Post-game clubhouse interviews are often an exercise in futility, and for good reason. All anybody wanted to know tonight is why the Phillies have been so awful with runners in scoring position (1-for-15 in Game 2, 1-for-28 in the World Series). But if the players had an answer, I'm sure they'd put it to good use. Nobody I spoke with felt like the Phillies were tight, or rusty, or suffering from Tropicana-itis. They just didn't get big hits at opportune times. The result, of course, was a 4-2 loss.
Like it or not, it is something this club has dealt with over the course of the season. I'm sitting in my hotel room with Gonzo (the tilty-headed guy from the Inquirer) watching Sportscenter and trying to pull an all-nighter so I don't sleep through my flight tomorrow. Steve Phillips just pointed out that the difference in Game 2 was productive outs. Tampa Bay was able to put them together. The Phillies weren't. The Rays scored their first two runs on groundouts. The Phillies had a runner on third base with less than two out a couple times and weren't able to drive him in.
The Phillies were on the wrong end of a couple of non-calls. The first came in the second inning when Rocco Baldelli was awarded a walk after appearing to go around on a 3-2 pitch from Brett Myers. Instead of a runner on first with two out, the Rays had runners on first and second with one out and ended up converting that situation into a run.
Then, in the ninth inning, a pitch from David Price appeared to hit Jimmy Rollins jersey as he tried to get out of the way. But the Ump did't see it -- actually, Rollins said afterward the ump told him he couldn't "hear it" -- and Rollins ended up popping out to short. Instead of runners on first and second with no out, the Phils had a runner on second with one out. Ruiz ended up scoring. But Rollins getting on base certainly could have changed things.
If you are the Phillies, or a Phillies fan, you have to be happy with a split at Tropicana Field, don't you?