Tagged: Cliff Lee

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!

Without Question

home crowd.jpgHome Field Advantage… there’s a reason you want that status. Especially in the Best of 5 Divisional Games. It’s a Major League Advantage ; )

The Home Town teams did not disappoint. The Crowd was a factor in each of the games.
cleepost.jpgAlthough, Cliff Lee didn’t exactly need the crowd. He was mesmerizing to Colorado’s hitters. Spot on with locations and adjusting speeds.. up – down, in – out… a masterful job of Pitching.

On the Phillies side of the plate.. they are just relentless. A stacked lineup that features Power, Speed, Power and more Power. Every single player in the lineup (including Cliff Lee) posted a hit in their box score. But it was the meat of the order… 4,5 & 6 that brought home the bacon. Ryan Howard, 2-4 with an RBI from an absolute laced rocket through the wind that turned Carlos Gonzalez 9 different directions. Jayson Werth, 2-4 with an RBI Triple that was as hard and high as you could possibly hit a ball into the crosswind gail. Werth also scored twice and was a menace to the Rockies. Raul Ibanez.. man. They just kept coming at you. Raul was 2-4 with 2 RBIs. It didn’t seem like it was fair – High School Seniors against the Freshmen. Phillies take the nod 5-1 and a 1 Game Lead.

Jwerthpost.jpgIn LA it was an exercise in futility. These two were battering the ball all over the field. They filled the bags so many times between them I was certain YH would come out of this game. It just seemed inevitable that one hit would produce 3 or 4 runs. But… it just never happened. The game ended up setting a Major League Record for Men Left On Base in a 9 inning Post Season tilt… 30 Runners!!!

thome whiff.jpgRafael Furcal had a great game and set the tone for LA (they barely escaped the top half of
kemphrpost.jpgthe first inning with only one run across). Raffy led off LA with a sharp single and one pitch later he was trotting around the bases courtesy of Matt Kemp’s towering HR to centerfield. From that point forward it was standing room only on the bases. Fortunately for LA, they were able to squeak across one run at a time as a result of their top 6 hitters. Furcal 3-4 a Run and a Rib, Kemp.. the Big Fly was his only hit. Andre Ethier 2-3, a Walk and 2 Runs. Manny Ramirez… pretty pitiful. But James Loney and Casey Blake picked up the listless Ramirez and were effective hitters all night long. Loney, 2-4 with a Walk. Blake, also 2-4 with a Walk and knocked in a big run in the 3rd to give the Dodgers some breathing room at 3-1.

In the Bronx, it was simply… Out with the Old… In with the New. Same ol’ story for Yankee Stadium (new or old) another Post Season win for New York… ho hum. The Twins though, were surprisingly tough early on. Even to the point of taking a scrappy 2-0 lead in the top half of the 3rd. I’m pretty sure the New Yorkers were a little nervous… the crowd was pretty much taken by surprise when the Twins scored first. Honestly, though.. .how can you worry when without question your team possesses the most dynamic post season hitter of our era…

jetehrpost.jpg

Derek belted the first pitch he saw in the first inning for a rifle single. He was due up 2nd in the Bottom half of the 3rd inning with NY down by that 2-0 score. No Problem for Mr. October/November/December (whatever)… he just performs when the occasion needs it the most. And it did in the 3rd. What does Derek do 2 pitches later? A Home Run launch.. tie game 2-2. Mr. Clutch…

 
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Arodpostrib.jpgWhen you have that fella on your team.. how can you not perform? From then on it was a no contest whipping as every gear fell into place. Including the oft troubled Alex Rodriguez’ post
season issues. History. Alex was a healthy 2-4 with 2 RBIs and a Run scored. Hideki Matsui provided some thunder of his own with a 2 Run Bomb. But it was the Captain.. .

Derek Jeter folks.. you should enjoy this man’s play as though you are witnessing Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig or Babe Ruth. Those are the names he accompanies on the All Time List for Home Runs in the Post Season. It’s amazing if you think about it. He’s not a power hitter. He is a clutch hitter. Period. A Perfect day at the Plate for Derek; 2-2 2RBIs, 2 Walks, 3 Runs.

jeterscorespost.jpgHats off to you Derek Jeter. You are Yesterday’s Hitter… .Without Question.