Brett Phillips, the former Royals outfielder, became an unlikely hero in this 2020 World Series on Saturday night when his two-out hit scored two runs giving the Tampa Bay Rays an 8-7 come-from-behind win over the Dodgers to tie the Series at two games apiece.
Phillips’ hit came off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen with runners on first and second. It’s one of the wildest sequence of plays you’ll ever see in a game. Phillips’ ball was misplayed by centerfielder Chris Taylor when tried to scoop the ball to get the lead runner at the plate, but instead the ball rolled away from Taylor, easily allowing the tying run to score. As Taylor chased the ball and fired it into the cutoff man, Randy Arozarena (the former Cardinals prospect who BTW has the most HRs and hits in any postseason) rounded third base but stumbled half way between third and home plate…an easy out. As the relay throw came into catcher Will Smith, it tipped of the top of his glove as he attempted a swipe tag anticipating a bang-bang play with Arozarena. As the ball rolled away from Smith, Arozarena got up, scampered home and slid in for the winning run.
That set off a crazy celebration with Phillips running through the outfielder with his arms outstretched as his teammates chased him down and mobbed him. Phillips was so excited after the game that while his teammates were celebrating in the clubhouse, he had a resting heart rate of 140, needed an IV for dehydration and doctors ordered him to “chill out.”
Phillips grew up in Seminole, Florida, a suburb of St. Petersburg where the Rays play their games at Tropicana Field, and said he used to dream of this moment of being a hero in the World Series.
“We did that exact scenario when we were 12 years old, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth,” Phillips said. “That’s what kids need to realize – have those dreams.”
Phillips played in just 84 games over his three seasons in Kansas City and became a fan favorite known for his infectious laugh.
The Dodgers won Game 5 on Sunday night 4-2 and now lead the World Series 3-2. They can wrap up the title on Tuesday night.