Through the first two games of the World Series, Tampa Bay's relief corps has been outstanding, holding the powerful Phillies to just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings. But with the series shifting to Citizens Bank Park for the next three games, Rays pitchers will have to deal with more than just Philadelphia's bats.
They'll have to deal with Philadelphia's fans as well.
The ballpark's tiered bullpens are located beyond the fence in right-center field, which allows fans to crowd against the railings of the back bullpen to watch -- and harass -- relievers as they warm up. When the park opened in 2004, the Phillies originally had the back bullpen, but fans -- the home fans -- were so abusive, Phillies pitchers insisted on moving to the lower bullpen, closer to the field, for the second game and they've been there ever since.
"I can tell you, down there in that bullpen as a visiting pitcher, you'd better bring your earmuffs because you're going to get slaughtered," said Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who spent six years with the Astros before being traded to the Phillies last winter.