Ten years ago this month, the Phillies won their second World Series title in franchise history. Over the next few weeks, Jim Salisbury will look back at the team's run through the NLCS and World Series.
It would be an understatement to say the Phillies entered Game 2 of the 2008 World Series on a roll. Their Game 1 win over Tampa Bay one day earlier was their 21st victory in a 26-game span, dating to mid-September.
But after a six-day break following the NLCS, the Phillies' offense was slow getting going in this World Series. The Phils survived an 0-for-13 performance with runners in scoring position to eke out a one-run victory behind Chase Utley (two-run homer in the first inning), Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge in Game 1.
They were not so fortunate in Game 2. The bats were chilly again and the Phils suffered a 4-2 loss. They had just one hit in 15 chances with a runner in scoring position, leaving them 1 for 28 in the first two games of the series.
The loss left the series tied at a game apiece.
Tampa Bay used a small-ball approach to score four runs, three earned, against Brett Myers over seven innings. One of the runs scored on a successful squeeze bunt.
James Shields pitched 5⅔ shutout innings for the Rays and a rookie lefty named David Price closed it out.
Price, who would go on to win the American League Cy Young Award in 2012 and is now pitching for the Boston Red Sox in this year's World Series, was the No. 1 pick in the draft in 2007. The Rays brought him to the majors in September and liked enough of what they saw to include him on their postseason roster as a reliever.
Rays manager Joe Maddon threw Price into the pressure cooker in Game 7 of the ALCS against Boston. Price got four outs, three on strikeouts, to seal a 3-1 win and send the Rays to the World Series.
The hard-throwing youngster was tested in Game 2 against the Phillies. The Rays were nursing a two-run lead with a man on base in the ninth inning when Price retired Chase Utley on a strikeout and Ryan Howard, the majors' home run champ that season, on a groundout.
The moment offered a preview of big things to come for Price, but it turned out to be the high point of the series for the Rays.
The series shifted to Philadelphia — where the Phils were 52-33 on the season — and 45-year-old Jamie Moyer for Game 3. The weather forecast was not good, but all these years later it's safe to say the Phillies handled it just fine.
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Previously in this series