PHILADELPHIA -- One team was on the verge of repeating as World Series champion and the other close to elimination last night, but they were talking about the same thing: Game 4.
The Toronto Blue Jays' wild, 4-hour and 14-minute, 15-14 marathon victory was rehashed right up until the first pitch of Game 5 last night. "I think half of North America was asleep when everything happened," said Blue Jays right fielder Joe Carter.
"I think they went to sleep thinking the series was tied 2-2. I'm sure we're the talk of Canada. They probably woke up and said, 'They won? How?' "
On the Philadelphia Phillies' side, there were thoughts of what might have been. "I wish it was a dream, but it wasn't," said left fielder Milt Thompson, who had five RBI in the losing effort. "We have to put it out of our minds and rebound. We have to jump on them early and get a lead."
With all of the game's key plays, one involving Thompson was overlooked. He said it might have been the most crucial for the Phillies.
"The bases were loaded [with two outs in the seventh inning] and I hit a ball up the middle," said Thompson. "It hit the mound and went to [Roberto] Alomar, who got an out [at second base]. If that ball had gotten through, it might have been a different ending."
At the time, the Phillies had a 14-9 lead, which dissipated in the Blue Jays' six-run eighth inning.
A scoring change turned Game 4 into an error-free contest. Phillies third baseman Dave Hollins had been charged with a two-base error on a sharp drive down the left-field line by Paul Molitor.
The play came in the midst of the Blue Jays' rally in the eighth. The call was corrected and Molitor credited with a double and an RBI, and the Blue Jays' six runs in the inning became earned.
It also meant three earned runs -- instead of one -- were charged against Phillies reliever Larry Andersen.
No lead is safe
Manager Jim Fregosi admitted that even when the Phillies had a five-run lead, which they did twice in Game 4, he didn't feel safe.
"At no point in the game did I feel comfortable with the amount of runs we had," said Fregosi, who received some criticism for pinch-hitting for reliever Roger Mason with a 10-7 lead in the fifth.
"I tried to score runs at every available opportunity. I think our middle relief is a little worn out. [David] West never pitched as much in relief as he has this year."
Carter was upset with an item that appeared in a Philadelphia gossip column. It said Carter, Molitor and Blue Jays catcher Pat Borders spent about an hour Monday night (an off day) at a nightclub that isn't listed in the family entertainment section of the telephone book.
The report apparently was based on a "tip" by a cab driver. Borders also expressed concern, especially because he and former teammate David Wells have been victims of impersonators in the past.
The three players said they spent Monday night with their families.
The Fame game
Carter said he thought four of his teammates could be candidates for the Hall of Fame.
"I think Rickey Henderson will definitely be there," said Carter. "Molitor has a great chance, [Dave] Stewart has some incredible num
bers and Robbie Alomar is only 23 -- I think he has a great chance.
"But if you ask the guys, that's not what they play for -- they play for the love of the game. When you're playing, I guarantee you no one is thinking about the Hall of Fame."
Carter failed to mention himself in the discussion. His credentials include driving in 100 runs or more in seven of the past eight seasons, getting 98 in the other.
Len Dykstra became the fourth player in World Series history to hit two home runs in a losing cause.
The other three were Willie Aikens (Kansas City, 1980), Mickey Mantle (Yankees, 1958) and Duke Snider (Dodgers, 1952).
With nine career postseason home runs, Dykstra leads all active players. He is tied for 17th on the all-time World Series list with five.
DeJesus files grievance
Right-hander Jose DeJesus has filed a grievance against the Phillies, claiming he was injured when his contract was assigned outright to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 3.
He is seeking reinstatement to the major-league disabled list, plus service time from the day he was sent to the minors until the end of the season.
Henderson has batted leadoff in 14 World Series games. In those games he has a .471 on-base percentage and a .308 batting average, with two singles, a double, a home run and four walks. . . . When Philadelphia starter Tommy Greene and Toronto reliever Al Leiter hit safely in Game 4, it was the first time opposing pitchers have done that in a World Series game since Ken Holtzman (Athletics) and Andy Messersmith (Dodgers) on Oct. 12, 1974. . . . The five RBI by Tony Fernandez and Thompson in Game 4 were one shy of the single-game record set by Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson in Game 3 in 1960. Fernandez and Thompson became the 14th and 15th players to drive in five in a World Series game.