The play that saved the World Series.

I don’t think this has gotten nearly enough attention.

Wednesday night, with the score tied at 3 in the top of the 7th inning, two outs and Jason Bartlett on second, the Rays’ Akinori Iwamura slapped a grounder that Chase Utley scooped on the run as he moved to his right. Utley pump-faked to first base–more than a pump fake, in fact, as complete and thorough a fake throw as I’ve ever seen–and that got Bartlett to break for home from third. As soon as he did, Utley fired an off-balance but on-target, one-hop throw to Carlos Ruis at the plate that nailed Bartlett (it took a helluva catch and tag by Ruis to make it work).

Had the game been tied at that point, who knows what might have happened? We might be sitting here right now, chewing nails, and awaiting a Game 7.


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