The fact that Brett Phillips of Seminole, FL has not seen much playing time as of late is quite frankly an understatement. On Saturday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX, Phillips came up to bat in the ninth inning without having a plate appearance for the Rays in the World Series and only two at bats in the entire 2020 Major League Baseball playoffs.
With the Rays trailing 7-6 and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Phillips had the opportunity to be part of the unlikeliest baseball heroes to deliver in the clutch in World Series history. He did just that. Phillips saw a cutter from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and notched a base hit to right center field. Due to defensive miscues by center fielder Chris Taylor and catcher Will Smith, the Rays got a game-tying run from Kevin Kiermaier and a game-winning run from Randy Arozarena.
Arozarena scored the game-winning run in an 8-7 Tampa Bay win despite falling between third place and home plate. Due to the fact the baseball had got by Smith at the catcher position, it allowed Arozarena to get up and run home for the one-run victory.
This is Phillips’ first season with the Rays after two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and three seasons with the Kansas City Royals. He has only batted .202 in 337 career at bats, and the Rays acquisition of him from the Royals on August 27 for minor league shortstop Lucius Fox went completely under the radar. It was the first time that a player had a walk-off hit with two outs for a team that was trailing in a World Series game since Kirk Gibson delivered his magical home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics in game one of the 1988 World Series.
Arozarena meanwhile made history of his own on Saturday. With his fourth inning home run, he set the Major League record for most home runs in the postseason (nine). He also has the records for most hits in the postseason by a rookie (26), and most total bases in a postseason (58).
The Rays and Dodgers are now tied at two games apiece. Game five of the World Series is Sunday.