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Rain has played a big part in MANY Phillies' playoff games

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Still the rain kept pourin', Fallin' on my ears.
And I wonder, Still I wonder, Who'll stop the rain.

 -Creedence Clearwater Revival

There is a 40% percent chance of rain in the early Philadelphia forecast this WednesdayJimmy Rollins in Game 5 Part I of the 2008 World Series. Photo: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01016/Jimmy_rollins_1016302c.jpg, so it's only fitting that Game One of the NLDS is scheduled to be played at Citizens Bank Park.

Are you the least bit surprised?

Whether the outcome is a win or a loss, the rain has historically been a recurring problem for the Phillies in the playoffs. There are usually nice, sunny days in the Fall- but you wouldn't know this by watching a Phillies home playoff game. Here are some of the more notable (and mostly dubious) moments in Phillies' playoff history involving rain.

 

6. DeJesus' boot: 1983 World Series Game 3

It poured in Philly prior to Game 3. Steve Carlton was in complete command in the seventh inning that Friday night. The Orioles tied the game 2-2, and with two outs, Dan Ford's weak grounder was booted by shortstop Ivan DeJesus allowing the go-ahead run to score. Some say the error was a result of a wet spot directly to the left of the ground ball. Some say Larry Bowa would have picked it clean, but he was traded with some guy named Sandberg for DeJesus a year earlier. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. Final score: 3-2 Orioles.

5. Cole Hamels unfolds- 2009 World Series Game 3

With an equally long rain delay, this was deja vu of Game 3 of the previous year's Fall Classic- except for the end result. On the one year anniversary of the '08 World Series parade on Halloween, Hamels took the mound, A-Fraud homered off a television camera, and Andy Pettitte tied the game on Hamels' third best pitch. Phils lose 8-5, and trailed the Yankees 2-1 in the series. What a difference a year makes.....

4. Jamie Moyer pitches the game of his life- 2008 World Series Game 3You make the call. Photo: http://www.maryschwalm.com/blog/safe2.jpg

Jamie Moyer had a hard-core stomach virus prior to Game 3. Philadelphia saw heavy downpours that Saturday of the game, which was delayed and hour and a half due to rain.

When play resumed, a mighty wind forced Evan Longoria's long fly ball to left field to stop a foot in front of the warning track, the umpire blew a brilliant play made by Moyer on a bunt by Carl Crawford, the bottom of the ninth inning saw the ball leave the infield only once on a throw intended for second base, and Carlos Ruiz had the biggest "shortest travelling" game-winning hit in the history of the World Series at 1:47am EST.

This was probably THE most important game Moyer ever pitched in the bigs. He didn't get the win, but his gutsy performance will go down in Phillies folklore. With the win, the Phils went up 2-1 on Tampa Bay.

 

3. Toronto erupts on the Phillies' bullpen in the 15-14 game: 1993 World Series Game 4

I had a fever all week prior to that game, and to sit through this rain-drenched debacle like I did made it much worse. Joe Carter: Need I say more? Photo: http://top-10-list.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Joe-Carter-Toronto-Blue-Jays-1993-Game-6.jpgThe Phils were dominating the Jays 14-9 in the eighth inning. Lenny Dykstra homered twice and Darren Daulton added one for good measure.

Toronto then jumps on Mitch Williams and the Phillies exhausted bullpen for 6 runs. Blue Jays win 15-14 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

 It's debatable whether Dykstra could have caught some of those hits in the storm they were playing in, but to this day, many believe there is NO doubt that the Phils take the whole thing if they win Game 4. This one STILL stings almost 20 years later, and we all know how this one eventually ended.

 

2. The day after "Black Friday"- Tommy John pitches the Dodgers to the pennant in a monsoon at The Vet.

I was born four months after this game was played. However, I've seen the highlight film, and you can barely see a thing. Moreover, people who were alive for Game 4 of the 1977 NLCS say that it should never have been even played. The game was delayed by rain, but NL President Chub Feeney insisted the game be completed. We won't get into Black Friday here, but it seemed obvious that the Phillies never recovered from the events that transpired the day before in Game 3. On this soggier than soggy night, Dusty Baker rocked Steve Carlton for a two-run homer, Tommy John went the distance in a 4-1 victory, and the Dodgers celebrated advancing to the World Series right on the Veterans Stadium field.

1. Game 5: Part I (The Suspended Game)- 2008 World Series

This one clearly takes the cake.

Carlos Pena and the Rays tied Part I of Game 5 in the top of the sixth inning- and THEN Bud Selig decided to call the game. In all honesty, the game should have not even been played let alone have the game suspended in the fifth inning.

I'm not exactly Dave Roberts, but even I noticed that the rain in the beginning of the gpton's run tied Game 5: Part I  Photo:http://images.askmen.com/blogs/sports/philadelphia-rain-delay.jpgame was going to get much worse. This was made even more obvious when Jimmy Rollins was misplaying pop-ups, and B.J. Upton was practically swimming on the base paths.

Shortly after Game 5 was postponed, I drove home across the Walt Whitman Bridge that Monday night and went right to a local bar in New Jersey to drown my sorrows. I don't remember much about this night from that point on. But my friend Karla told me that I was muttering how this was a force against nature from the baseball gods preventing the Phillies from finally winning it all again.

I know, looking back it's kind of amusing. It wasn't so funny when it was going on. And don't even tell me the thought hadn't crossed your mind that this might be destiny's way of screwing the Phillies again. After all, this had NEVER happened in the ENTIRE history of the World Series.  For the next two nights, I looked outside my rain-soaked porch wondering when in the hell this game would be played again.

Bud Selig and his cronies insisted they had no idea that the weather would be as severe as it was. As a result of the suspended game, the Rays had to be relocated to a hotel in Delaware, and the question "Who will Charlie Manuel bat in the bottom of the sixth inning?" was asked at every dinner table in the Delaware Valley the next night.

Most playoff games involving rain in some form have not turned out very favorable for the Phightins- but it turns out the craziest one of all had the happiest ending two nights later.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

Special thanks to Ryan Patrick Downs for the reference.