Chase(d)… off a Cliff

5be7a129f2f6131274054a4bce942228-getty-92343071_bma_235_laa_nyy.jpgOne game does not make a series. The Yankees can be thankful for that. Even so, an early statement has been issued by the Defending Champion Phillies; If you want the title, you are going to have to take it!

capt_ws31410290346_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws314.jpgUnlike their AL adversaries who gladly handed the Yankees win after win with poor baseball fundamentals, the Phillies were on in every facet of the game. Well, almost… a very late inconsequential error (or was it?) allowed the Yankees one teensy little run in their 6-1 whipping.

Not to say that CC was not doing his job. He pitched extremely well. Yes, he gave up two runs. The Phillies lineup just puts pressure, pressure and more pressure on opposing pitchers. CC was feeling it.

2272e2905dfd05226aaf88f0c18d9cb5-getty-92343071cc115_philadelphia_.jpgThe Phillies get on base. They populate the base paths. They threaten you from #1 to #9 in the order. They treat every pitch as an opportunity to score or drive in a runner.

b786f24d4a3decb44b817016bab2ecbd-getty-92343071cc129_philadelphia_.jpgCC was good. He just wasn’t able to hold off the inevitable pressure. Take a look at what happened to the Yankees when he stepped out of the game. The moment CC left the game, the runs came in bunches. Not a very appealing sight for Girardi and the Yankee fans.

capt_ws20110290317_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws201.jpgAs great as CC was, Cliff Lee was above and beyond. Of the two best friends, Cliff was the better… again! My bet is that the two didn’t share a friendly beer after this one though. The battle is on. The friendship can wait.

40c3354a77e77ee4ee0589c1bfec69d8-getty-92343071cc166_philadelphia_.jpgCliff Lee’s fabulous complete game against the powerful Yankee lineup was fun to watch. He was perfect with his pitches. He upset timing. He fielded the ball with boyish exuberance. He got lucky on a comeback and grinned from ear to ear. Mostly though, he was just mesmerizing to the Yankee hitters. Ten strikeouts, three to the hottest hitter on the planet – Alex Rodriguez.

capt_ws21510290349_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws215.jpgThere was nobody more locked in for this game than Cliff Lee.

Well, let me take that back. There was one other guy. Chase Utley. What a hitter. So patient. So calm. So…. good.

By now most of you have read about the incredible records Chase set (or equaled) last night. His first inning walk broke a tie with Boog Powell for the most consecutive games to reach base in a Post Season – 26. His 6 pitch walk set the tone for the Phillies offense. A 2 out walk that started a rally.. .extended the inning and put CC on task to fight for every out.

His 3rd inning Home Run put him in a select group for Home Runs in Game 1 of a World Series. More importantly, it put the Phils on top. Again, he made CC work. 9 pitches later, he deposited the ball into the stands.

d4ecf5a2ed7766aacda9643753b87f66-getty-92343071cc104_philadelphia_.jpgBy the 6th inning CC had to hate to see Utley come to the plate. Hats off to CC, he came right at Chase with two quick strikes. The thing about Utley though, is he is patient. He doesn’t mind hitting with two strikes. He is confident and he is good. Pow! Another ball deposited into the right field seats. 2-0.

capt_ws31210290203_aptopix_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws312.jpgAnd with that Home Run, Mr. Utley joined none other than the Sultan of Swat – Babe Ruth as the only two players to club 2 Home Runs off of a LH pitcher in the World Series. Wow. Need I say anymore?

capt_ws18310290207_world_series_phillies_yankees_baseball_ws183.jpg

 

 

Congratulations Chase Utley – You are Yesterday’s Hitter!

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8 comments

  1. Jane Heller

    Another good choice, Buz. Utley wasn’t just the best hitter in the game. He was the only hitter. LOL. I was thinking about how few defensive plays there were last night and there weren’t many. Lots of swings and misses.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  2. Buz

    Lots of great pitching Jane. Until CC left. The Phils had some hits after that, no doubt. I do believe that Pedro is familiar territory for the Yanks and they are going to knock him around. So, it’s a good thing the Phil bullpen rested ; )

  3. raysrenegade

    For the second year in a row Chase Utley’s eye went big during his first at bat in the World Series. He blasted one in Tropicana Field in 2008 to begin that series off with the Phillie up 1-0.
    But in this case, CC just let a ball stay a bit high in the zone, and even a pitcher would of been able to slaughter that ball into the stands.
    I think those two pitchers are going to be the keys to this series. They will meet at least one more time, and the loser of the second game might be the one you remember for the entire off season.
    And maybe Utley will again have something to say with his bat.

    Rays Renegade

    http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

  4. Buz

    Jeff – I agree. I’ve seen him away from the games and his hair is not like that. I think he douses himself repeatedly with water in the dugout. Maybe that’s his secret potion : )

    Ray – true CC left it up. But, give Chase credit for that.. he made him work so hard to get one by that he finally made a mistake. Good hitters don’t miss mistakes, they crush ’em. Chase Crushed it.

  5. crzblue2

    Buz,
    Love the title!
    What a great game to watch for baseball lovers! Lee was magnifique! But on to YH! Congratulations to local boy Utley! I had to laugh with Jeff’s comments about Chase’s hair.
    Let’s see what exciting things game two brings wth Pedro on the mound.
    Emma
    http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

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