Jimmy Rollins sat in the Phillies dugout before the National League Division Series earlier this month against the Milwaukee Brewers and recalled the Kirk Gibson home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
As a young Oakland A's fan, it crushed Rollins.
"I think I almost cried," he said. "I was sad for a long time. I really was. I'm still upset about it."
The Phillies possibly created a moment like that for young Rays fans last night, when Carlos Ruiz hit a chopper up the third-base line to score the winning run in the ninth inning in a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies lead the series, 2-1, and can take a commanding lead with a victory tonight in Game 4.
“I was excited,” Ruiz said. “No matter if it’s an infield hit or whatever, I’ll take it. I’ll take the win.”
“It was good fortune on their part,” Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. “He couldn’t have picked up the ball and rolled it to a better spot. If he hits it a little harder it’s a double play. He hit it to the right spot.”
“I saw the ball go into the ground,” said Eric Bruntlett, who scored the winning run. “I knew it wasn’t hit very hard, so I know I just have to high-tail it and go as hard as I can. … It’s one of those deals where it can of feels like everything is slow motion. I feel like I should be moving faster and I can’t because you want to get there so quickly. It feels like a long 90 feet at that point.”
More tomorrow. It's almost 4 a.m. and I need a little shut eye.