Saturday, June 23, 2012

Phillies and Rays Reunion this weekend

This is me, the morning after Game 7 of the ACLS back in '08, the lineups from that Game is behind on the wall, the winner went on to the play the 2008 World Series. I think I was the first Phillies fan on the ground at Trop Field

The Phillies last saw the Tampa Bay Rays quite some time ago now, in the 2008 World Series. The Rays haven't been back to Philadelphia since, and this is only the 2nd time that the Rays have been to Philadelphia for a series outside of the '08 World Series, the other series was back in 2006 at Ctizens Bank Park.

With the rain out last night, the Phillies will play two games on Sunday. One at the regular time of 1:35pm and then the make up game at 6:35 pm, all tickets for Friday night will be honored for the 6:35 pm game.

Cliff Lee was to start on Friday night, he is the Phillies starter without a win, it's an incredible run of a combination of bad luck and just not being able to score on the Phillies offensive side, other times Lee hasn't come up all that stellar in some of his other starts. Add this all up and Lee is winless in his 11 starts this season, he's tied a record for a Cy Young award winning pitcher who hasn't recorded a win through 11 starts without recording a win (according to the Elias Sports Bureau), he ties a pitcher who was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, Vida Blue who won his Cy Young in 1971 as a memeber of the Oakland A's. Vida didn't get a win at all in 14 starts pitching for the Kansas City Royals in 1983, now granted Vida was well past his prime them.

What have the Rays been up to since their 2008 World Series appearance? The Rays have been in the hunt since then, they've come up short in two Division series in which they've lost, in 2011 and 2010. Joe Maddon is still managing the Rays, who changed their name in 2007 from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Maddon is in his 7th season as manager.

My fond memories of the 2008 World Series is kind of epic. I had planned a Tampa vacation six months earlier for the start of World Series week. My wife and I were down in Clearwater Beach for the Game 7 ALCS game which the Red Sox and the Rays played to determine who would go on to play the Phillies in the 2008 World Series. It would be Tampa, when it was all said and done, the Rays outlasted the Red Sox by a score of 3-1, Matt Garza got the win for Tampa and they were in the '08 World Series. I brought my Phillies shirt down with me on vacation, and the next morning we drove to Tropicana Field and I surveyed the stadium and gift shop at the Trop that morning, later that afternoon the Phillies were going to arrive to work out after knowing that it would be Tampa that they would be playing. There were Tampa fans that were saying, "They're already here", referring to me and my wife with our Phillies fan gear on.

The Phillies went on to win the World Series, a game 5 that will probably talked about for years, it took a couple days to finish it and the Phillies were World Series champs for the second time in club history. 

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