Rain suspends Game 5 of World Series tied 2-2

Published 1:03 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Game 5 of the World Series was suspended because of rain in the sixth inning Monday night with the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays tied at 2 and the field already a sloppy, soggy mess.

‘‘I can’t tell you tonight when we’ll resume,’’ commissioner Bud Selig said. ‘‘We’ll stay here if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here.’’

It might be a day or two, at least, before the Phillies get a chance to wrap up their first championship since 1980. Philadelphia leads three games to one.

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There has never been a rain-shortened game in Series history. Whenever this one resumes, it will pick up right where it left off, with the Phils about to bat in the bottom of the sixth.

‘‘The weather tomorrow is supposed to be worse,’’ said Bob DuPuy, MLB’s chief operating officer.

Carlos Pena hit a tying, two-out single in the sixth for the Rays, and the umpires called it moments later. By then, every ball and every pitch had become an adventure because of the miserable conditions.

If Pena had not tied it, Selig said he would not have let the Phillies win with a game that was called after six innings.

‘‘It’s not a way to end a World Series,’’ he said. ‘‘I would not have allowed a World Series to end this way.’’

Tuesday was supposed to be a travel day, if necessary. Instead, the teams will stay in Philadelphia and then head back to Tropicana Field if the Rays win. The delay, however, forced the Rays to find a new hotel in the area.

About 10 minutes after the game was officially suspended, an announcement was made at Citizens Bank Park telling fans wrapped in plastic sheets they were done for the night. By then, many had fled their seats for cover.

The game began in light rain, but Selig said MLB was optimistic it could get it in. Quickly, however, the showers turned to a steady downpour and the field became a quagmire.

By the middle innings, the grounds crew was running shuttles onto the field, carrying bags of a drying agent — baseball’s version of cat litter — to absorb the water.

No luck.

A puddle formed on home plate and umpire Jeff Kellogg resorted to using a towel rather than the usual whisk broom to wipe it clean.

Batters kept blinking back the rain drops and pitchers struggled with their footing. Strong gusts dropped the wind-chill factor into the 30s, and fielders covered their bare hands between pitches.

All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies chased a popup all over and dropped it for a tough error in the fifth, then bobbled a ball while trying to make a throw.