Wednesday, October 28, 2009
For Lee, it was just another dominating performance, throwing a complete game against the Yankees to lead the Phillies to a 6-1 win. Lee made it look easy all night long, mixing in a few nonchalant defensive plays while striking out 10 batters and allowing only 6 hits. He made the potent Yankee offense look feeble all night, as most hitters that didn't strike out sprayed weak hits to the infielders. Cliff Lee was all business, making quick work of all the supposed sluggers in the Yankee lineup.
The offensive standout for the Phillies on the night was Chase Utley, who got the Phillies on the board in the first inning with a homer, then later added another homer. In fact, Utley was the entire offense for the Phillies until they added some insurance runs in the 8th and 9th innings. Even though they scored only two runs off of him, the Phillies kept the pressure on Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia all night long by staying patient and forcing Sabathia to throw strikes. By forcing Sabathia to make extra pitches, the Phillies were able to chase him from the game and get their insurance runs off of the weak Yankee bullpen.
The team that no one outside of Philadelphia picked to win the World Series just made a huge statement. They went on the road, gave up only one run against the best lineup in baseball and beat the opposing teams best pitcher. Even more importantly, the Phillies have already snatched away home field advantage from New York and have put all the pressure on the Yankees Game 2 starter, A.J. Burnett.
There is a reason they are the World Champs, folks. The Phillies always win the first game of a series and put themselves in the drivers seat. By doing that, they hold all the cards and force the other team to try to adjust to them. Now let's see if Pedro Martinez can pull a Cliff Lee in Game 2 and really give the Phillies a huge advantage.