LCS Day Four: The Three Most Important People

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The Phillies were the only team to play last night. No, really, I'm 99% sure the Dodgers didn't even bother taking the cross-country flight to the game because that 11-0 romp might have been the most one-sided LCS game I've seen in years. Sure, the Phillies scored early and they scored often, but the three most important people were all just elements of a very productive split personality:

  • Cliff Lee's fastball: Lee forced James Loney to ground into the inning-ending double play in the second with his hot hot heat. The speedball burned Matt Kemp swinging to end the seventh inning. James Loney was left looking at a strike three fastball to lead off the eighth inning. And on Lee's final pitch of the game, he got J. Russell Martin swinging with the ol' two-seamer to end the eighth.

  • Cliff Lee's curveball: Lee struck out Casey Blake to lead off the third inning on a 76 MPH curveball, making him look simply foolish. He got Matt Kemp swinging on strike three with the curve with Manny on first in the fifth inning. Clifton nailed Rafael Furcal with a swinging strikeout to end the sixth inning.

  • Cliff Lee's changeup: With a runner on in the second, Lee got Kemp to line out softly using a tidy mix of his fastball and changer. The slow gunk got Rafael Furcal swinging in the fourth inning. Lee sent down Manny Ramirez swinging with three straight 83 MPH changeups in the eighth inning.

Overall, Lee recorded 10 strikeouts and eight outs on the ground in his eight innings, plus one mini-rally-killing double play. He threw mostly fastballs on the night but mixed in curveballs, changeups, and sliders with aplomb, making the otherwise hard-hitting Dodgers look like the second coming of the 2003 Detroit Tigers. No pitcher outside of CC Sabathia has been more dominant in the '09 postseason; if the NLCS goes to Game Seven, I fear for the sanity of the Los Angeles Dodgers hitters.

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I hear Cliff Lee's Changeup is a terrible tipper. WHAT A DICK!

Lee's filthiest curve came on his second-to-last pitch of the game, right before he threw that inside fastball to send J. Russell Martin packing. The curve started at Martin's eye-level, and by the time it crossed the plate, was about 6 inches above his knee. I can't get softball pitches to break like that.

*Russell J. Martin, excuse me.

"No pitcher outside of CC Sabathia has been more dominant in the '09 postseason"

And inside of CC Sabathia, it's too dark to pitch (apologies to Groucho).

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