Keys to the Game One Victory – Phillies Nation
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Keys to the Game One Victory

The apparent answer to every key to last night’s impressive 6-1 Phillies victory would start with Cliff Lee. The man was on a mission from pitch number one as he mowed down Derek Jeter to start the proceedings. From then on, it was a clinic unlike anything ever seen in Phillies history. Forget what you know about Cole Hamels and the ridiculous postseason he had a year ago – this is much bigger and badder.

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez looks back at the scoreboard after striking out to Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, in New York. The Phillies defeated the Yankees 6-1 to lead the series 1-0.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Smothering A-Rod:

Cliff Lee was motoring from the minute he sprinted out to the mound.

The most powerful bat of the last decade, Alex Rodriguez, looked like a fool from the second he stepped into the batters box.

A-Rod struck out three times last night, making contact on four foul balls total throughout the night. The Almighty One also managed a soft groundout to Pedro Feliz at third base. Prior to Rodriguez’s first World Series, he had been on a plateau shared by only Ryan Howard. Five home runs, 12 RBI, and a .400 average through the opening two rounds had people believing the old clutch-less A-Rod was just a memory. Last night’s opening act has to have the five boroughs wondering, “are we back to square one?”

The hope here is that a performance like this can snowball into a downward spiral for the duration of the World Series. But as awful as Rodriguez looked, he can’t be held down for long. The slugger is just too talented and too powerful not to be heard from. Let’s see how Pedro deals with the heart of this Yankee order.

In C.C.’s head:

This isn’t the first time the Phillies have played Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em with CC Sabathia in the postseason. Many pundits also believed that Sabathia was the better pitcher going into the match up with Lee. Excuses were made about Lee going up against “lesser talent” in the NL for his first few playoffs games.

Bull. Everyone jumped on the Yankee bandwagon because of who they are, and forgot to respect the Phillies in the process. That blew up in some faces. Now, it looks as though the Phillies have C.C’s number. Overall, he pitched a solid game. On many occasions, however, he allowed base runners, worked in hitters counts, and had difficulty locating his pitches. Here’s to hoping we see this again if we see him in Game 4.

Patience My Dear:

The Phillies as a whole saw 170 pitches on the evening, an average of nearly 19 pitches per player. Chalk it up to patience at the plate, and a will to work favorable counts. Even Jimmy Rollins managed to see 21 pitches in five plate appearances, although he did try to bunt his way on with the first pitch of the night.

If the Phillies can continue this grit at the dish, it’s going to be a long series for the Yankees and their bullpen. A.J. Burnett, tonight’s starter, has been known for his wild streak, so let him throw as hard as he wants. The Phils need to show that same fortitude of last night.

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Andrew

    October 29, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    “… forgot to respect the Phillies in the process.”

    A-frickin-men to that. All the “experts” are too busy riding the jocks of the Skankees that it slipped their collective mind who the reigning World Champions are. That’s fine, let the underdog status feed our boys hunger for a rePeat.

    Too bad Uncle Charlie didn’t bring in Myers to pinch-hit for someone – anyone – against CC last night.

  2. bob

    October 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    @Tres

    Bitter much, what a piece of s*** thing to say.

  3. Pat Gallen

    October 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Took that down. No need for that here.

  4. Kandi Kornhauser

    October 29, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Cliff was spectacular. I hope that Pedro pitches this one for posterity and comes on strong. We will need these victories. I am not comfortable yet. Proud of the Phils last night. ENCORE!! ENCORE!!

  5. Richie Allen

    October 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Just want to mention Reggie Jacksons “VARSITY “comment was responded to on the field last night.
    I know its too early to start parading down Broad St,But I sure feel good right now.
    Way to go Cliff!
    Go phils!

  6. UncleJimmy

    October 29, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Nicely put Pat..

    Keep up the good work..

    feels like 60 years of futility and humilation washing away from the Phillies collective psyche..

    esp. loving the Robin Roberts revenge piece, the redemption of Pedro piece, the trade deadline sweepstakes piece (job Ruben), and much more..

    does it get any better than this? ummm, no..

  7. The Original Chuck P

    October 29, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    The key so far… handling pressure. The Yankees have to deal with the pressure of being a NY Yankee in the World Series. The only guys that have actually won anything in Yankee pinstripes are Rivera, Jeter, Posada and Pettitte… the rest of those guys have to try to live up to expectations. The Phillies have to deal with the aura of the Yankee franchise… they have to remember that they’re not REALLY playing Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and Berra but in a sense, those guys are there.

    Looking at last night’s game it’s pretty easy to see that the Phillies were able to handle that pressure much better than the Yankees. Lee was ultra focused and the Phillies lineup was much more patient; they made CC work and eventually chewed into the Yankee relievers. This team did not look fazed a bit by the Yankee aura. The Yankees actually looked a bit uptight… besides maybe a couple of foul balls, they didn’t hit anything hard to the outfield. CC wasn’t sharp but he got out of jams so his numbers weren’t bad… but he wasn’t able to keep up with Cliff Lee.

    This series is far from over but the Phillies still appear to be focused and hungry… the Yankees have a lot to prove.

  8. Keith

    October 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Lee is just phucking amazing 😀

  9. The Original Chuck P

    October 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I want to make one more comment before I leave…

    I was expecting more from the fans in NY… it had an LA feel to it last night. There were a lot of open seats and they didn’t really get on us like I thought they would. It was very quiet and a lot of people left early… something you DON’T see in Philadelphia.

  10. bob

    October 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    It will be louder tonight, with Pedro going and some desperation from their fans.

    No worries though, just keep rolling along. Patient at bats, make Burnett work. Same game plan

  11. joedad

    October 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Chuck, I was surprised at how quiet it was in the stadium even before Utley’s home runs. I thought that maybe it was my TV or I was missing something. They will be more rowdy tonight but we have a guy on the mound who can handle that.

    Some people pooh-pooh Pedro’s start against the Dodgers as “in a pitchers stadium” and “against the average Dodgers.” Pedro gave up 2 hard hit balls the entire game. The first was a line smash that was pulled foul by Manny and the other was Loney’s fly out to the center field warning track. That was it. Both were in the 7th inning and Pedro was pinch hit for in the 8th. The “pitchers stadium” had no impact on the jam jobs, off balance swings, pop ups and dribblers that Pedro induced all night. “The “average” Dodgers” are, first of all, a major league team. They also had the most wins in the NL and were in a must win situation. And still they only managed 2 hard hit balls and only one was fair. Pedro painted corners, changed speeds, changed eye levels and had movement. Believe me, if Pedro pitches like that tonight, the Yankees are not going to fare much better than the Dodgers.

  12. beta sigma shag

    October 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    8 o’clock can not get here fast enough, the night off so I will be sitting on my couch watching the whole thing unfold. The Phillies accomplished what they needed to do, at least a split in NYC. Yes this series is far from over, but winning game one makes game 3 very importent. It will be fun watching Pedro pitch.
    And one thing about the Yankees, even though I do not like them much, Jeter is a player, after his first at bat he was the only one who could hit Lee. Dispite my dislike for the team, this guy is the real deal and is a joy to watch.
    Hopefully he got all his hits in last night, but I doubt it.
    It will be interesting how A-Rod responds to his three strikeout performance last night. Lets Go PHILLIES, take two in NY would be great.

  13. Georgie

    October 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    It’s been almost 24 hours since Cliff’s amazing performance, I’ve seen multiple replays of bits and pieces, and I still can’t get enough. That was really one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen in sports. I am dubbing him “The King of Cool”, how can he be so calm, cool, and collected in such a stressful situation? Just amazing, I have no other words….

    King of Cool and King Cole, let’s hope the latter resembles the former in game 3.

  14. joedad

    October 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    THIS Yankees lineup has not hit Pedro well. Look at the career stats. Very pedestrian.

  15. Don M

    October 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    AJ Burnett sucks … He’ll walk guys in the wrong spots, and give up key hits to Howard, Ibanez .. etc

    Pedro might not be great, but the Yankees bullpen is horrible besides Rivera.

    I’m not positive that we’ll win tonight, but if we lose its not because of Burnett

    (I’ve been battling “the flu” the past week .. but it seems to be getting better today.. hopefully im all good by the time a parade rolls around!)

  16. Manny

    October 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    It BLOWS my mind that less than a year ago, during the offseason, everyone on this planet would’ve said that an AJ Burnett vs. Pedro matchup would be sooooo lopsided in favor of Burnett… while TODAY most people think that it’s pretty even. Wow. Gotta love it.

    Freaking Pedro wasn’t even playing baseball for most of the year! And now he’s pitching in Game 2 of the world series! Holy crap.

  17. Manny

    October 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Just stay away from Cliff Lee, Don!!

  18. Grady Little

    October 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Pedro’s good for about 6 2/3 full innings, not much more.

  19. Georgie

    October 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    They just said on DNL that Dobbs has the flu, and he’s so sick they sent him home.

  20. Manny

    October 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Oh damn!! Eyre had the flu too (last week), not the swine though… but still! I want this team healthy for this!!!!!

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