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Hamels And Utley Lead Phillies Past Rays 3-1

The Philadelphia Phillies drew first blood, as they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday night at Tropicana Field 3-1 in game one of the 2008 World Series. The Phillies who had an extended vacation while the Rays had to play seven games in the ALCS, did not appear to have lost their mojo. Cole Hamels who pitched the game in the NLCS to put the Phillies in the series for the first time since 1993, worked out of some tough situations to get the victory.

Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir, found himself behind early in the contest, as Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley hit a 2 run homer to right in the first inning. Kazmir fell behind 3-0 in the top of the fourth as Carlos Ruiz grounded out, but Shane Victorino scored on the play.

The Rays got on the board in the bottom of the inning as Carl Crawford hit a solo blast into right off of Hamels. Tampa Bay turned it into a 3-2 game in the bottom of the fifth, when second baseman Akinori Iwamura had a RBI double into center. But Hamels settled down after that, pitching seven innings before Ryan Madson came in from the bullpen in the eighth. Madson pulled a scoreless inning, and closer Brad Lidge got the Rays out in order in the ninth for the save.

Hamels gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in his seven innings, he walked 2 and struck out 5. Kazmir lasted six innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, with 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts, as he took the loss. Game two will be played Thursday night, Brett Myers gets the start for Philadelphia, James Shields will be on the mound for Tampa Bay.

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As a Braves fan, it hurt to see the Phillies have success this postseason. I can't stand it when our arch rivals do anything, but the "Fightin' Phills" have a great team, anyhow. By the way, my name is Chris and I also write a sports blog that features a number of articles and opinionated stories on baseball and other sports. Actually, I just wrote an MLB Postseason Predictions article before the playoffs started and my predictions went a long way. I had both the Phillies and Rays in the World Series, but I predicted the Rays to win it all. You may enjoy reading some of my posts as I have enjoyed reading all of yours. My blog is a little over a month old, so there's not a WHOLE lot of content on there yet, but you still may enjoy it. The URL is www.barfieldsports.com
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