Game 2 of the 2008 World Series offered Phillies fans one of those bad news/good news scenarios.
The bad: The Phillies lost the game, 4-2, to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The good: It was the last game the Phillies would lose in 2008.
Starting pitcher Brett Myers gave the Phillies seven innings of four-run ball — one of the runs was unearned — not great, but certainly good enough to win on a lot of nights.
But on this night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the Phillies bats were quiet, much like they were in Game 1 the night before. The Phillies won that game, 3-2, mostly on the strength of one big swing by Chase Utley (a two-run homer in the first inning) and the continued mound excellence of eventual World Series MVP Cole Hamels. Utley's homer and Hamels' seven innings of two-run ball helped the Phillies overcome an 0-for-13 performance with runners in scoring position.
The clutch continued to stick in Game 2 as the Phillies went just 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
This time, there was no big hit from Utley to bail the Phils out. The Phils had nine hits in the game but stranded 11 men.
You can watch a complete replay of Game 2 Tuesday night on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
And, we promise, it'll be the last time you see the Phils lose a game that autumn.
Following a six-day layoff after the NLCS, the Phils went 1 for 28 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the World Series, but it will get better.
Game 2 starter James Shields (5⅔ scoreless innings) pitched well for Tampa Bay, especially with runners on base. The Phillies got the lead runner aboard in the second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings. Only one of those runners made it home — Carlos Ruiz with an unearned run in the ninth.
Meanwhile, the Rays small-balled their way to tying the series at a game apiece.
The Phillies put two runs on the board late in the game. Eric Bruntlett, one of the complementary role players who helped the 2008 Phillies succeed, clubbed a solo homer in the eighth and the Phils added an unearned run in the ninth.
Both runs came against lefty David Price, who is now with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Price, then 23, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft and 2008 was his first full season in pro ball. The Rays brought him up for a cameo late in that season and liked what they saw enough to keep him on the postseason roster.
Rays manager Joe Maddon threw Price into the pressure cooker in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against Boston that October. Price survived and got four outs, three on strikeouts, to seal a 3-1 win and send the Rays to the World Series.
The hard-throwing youngster passed another test in Game 2 of the World Series against the Phillies. The Rays were nursing a two-run lead with a man on base in the ninth inning when Price retired 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, who went on to win the AL Cy Young award in 2012, but it turned out to be the high point of the series for the Rays.
Check it all out Tuesday night on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
2008 WORLD SERIES RE-AIRS ON NBC Sports Philadelphia:
Tuesday at 7 p.m. — Phillies at Rays, Game 2
Wednesday at 7 p.m. — Rays at Phillies, Game 3
Thursday at 7 p.m. — Rays at Phillies, Game 4
Friday at 7 p.m. — Rays at Phillies, Game 5 (both parts)