Lost in the Mud: Pena and Longoria Woke Up

Carlos Pena

Rightfully so, the only thing baseball fans are talking about right now is the weather in Philadelphia, but don't forget why the Rays were able to overcome the hole Scott Kazmir put them in the first inning: the middle of their order finally woke up.

Carlos Pena (pictured) and Evan Longoria opened the World Series by going a combined 0-for-29 in the first four games, and at least early on, it didn't look like their luck was going to change in Game 5. After being dropped one spot in the lineup before the game, Pena opened the second inning by grounding out to first base on an ill-advised bunt attempt. One pitch later, Longoria followed by flying out to center. Two pitches, two outs. It was ugly.

Fortunately for Rays fans, that's when the two sluggers picked up the pace. Pena doubled off the wall in his next at-bat, scoring one batter later when Longoria drove him home. The next time Pena stepped up to bat, he singled to bring B.J. Upton home. Did a slippery ball and horrendous field conditions play a part in Upton scoring? Sure. But it all started by Pena putting wood on the ball, something quite honestly he wasn't able to do with any frequency the first four games of the series.

Mother Nature may have conspired by rendering Cole Hamels moot (and Bud Selig helped out by waiting until the last possible second to suspend the game), but if the Rays come back to win this game, Pena and Longoria deserve most of the credit.

MLB FanHouse

Lost in the Mud: Pena and Longoria Woke Up originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on 2008-10-28T01:02:00 00:00. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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