Phillies reliever J.C. Romero earned the win and Brad Lidge earned his second save of the World Series and seventh of postseason. Counting his 41 from the regular season, Lidge was perfect in 48 save opportunities this year.
For the Rays, it was a dream season, the Cinderellas of 2008, but it came to an end Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Rocco Baldelli hit a tying, solo homer in the top of the seventh, but J.P. Howell was charged with the loss by allowing a run over two-thirds of an inning. Grant Balfour started the bottom of the sixth for the Rays and allowed a leadoff double and a run-scoring bloop single.
Rays fall in five
Phillies starter Cole Hamels was not given credit for the victory in Game 5 of the World Series, but his efforts were deemed worthy of the MVP nonetheless. The Phillies left-hander allowed four runs in 13 innings over two starts in this Fall Classic and became the fifth player to win MVP awards in both an LCS and a World Series.
Forget the delays, the rain and the unprecedented suspended game, the 2008 World Series was about the Phillies. They were simply better than the Rays and outplayed the opposition on their way to their first championship since 1980 by virtue of an 11-3 record in October.
The better team won
The Phillies played their way to a classic finish for the 2008 World Series title with Lidge recording the final out by fanning Eric Hinske to end the game. The champion Phillies were a combination of sound Draft policy and effective acquisitions in the market.
Second baseman Chase Utley did not win the MVP award in this World Series, but he may have executed the most valuable play. The Phillies second baseman went to his right to field Akinori Iwamura's ground ball. He did not have a play at first but threw home to nail Jason Bartlett, who tried to score from second.
Werth scored a run in Game 5, Monday's version. He also drove in a run in the Wednesday edition of Game 5. The Phillies outfielder led the team with eight hits in the World Series, and after the title clincher, he could barely speak above a whisper.
They dreamed the dream, believed the dream and lived the dream, but in the end, reality poked a hole in it and the Rays lost in five games to the Phillies in the World Series. The Rays achieved, though, as a team and ultimately that is how they lost.
The dream lives on
Lidge had only one option when he took the mound Wednesday night. Depart as he has the 47 other times he took the ball in a save situation in 2008 -- with the victory intact. Lidge punched out Hinske, dropped to his knees and was swarmed under the pile.
Celebrate good times
There were only 18 outs that resulted in 78 minutes of baseball Wednesday night, but both managers were faced with plenty of decisions. It started immediately as Phillies manager Charlie Manuel went with left-handed pinch-hitter Geoff Jenkins to bat for Hamels and Rays skipper Joe Maddon let right-hander Balfour stay in. Jenkins doubled, scored and ultimately, the Phillies won.
Left takes right
Carlos Ruiz had the ball, he handed it to Lidge and together they gave the ball from the final out in the World Series to Manuel.
Here ya go, skip
To celebrate their victory in the Division Series, the Phillies had to high-five each other in Milwaukee. For the NL pennant, they had to soak the visitor's clubhouse at Dodger Stadium with champagne. But the payoff came with their World Series title that came at home in Philadelphia.
Toast of the town
Preparing for Game 5 was a bit different for Maddon. Normally, he's got nine innings to consider, but Wednesday he had 3 1/2. Up for debate was the number of pitchers he might need and what counterpart Manuel might do.
According to Commissioner Bud Selig, it was a tough week, but the conclusion to Game 5 made it worth it. Due to inclement weather, a 2-2 tie lingered for two days before the Phillies were able to eke out a 4-3 win Wednesday to claim the World Series title.
Worth the wait
The Phillies won the 2008 World Series over the Rays by simply being better and no controversial calls affected the outcome, but the umpiring crew was conspicuous by its presence in the Fall Classic. A few calls were less than perfect.
Upon further review
Few people in sports get to walk away on top, but that is what Pat Gillick is about to do when his contract expires Friday. The Phillies GM is making way for Ruben Amaro and will add his 2008 World Series title to those he won with the Blue Jays in 1992 and '93.
Leaving on top
Game 5 of the World Series was unusual. Unprecedented, even. No game in the Fall Classic had been suspended, yet both the Rays and Phillies were forced to wait for nearly two days to finish a game that started Monday. With 3 1/2 innings to play, no one knew exactly what to expect.
A game like no other
It was the ultimate rain check, this Game 5 ticket stub, and it was a coveted document among Phillies fans who vowed to return from Monday's suspension to Wednesday's continuation. There was a story around every turnstile.
Must see baseball
Major League Baseball got the break in the weather they were looking for as Wednesday night was clear but cold. Selig made the call at 1 p.m. ET to resume the suspended Game 5 and the weather cooperated.
The game must go on
The 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Rays was historic with the Rays getting there for the first time and the unprecedented suspended Game 5. Now some artifacts of the historic Fall Classic will be preserved for posterity at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Preserved for all
The Rays and Phillies waited 46 hours to resume Game 5, and at 8:40 p.m. ET, they got their wish as Balfour threw to pinch-hitter Jenkins to begin the bottom of the sixth. At 9 p.m., Baldelli hit a home run, but at 9:14, Pedro Feliz hit a go-ahead RBI single. Then at 9:59, Lidge fanned Hinske to seal the World Series title.
March to victory
Jamie Moyer said he's been dreaming his entire career of riding on a float in a celebration day parade, and on Friday, he'll finally get a lift. The Phillies' World Series parade is set for noon ET at 20th and Market Streets and then will head south on Broad Street.
Phillies on parade
Days off during a World Series are not unusual but normally reserved for travel or workouts. Tuesday was no ordinary off-day as both the Rays and Phillies waited for the rain to clear and Game 5 to resume. Matt Stairs scouted his high school hockey team while Clay Condrey made some chili.
Where's the cumin?
It may seem odd, but some Rays spent Tuesday's off-day watching "Rocky." Inspirational, certainly, but it is the story about a Philadelphia hero. Stranger, possibly, was having the day off during the World Series with nothing to do.
It's tradition to begin a baseball game with the national anthem, but Wednesday night was no ordinary game -- it was the continuation of Game 5. John Oates sang the anthem on Monday night, so Wednesday, Petty Officer First Class Dorcus Whigham sang God Bless America.
The Yankees were the last team to repeat as World Series champs; that came in 2000. Are the Phillies set to defend their crown in 2009? Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Hamels will all be back so their chances look good.
Doormats since their inception, the Rays were the team standing tall this season in the American League East. Having never won more than 70 games or finishing higher than fourth, the Rays went worst to first and won 97 games. They rolled through the Sox, both White and Red, and played in their first World Series.
Wait til next year