Monday, October 27, 2008
Howard's Homers, 5 RBI Put Phillies Within One Win
Players of the Day from Sunday, October 26, 2008 World Series Game 4: Philadelphia 10 Tampa Bay 2 Ryan Howard led a 12-hit attack with a pair of homers - a three-run, opposite field shot to left in the 4th inning and a two-run line shot in the 8th that left the field like it was fired from a cannon - as the Phillies put themselves a game away from a championship with a 10-2 win over Tampa Bay. Howard, who also homered in Game 3, totaled five RBI on the night and seems to have surely figured out Tampa pitching and is in a groove. So too, Jimmy Rollins who had three hits (two doubles),.was on base four times and scored three of Philadelphia's runs. Rollins set the stage early with a leadoff double against Rays' starter Andy Sonnanstine. He scored the game's first run on a bases-loaded walk to Pat Burrell later in the inning. While Sonnanstine struggled, consistently falling behind hitters through his four-inning stint, Philly starter Joe Blanton was money in the bank, working into the 7th inning by allowing just 4 hits and 2 runs while fanning 7. Sonnanstine had thrown 83 pitches before surrendering Howard's homer in the 4th, which gave the Phillies a 5-1 advantage. By contrast, Blanton's pitch count was at 69 through 5 full innings. He finished at 99 after walking Ben Zobrist to start the 7th. Blanton hit a solo home run in the 5th inning. Jayson Werth blasted a two-run shot in the 8th as the Phillies began to put the screws to the tiring Rays' relief staff. Notes: The Phillies can wrap up their second World Series title with a win at home Monday night. They send their ace, Cole Hamels, to the mound in repeat of the Game 1 matchup with the Rays' Scott Kazmir. Hamels won Game 1 and has 4 post-season wins thus far. First pitch is scheduled for 8:29 pm ET. The o-fers didn't change a thing in Game 4. Phillies' hitless Pat Burrell went 0-for-3 for the 4th straight game before being lifted for Eric Bruntlett late. He is 0-for-12 for the series. Tampa Bay's #3 and #4 hitters continue to cost the Rays dearly. Carlos Pena is 0-for-13 with 6 strikeouts, while rookie phenom Evan Longoria is now 0-for-16 after his 4th straight 0-for-4 game. Longoria has fanned 9 times.