Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 World Series: Game 1 - Phillies vs Yankees - Cliff Lee Shuts Down The Yankees (Video/Highlights)

Cliff Lee was absolutely filthy in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series. There's no if's, and's, or but's about it. The movement on his pitches was outstanding and it's amazing that Lee who had to be sent to the minors just a few years ago is now clearly an ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball.

I have no problem with how C.C. Sabathia pitched in this game. I would take 7 innings and 2 runs from him every time out and I would say the Yankees would win those games most of the time. Chase Utley touched him up for 2 home runs, but this loss has to be chalked up to Cliff Lee just being unhittable last night.

I didn't do a World Series preview, but my prediction would have been Yankees in 7. I'm going to stick with that as I am not phased by the first game of this series. This is going to be a series that will not be easy for either them and the fans and players for both teams will be sweating it out. There's no home field advantage in this series because both of these teams can win anytime, anyplace.

A.J. Burnett and Pedro Martinez square off in Game 2 and I think the Yankees better make sure they score some runs off of Pedro because Burnett is hot and cold on the mound. The core of the Phillies lineup actually doesn't hit too well against Burnett over his career, with just Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley having moderate success. The rest of the Phillies struggle big time, so this could be a good matchup for the Yankees.

However, the Yanks have also not faced Pedro Martinez in years, so I'm not sure how they adapt to the "new" Pedro and it may take a time through the lineup before they figure him out. I really think the Yankees need to jump on Pedro early and get into the Phillies bullpen.

One thing to look at is that Jerry Hairston is a lifetime .370 hitter off of Pedro in his career and with Nick Swisher looking awful at the plate lately, I have to wonder if Hairston will somehow work his way into the lineup. I doubt it, but it is at least something that is worth bringing up as something that Girardi might do that would surprise some people. Actually, Hairston may even DH for Matsui, since Matsui is just a .143 hitter lifetime against Pedro. That is probably the more likely scenario. However, I think Girardi will stick with the guys who got him here for better or worse.

With Jay-Z set to perform before Game 2 maybe it will get the Yankees energized and bring some life back to a team who was stifled by a dominant Cliff Lee in Game 1.

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