Cliff Lee Failed (To Disappoint Folks Who Longed For Dominance)

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Ever see a World Series pitching performance like the one Cliff Lee demonstrated with aplomb last night? Nah, me neither. That was special: ten strikeouts, no walks, no Yankee runner reaching third base until Jimmy Rollins' error in the ninth, and Lee's fancy nonchalant catch of a weak pop fly that you see above. That's stone cold, Clifton! Cliff Lee's first World Series start was so damn good it made CC Sabathia's first World Series start look like Woody Williams' first World Series start in comparison. My point? Cliff Lee was a bat-breakin' strikeout-makin' machine.

But Sabathia wasn't bad, not at all. Big fella huffed and puffed his way through seven solid innings, giving up just two runs on two home runs: one a cheap-o pop fly into the right field corner, the other a booming moon shot deep into the bleachers. Sabathia departed in the seventh inning with a 2-0 deficit; he left his team with a chance to win, yet the Yankees bullpen had other plans.

Being at the game is a different perspective from watching the best camera angles from the comfort of one's couch. But no matter how you witnessed the game, you knew that the bullpen collapse in the seventh and eighth innings did two very bad things: killed a chance for a late inning comeback AND stretched out an otherwise tidy game past the three hour mark. As a Yankees fan, I can't say I was pleased with the loss, but yet I am more disenchanted by the four runs allowed by the 'pen than I am by the offensive struggles or two solo tots by Chase Utley.

By the way, Utley now has more tater tots this postseason than Ryan Howard or Mark Teixeira, yet who gets all the ink?

Other observations from The Stadium last night: first, the Yankees organization handled the first World Series game in the new joint quite well. Fifty thousand people were well-behaved for the most part and the crowds were under control. My one complaint was the scattered mess of metal detectors on the field level, intended to scan everyone heading to their seats and protect the First Lady, causing bottlenecks on the entire concourse. But why not put the metal detectors outside the Stadium and scan everyone? They were only checking folks on the ground floor and not higher up in the main level or luxury level. Why? After all, Lee Harvey Oswald didn't need to be on the ground floor.

(animated giffiness courtesy of dmac)


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12 Comments

Those weren't metal detectors, Rob. They were kiosks set up to make sure nobody brought in any outside Sapporo.

The one big edge that i gave the Yankees coming in to this series was the depth and skill of their bullpen. Now, it looks like the Yanks have one super-reliable guy backing up a bunch of high-schoolers.

Cliffton Phifer Lee, Rob. I think it's legally required you include his middle name.

By the way, you haven't climbed out on the ledge with me and Wahoo yet, have you?

Much as I hate that we lost him, Juancho, I was really glad to see him do so well. I found myself uninterested in rooting for either team, but rooting for both starters to succeed.

Don't forget that nifty behind the back grab by Lee. He was ridiculous last night Phils hit when they had to. Hats off to them.

The Yankees fans are being really nice and cordial about the game one loss. I have a feeling if it was game 6 or 7 their tune would sound a little different

I read on BLS that the non-Utley Phillies were something like 2-for-23 against Sabathia. Good old fashioned pitcher's duel in Game One of the World Series - gotta love that...

BCTF is right. There would be a barrage of C-bombs up in here.

The only C-bombs were the ones hit by Utley. A C-BOMB.... FROM CHAAAAAAAAASE! PHILLIES WIN! THHHHHHHHEEEEEEEE PHILLLLLLLLIES.... WINNNNNN!

Choke on a consonant, Sterling.

Nick, you should hear Sterling's call of Cliff Lee's behind the back grab (it's on mlb.com for all to hear). He finds the roundabout way of saying "that fucker got lucky" on that one.

I'd rather that Sterling choked on Suzyn Waldman's dick.

I agree, BCTF. Part of it, for me at least, is that Lee was just that good. It's hard to be angry when there's very little that could have been done anyway.

"By the way, Utley now has more tater tots this postseason than Ryan Howard or Mark Teixeira, yet who gets all the ink?"

My Chase Utley tattoo begs to differ.

Yous are gonna lose. Phils in three!

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