Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Brad Lidge reflects on the Phillies 2008 World Series win

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

Brad Lidge, Carlos Ruiz, and Eric Hinske - the three forever are connected in Philadelphia baseball lure.

On this night five years ago - October 29, 2008 - with two outs and the game-tying run on second base, Lidge blew three pitches past Hinske before Ruiz charged the mound in jubilation. 

"Honestly, it was the best moment of my baseball career," Lidge said. "Nothing comes close to the pandemonium that came about that night at Citizens Bank Park."

The strikeout cemented a Phillies 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays and clinched the city's first championship in 25 years - it also marked just the second championship for the Phillies in 126 seasons. 

Brad Lidge celebrates the final out of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays."You dream of moments like that while growing up, but it is something entirely different when you accomplish the feat in real life," Lidge said in an interview with the Review. "To do it at home, that made it even that more special."

Game 5 of the 2008 World Series will forever be remembered as one of the strangest postseason games in baseball history. The contest began on Monday, Oct. 27, but torrential rains and gusty winds forced the game to be suspended in the sixth inning.

The 46-hour weather delay was worth the wait.

Knotted 3-3 in the seventh, Pat Burrell tagged a lead-off double off the wall in center to open the inning. Eric Bruntlett was summoned to pinch-run and reached third on a Shane Victorino grounder to the right side of the infield. 

Pedro Feliz, who already had five hits in the series, then drilled a Chad Bradford fastball to center, driving in Bruntlett as the game-winning and series-clinching run. 

"Yeah, you think of it happening like that, but doing it ... that is a whole other thing," Feliz said.

J.C. Romero notched four outs in relief, allowing Lidge to toss a scoreless ninth to send Philadelphia into a frenzy.

"You may never see something like that again," Lidge said. "It really was something special to be a part of."

The celebration near the mound at Citizens Bank Park was epic. Lidge and Ruiz quickly were tackled by Ryan Howard and a dog-pile ensued, forever leaving a lasting mark on baseball in Philadelphia.

Five years to the day, history was made. 

- Patrick Gordon is Managing Editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Follow him on Twitter @Philabaseball

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