4. Game 1: Chase Utley sets the tone early with 2-run home run.
Championship Win Probability Added: 5.07%
The Phillies were playing in their first World Series game in 15 years, but seemed as if they were Fall Classic regulars by the way they started Game 1.
After Jimmy Rollins flew out, Jayson Werth worked a one-out, six-pitch walk in the top of the first opposite Scott Kazmir. Then came second baseman Chase Utley with a clutch two-run home run:
This would mark Utley’s first of seven career World Series home runs in a Phillies uniform. Considering the Rays had just defeated the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series by playing all seven games, Utley’s first-inning home run set the tone early that the Phillies were there to compete.
5. Game 5: Shane Victorino gives Phillies first runs in eventual clincher.
Championship Win Probability Added: 4.60%
Utley gave the Phillies an early 2-0 lead in the series opener. Shane Victorino did just the same in the first of two nights in the series clincher, albeit not via the long ball.
Again facing Kazmir, the Flyin’ Hawaiian hit a line drive, two-out RBI single to left field — scoring Werth and Utley from scoring position after they respectively reached with a walk and hit-by-pitch.
The Rays eventually tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the sixth, before the game was suspended due to inclement weather. Had it not been for Victorino’s early two-RBI single, the Rays just might have been handed an unprecedented win in a rain-shortened game.
There are many great plays to look back on fondly from the 2008 World Series, some more memorable and impactful than others. These five plays might not come to mind first, but surely, they made all the difference to secure a parade down Broad Street.