Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1 down, 10 more to go: Lee, Phillies cruise past Rockies

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
This was why Cliff Lee was chosen to pitch in Game One instead of Cole Hamels. Lee, in the first playoff start of his career, dominated the Rockies, pitching a complete game 6-hitter as the Phillies beat Colorado 5-1 in Game One of the NLDS. While he had struggled in recent outings, Lee's outing on Wednesday was more like what he did for the Phillies back in July and August when he mowed down hitter after hitter. Lee also made it happen on offense, where he cracked a single and stole a base, the first steal by any Phillies pitcher in postseason history.

Offensively, the Phillies used a total team effort to get their 5 runs. Every Phillies starter had a hit in the game and Raul Ibanez led the way with a pair or RBI on a double and a single. The Phils main weapon on offense was their patience in the early innings as they forced Rockie starter Ubaldo Jimenez to throw strikes and chased him from the game after 5 innings of work.

Lee's start gave the Phillies the perfect start to the postseason. With Lee going 9 full innings, the Phils were able to give the bullpen another full day of rest. Not having to use a carousel of pitchers like the Rockies did will only benefit the Phillies for the rest of the series. Lee also set the tone for the rest of the Phillie pitching staff, hopefully Cole Hamels and whoever Charlie plans to start in Games 3 and 4 will continue the trend.

In all, you couldn't have asked for a better start to the postseason than Game One for the Phillies. They had a dominating start and proved they can score runs without hitting any homers. Let's hope they keep it rolling on Thursday in Game Two.

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