Series Notebook

Hamels Won't Be Around When Game 5 Resumes

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 27 -- When the suspended Game 5 of the World Series resumes, the current pitchers-of-record will be Philadelphia Phillies lefty Cole Hamels and Tampa Bay Rays right-handed reliever Grant Balfour. The former will be promptly removed from the game; the latter might remain in it .

Hamels threw only 75 pitches in his six innings of work, but starting pitchers typically require four days of rest between outings.

"Naturally, we're not happy that Hamels is out of the game," Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick said. "But one of the strengths of our ballclub is the bullpen."

As a reliever, however, Balfour is conditioned to working on back-to-back nights -- which he did 16 times this season -- and had thrown only nine pitches when play was suspended Monday night. Rays Manager Joe Maddon would not commit either way when asked whether Balfour might remain in the game.

"Grant is in the game as of right now," Maddon said. "We have a rested bullpen. There's different things we can do to finish this game off."

MLB Defends Umpires

Major League Baseball officials were quick to defend the umpiring crew chosen to work this year's World Series, despite a series of highly visible mistakes.

The latest example came in the first inning of Sunday night's Game 4, when Rays third baseman Evan Longoria appeared to tag Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins during a rundown, only to have third base umpire Tim Welke call Rollins safe. Rollins wound up scoring the Phillies' first run of a 10-2 victory one batter later on a bases-loaded walk.

"We've had some unfortunate situations," acknowledged Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations. "But the umpires have done a great job of hustling and getting into the proper position. And there have been very few disputed plays."

In Game 3, it was the Phillies who were on the wrong end of a blown call, when first base umpire Tom Hallion called Rays speedster Carl Crawford safe at first base on a bunt attempt, even though replays showed the toss from Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer appeared to beat Crawford to first base. Hallion later acknowledged the mistake.

"We're human beings," Hallion said, "and sometimes we get them wrong. . . . As an umpire, you never want to be involved in the outcome of a game."

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