TORONTO -- Well, at least now we know Roger Mason isn't invincible during the postseason. The right-handed relief pitcher gave up a run here last night, but still was one of the vital cogs in the Phillies 6-4 win in Game 2 of the World Series.
In eight previous postseason games, with the Pirates the past two years and the Phillies this year, Mason had not allowed a run.
Roger Mason? The same Roger Mason who was a combined 5-12 with the Padres and Phillies this year? The guy who has a 19-20 career record and a 4.07 ERA?
That's him. He was 0-7 for the Padres before being rescued by the Phillies on July 3. He didn't make an immediate impression on the fans, but became a valuable part of a bullpen that has been much maligned.
"We've gotten some bad press," said Mason, who gave up one hit in 1 2/3 innings before giving way to Mitch Williams in the eighth inning last night. "Some of it we've brought on ourselves, but we've got some guys here who have performed in the past."
Mason's scoreless streak would still be intact if Williams hadn't given up an "I don't care" stolen base to Paul Molitor.
It was the two-base hit by Molitor that set up the exit for Mason, who relieved starter Terry Mulholland in the sixth inning.
While "Wild Thing" Williams was doing his thing, Molitor casually stole third base. He later scored on John Olerud's sacrifice fly -- but that stolen base might have been just the deke Williams needed to get out of the inning.
After Roberto Alomar walked with two outs in the eight, he also got second base as a gift, stealing uncontested. But then he ran the Blue Jays out of the inning. When Alomar tried to steal third, Williams used a spin move to easily throw him out at third base. It was an inexcusable mistake that caused the third out of the inning.
Pickoff plays aren't a specialty of Williams. His thing is to keep everybody awake, his teammates nervous and the opposition uncertain. He scores high in all three categories.
Mason was asked what it was like to watch Williams finish a game. "The best thing," he said, "is not to watch. But somehow he always seems to get out of it."
Of all the Phillies, Mason may have enjoyed the NLCS win over the Braves more than anybody. He was with the Pirates the past two years, both ending with tough losses.
"I couldn't wait for that last out [in the NLCS]," Mason said. "I was finally on a team that beat Atlanta."
Which was a lot more than he could have expected six months ago, when he started the season with the Padres. "Postseason play was the last thing on my mind," he said. But a week ago, beating the Braves was the first thing on his mind, he said, and suddenly he's been in two straight World Series games.