The Washington Times - October 28, 2008, 01:21AM

Surely, this can only happen in Philly. You play all year for a chance to win in October and what do you get on the biggest night on the biggest stage of them all? A Noreaster! How cruel is that?  With temps in the high 30’s, we are lucky we didn’t get snow. But Phans are not feeling very lucky about all this…..

Game 5 was suspended after the Rays tied it at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. A suspended game continues where it left off, in this case, in the bottom of the 6th inning, Phils at bat. Had the game been stopped with the Phils leading 2-1 in the bottom of the 5th inning,  it could have been an official game with the Phils winning the game and the Series. That’s not the way MLB wants to decide its champion and there are reports this morning that prior to the rain delay on Saturday night, MLB commissioner Bud Selig made an agreement with both teams that every game would be played a full nine innings. As fair and reasonable as that seems to be - that’s not what the rulebooks say: as long as the Phils remained ahead after the Rays had batted in 5 innings, there was no way within the rules to stop the game and continue it later, even though the conditions made it unfair to both sides to continue.

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When the Rays tied it in the top of the sixth inning, MLB had a way out of an ugly situation  - suspend the tie game and start it up again Tuesday evening, weather permitting. (UPDATE: Game 5 continuation is postponed until Wednesday, 8:37pm). Sounds like the fair thing to do, so who benefits most from Mother Nature’s fury …..

Advantage Rays? Phils ace Cole Hamels can’t come back on Tuesday and finish the game and the Rays will face the somewhat less imposing pitchers from the Phils bullpen. They now need to win a 3-inning game to get back to Tampa. For sure, they have a second chance at life and they have to like their chances better than they did at the start of Game 5..

Advantage Phillies? Phils have 12 outs to play to the Rays 9 since they still have to complete the bottom of the 6th inning. The Rays came back from an early 2-run deficit and seemed to have some momentum on Monday while the Phils had regressed to their previous 0-fers with RISP, leaving 9 men on base in just 5 innings. Maybe a fresh start with a fresh crowd will get them going again. Also, the Phils bullpen, which has been very effective throughout the Series (ERA close to 1.0), has everyone rested and available to pitch the 3 remaining innings of Game 5. And, the Phillies still have the home field advantage…..

Speaking of home field advantage, here is a PHretful thought…..
What if the Game 5 Phans who filled Citizens Bank Park in anticipation of a World Series victory, can’t find their ticket stubs to get back into the Park on Tuesday to finish the game? What if there are empty seats?

A friend of mine with no allegiance to either team in this Series, tried to reassure me and said matter-of-factly, “I don’t see how the Phillies can lose this Series” “Thanks,” I replied PHretfully, “But if you are a PHillies PHan, you have seen it all.”

Sigh!……. it’s time to stop fretting and just play the game……