PHILLIES TAKE GAME 1, 6-1, BEHIND A COMPLETE GAME FROM CLIFF LEE AND TWO HOME RUNS OFF C.C. SABATHIA FROM CHASE UTLEY
NEW YORK- The grounds crew paraded around the rain soaked Yankee Stadium field, a few hours before yesterday’s Game 1 of the World Series. Their shirts, with a crossed out number 26 and a big 27 on the back. The significance? The Yankees 27th title was just days away.
Or so they thought.
It had been a week since the Phillies played a baseball game, and anticipation was high around. The City of Brotherly Love. After getting it’s first dose in a long time, last season, of World Series baseball, Philadelphia couldn’t wait much longer for this year’s highly anticipated series with the Yankees to begin.
It wasn’t the perfect night for baseball, rains soaked the field all day, and the game was played through a steady drizzle, which at points escalated to a hard pour.
However, when Cliff Lee stepped to the mound, all that was forgotten, and the day couldn’t be more perfect.
Lee was dazzling, sending Yankees diving across the plate to try to catch his perplexing breaking pitches. After pitching two scoreless, innings, Lee headed back to the dugout to watch his offense try to put some runs on the board against the left-hander C.C. Sabathia.
After Sabathia swiftly retired Jimmy Rollins, who predicted the Phillies would win the series in five games and Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, the struggling All-Star second baseman strode to the plate. With two strikes and two outs Utley took Sabathia’s pitch into the second run beyond the notoriously short right-field fence.
With the 1-0 lead, Lee continued to shine, mowing down Yankees, and still refusing them runs. In the sixth, Utley again strode to the plate against Sabathia, who looked good, making only the one mistake in the third. With a 1-2 count, Utley again took Sabathia pitch deep to right. This time way back into the stands.
It turned out the two runs would be all Cliff Lee would need, as he continued his rout of the storied franchise.
After Sabathia left the game, it was all down hill. The Phillies rallied to score four more, heading to the bottom of the ninth. With Ryan Madson warmed and ready, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had a decision to make.
Let Lee try to finish his complete game shutout, or have Madson put the finishing touches on for him.
For Charlie, the decision was easy. The ball belonged to Cliff.
Hitting only one minor speed-bump- an unearned run scoring on a Rollins throwing error- Lee finished things off for the Phils winning Game 1 6-1.
With that the Phillies have taken a 1-0 series lead, and more importantly, taken home-field advantage away from the Yanks.
It looks like it’s just one step closer toward putting the arrogant Yankees’ shirts back in the closet until next year.