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Brett Phillips delivered the biggest hit of his career and the biggest hit in the Tampa Bay Rays’ history as a franchise in Major League Baseball when his two-run single won the game in Game 4 over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday night.
Phillips’ hit drove home Kevin Kiermaier easily while Randy Arozarena tried to test Chris Taylor's arm after Taylor bobbled the ball in right-center field. But Dodgers catcher Will Smith missed the relay throw from Max Muncy and Arozarena, who had stumbled and fallen on his way to the plate and was dead to rights, managed to get up and score the game-winning run in one of the wildest World Series game finishes ever.
Phillips, a young journeyman outfielder who has already made Major League appearances for two other teams before the 2020 season, was as shocked as everyone else by the way the game ended.
“To know the backstory is to know the story,” he said after the game, according to MLB.com. “When these guys were in the World Series, I was in eighth grade watching them. And now to be a part of it, helping these guys win a World Series game, it's special.”
Phillips said he was just happy with the game being tied when he saw Arozarena slip. But after Smith missed the ball, all bets were off.
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“Honestly, it's just hard to believe right now that that just happened,” Phillips said. “Once I saw Randy slip, I thought, 'Oh, shoot at least we tied it up.' And then he missed the ball. I didn't know what happened, and then he scored and the next thing I know, I'm airplane-ing around the outfield and getting dog-piled and now here I am talking to the boys."
He continued: “It didn't matter that I didn't have an at-bat in the last two weeks, because I wouldn't be on the roster for the World Series if they didn't believe I could help them win in any way. I know there are some guys out there with really slow heart rates that have been in this situation many times before and it's just like another day for them. But for myself, it's not, and I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it.”
The Rays acquired Phillips in August from the Kansas City Royals. He was originally drafted in the sixth round in 2012 by the Houston Astros. He was a part of the trade that sent Josh Hader to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015 and three years later Milwaukee would trade him to the Royals as part of the Mike Moustakas deal.
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He played in the Wild Card and Divisional Series, but not in the Championship Series.
In the World Series, he is 1-for-1 and his moment is etched into baseball history forever.
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