of the game.
The high points for me started with Joc Pederson’s AB in the top of the 7th. Pederson hit the ball just off of the glove of Brandon Lowe and scored Corey Seager to make the score 6-5.
The rollercoaster was already in full swing at this point as Brandon Lowe hit a go ahead home run in the 6th and quickly after had this happen. Ray’s Fan Ian was not immune to the wild October coaster.
Then of course the Baseball Gods came back to us with a blessing in the form of a Kevin Kiermaier solo shot to tie the game at 6 in the bottom of the 7th.
Then Corey Seager drives in yet another run this postseason to give the Dodgers the lead 7-6 in the 8th.
Now to the 9th inning, where I want to change the pace here. As I said I’m a new baseball fan. My entire life has been football and basketball heavy. But tonights game had two things that has caused baseball to capture my imagination. Both can be seen and felt on the play that everyone will be talking about for years to come.
Brett Phillips came up with 2 men on, 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning in the World Series. I won’t lie to anyone I have never heard of Phillips before Joe Buck said his name as he walked into the batters box. What I do know about him is that he is 26, was moved from the Royals to the Rays and hadn’t played well in either stop. He was left OFF the Rays ALCS roster. So, needless to say, he probably had no business standing there with a bat.
Baseball is game of heroes. It always has been and always will be. People will say theirs was Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Micky Mantle, Willie Mays or Mike Trout but everyone has a baseball hero. While having these larger than life figures the sport has a funny way about it where every October we get a Brett Phillips or a Geoff Blum and so on. To see guys largely overlooked and maybe not as talented as other players have a moment in the sun is peak baseball.
The second thing I am speaking to is the “Oh Sh*t” moment, as a I like to call it. This moment occurs in the moment between moments. The ball is hit in the air, a runner rounds 3rd base, or a pitch is on its way to the plate. These things happen in a matter of seconds yet somehow it feels like time slows. The ball takes a little longer getting to the plate or to fall from the sky and it leaves just enough to think aloud, “Oh Sh*t”. Those moments are beautiful because it’s where the magic happens. Legends are born when time is almost completely still.
Tonight on the final pitch of the game we had the unlikely hero, and not 1 but 2 “Oh SH*T moments.
Here it is one last time for the sake of the blog:
The first of the two moments happened when the ball lands in the outfield. At this point I have one thing on my mind, extras. The tying run scored easily. However the Dodgers have dudes in the outfield. Chris Taylor bobbled the ball sure but he has a good arm so I don’t see Arozarena scoring on the play. Neither did the rest of planet. This thought was confirmed when we saw Arozarena in between bases, falling all over the place. No way he scores. Then the ball gets away from Austin Barnes which was our second moment. The runner scores and the Rays tie the series.
When it comes to baseball as a sport Game 4 gave you almost everything it could. There was offense all over the place, great pitching and fielding as well. Why this game was so special was that the sport lived up the hype of the intangibles as well. Fans watched and felt all the through it. That’s why a wise man once said:
The Tampa Rays have completely turned this series on its head. Now a best of three games situation and they have a great deal of momentum heading into Game 5 Sunday night.
We go back to the Game 1 starters as it is once again Clayton Kershaw vs. Tyler Glasnow.
Kershaw went 6 full allowing only 2 and a run while striking out 8. Glasnow meanwhile was not at his best allowing 6 runs over 4.1 innings. He also struck out 8 but hurt himself by walking 6.