Small Ball vs Sloppy Ball
Tampa 4, Phillies 2.
You could blame it on the bells -- those annoying cowbells -- messin' with the Phillies mojo.
Or Brett Myers giving up 4 runs in 4 innings.
Or 11 runners left on base.
But what it really came down to was Small Ball versus Sloppy Ball.
The Rays racked up their runs by playing "small ball" to perfection as four players batted in runs in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,783 at Tropicana Field.
Their first two runs came off run-scoring ground outs to shortstop in the first and they tagged on two more runs in the second and fourth innings.
"I can't tell you how happy I was to see that," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Ground ball, ground ball, bunt. We want to be that team."
Phillies slugger Ryan Howard broke out of his slump with a leadoff double in the second but once again Philadelphia couldn't bring runs home, stranding runners at third and second.
Philadelphia stranded 13 runners in Wednesday's opener and fired blanks again in game two.
"We didn't play good and it might be one of the sloppiest we played all year," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
"I am concerned about the way our guys are hitting with players on base but we can fix that."
"We didn't execute. We get to go home and that will help us."
Game 3 is Saturday at 8 at Citizens Bank Park. Moyer is on the mound and rain is in the forecast.
Get your rally rags ready.