The Curse Stopped Here

The Philadelphia Phillies withstood a 46 hour rain delay to take Game 5 of the World Series and end their 28 year championship drought. The win also snapped the city's 25 year drought for a major professional championship.

Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Just as Tim McCarver bemoaned the fact that Geoff Jenkins was not the type of hitter who fared well against the Rays Grant Balfour, Jenkins roped a double to lead off the long-delayed bottom of the sixth inning. After a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice and a bloop single from Jayson Werth, Jenkins scored and the Phillies took a quick 3-2 lead, but it wasn't over yet.

The Rays came right back in the top of the 7th with a solo home run from Rocco Baldelli to tie the game. Later that inning, the Rays put a runner on second with two outs and Akinori Iwamura squirted a ball up the middle of the infield that Chase Utley was able to get to, but didn't appear to have a play to get an out. Utley faked a throw to first, drawing Jason Bartlett around third on an attempt to throw and Utley fired a strike to catcher Carlos Ruiz to catch Bartlett at the plate and end the inning.

In the bottom of the 7th, Pat Burrell, in what may turn out to be his final at bat as a Phillie, doubled off the wall in left center field to lead off the inning. Pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett went to third on a ground ball and then scored on a single by Pedro Feliz to put the Phillies up 4-3.

J.C. Romero finished off the Rays in the 8th and Brad Lidge kept his perfect save record intact in the ninth inning, giving up a single to Dioner Navarro, but then getting the final two outs of the inning to finish off Tampa Bay.

Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Cole Hamels, who started Game 5 and was in line to get his second win of the series until the Rays tied the game in the seventh, was named the World Series MVP. It adds to the NLCS MVP honor that he picked up for beating the Dodgers twice in that series to send the Phillies to their match with Tampa Bay.

The win has snapped the "Curse of Billy Penn". The alleged curse began in 1983 when the city allowed skyscrapers to be built higher than Billy Penn's hat on the top of City Hall. That deal broke a gentleman's agreement that the Penn statue would forever be the highest structure in the city. Perhaps the newly constructed Comcast Center helped to break the curse when they placed a small statue of William Penn at the top of their building, which is now the tallest structure in the city.

The city will now host a parade down Broad Street on Friday for the 2008 World Series Champion Phillies.



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