Lee Takes Charge, Stifles Rockies in Game One Win

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, October 07, 2009 05:51 PM | Comments: 94
2009 Recaps, Posts

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee waits to throw to a Colorado Rockies batter as fans cheer him on during the ninth inning of Game 1 of the National League division baseball series, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 5-0. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)So much for worrying about who the Game 1 starter should be.  Charlie Manuel made a wise decision as Cliff Lee tossed a complete game to open the Phillies 2009 postseason.

Lee absolutely dumbfounded the Rockies lineup over nine innings, leading the Phillies to a 5-1 victory. There were butterflies to start the game, as the Rockies put two men on base, only to watch Lee finagle his way out of the jam. The tall lefty then settled in, calming his nerves in the second on an inning-ending double play by Clint Barmes. It was smooth sailing from then until the ninth.

In the final frame, just when it appeared a shutout was in order, a clearly amped-up Lee allowed a single by Carlos Gonzalez, who then scored on a gap-double by Troy Tulowitzki.

For the Fightin’s, the fun began in the fifth inning when Ubaldo Jimenez lost all control.  Jayson Werth kicked off the frame with a walk and Raul Ibanez doubled him home, shooting it past first baseman Todd Helton into the corner. Two batters later, Carlos Ruiz hit a liner to right field that skipped past right fielder Brad Hawpe to score Ibanez, making it 2-0.  The floodgates would then open.

The Phillies would score three more in the sixth, chasing the starter Jimenez, who had been virtually un-hittable through four innings. Chase Utley led things off with a single, after two awful previous plate appearances.  Ryan Howard then smashed one into the wind to the opposite field, only to have the wind play tricks with it, and drop off of the glove of the backpedaling Carlos Gonzalez in left.  Gonzalez himself smashed against the wall, and Utley easily crossed home plate to make it a three run advantage.

Jayson Werth then annihilated a pitch that headed toward the left-center field seats and would have easily been a bomb had the jet stream not be present above CBP.  It barely stayed in play, and hit off of the top of the wall, just above the reach of Dexter Fowler. Werth ended up at third base, sending Howard home.  4-0.  After a pitching change, Raul Ibanez singled to right, bringing Werth home and putting the Phils up by a five spot.

Offensively, you just never know when this team will strike, and they did quickly and efficiently on this beautiful afternoon.  And although the festivities began with an anxious sigh as Jimenez pumped 100 m.p.h. fastballs through the zone, the Phils pounced at the perfect moment and sent the Rockies starter into tizzy.  As is customary by this group, they put together back-to-back big innings and it was more than enough for the dazzling Cliff Lee.

He was brought here for one reason: to win big games. The fans looked slightly disheveled early on, but they stuck with the mid-season acquisition through the bumps. All-in-all, it was a powerful performance by all involved.  The lineup from top to bottom came up large (every player got a hit for the Phils) and the defense was just as steady.  Several routine plays were anything but due to the whipping winds, but that’s why the Phils as a unit are one of the best with the leather.

Phillies Nation can now breathe a little easier with a Game 1 win in the books.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1678 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    I thought the same thing when I saw the clip of Cole complaining about the start time. That is going to be his excuse after the game if he has a poor outing. It almost seemed like he was preparing himself and the fans for a disappointing outting.

    What do you mean about weird weather in Colorado? It is supposed to be 31 degrees with a possibility of snow on Saturday. It’s ideal for some smashmouth football. Should be a good time.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    For anyone who wants to watch the game at work but can’t try this site:


  • Posts: 0 joedad

    ”Being the defending world champs, I think it’s kind of a little weird that we got both games at [2:37 p.m.],” Hamels, Philadelphia’s Game 2 starter, said. ”I don’t think it’s fair. I definitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans. I understand TV ratings, but at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they’re most comfortable, and that’s kind of what we’ve been trained to do, and I think it’s more fair for us than really the TV ratings.”

    So Hamels sticks up for the FANS and for HIS TEAM, THE DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPS and some people find fault calling him a diva and believe he is saying it in case he needs and excuse for a bad game. Some of you people are pathetic.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Ed R, thanks for the link. I had some other yesterday but they were taken offline quickly.

    I disagree about this being a ‘must” win although it would make life much easier for them. The Phils are a great road team so even with a loss today they should be able to split in CO. That being said, i think they win today because Cole is a big game pitcher and the Rockies really struggle against lefties.

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    So…..if Cole kept his mouth shut he would’ve threw a perfect game today? C’mon son… Ya heard me….. Cole’s right… He knows the electricity during the day was going to be loud…. But nothing beats the atmosphere of nite playoff games at the bank…. Bud Sleazy is worst than Don King… We won the division and are The Champs, but the Rockies are getting the VIP treatment in terms of the game atmosph. h/r)…. Day games in Philly, nite games in Col. Cole is 7-5 at home this season with a 3.76 era in 17 home starts(105 inns)… He’s 3-6 on the road in 15 road starts with a 4.99 era (88 inns). Cole 5-6 since the A/S break. He gave up 15hrs in the first half and just 9hrs in the 2nd half.

    Since the calendar turned to Sept, Hamels is 3-2 in six starts with a 3.32era He pitched 43.1 inns in Sept/October the most inns he pitched in any single month this season. He S/O 40 and wlk 8 and he only gave up 2 hrs.

    In 4 day time starts at home this season Cole is 0-3 with an 3.38era
    He pitched 21inns, 2hrs, 27 k’s, 3 bb….

    It’s daytime games on the road that has eaten Cole up in 5 daytime road starts Cole is 0-3 with a 7.09 era 26.2 inns

    Relax Phillies Nation…..

  • Posts: 0 SpankyYankee

    I think if Hamels wears his log johns in side in “baseball costume” the one with pink flamingos he’ll do just fine and have an extra 2 or 3 boxes of tissues in the dugout….but if you consider he is a 2 legged excuse of ball player and a pitcher and a teamate he might have some trouble today….I can hear it now with excuses after he gives up the first 4 runs ….calm down little man you do have the best offense in the national league….oh thats right they don’t come thru for Cole Hamels maybe today he’ll break that 0-6 daytime excuse ……………………don’t forget the flamingo long johns.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Great win for the Phils… Lee does exactly what we brought him here to do. A complete game in his first postseason game… it’s pretty clear that Lee likes the big stage.

    Rollins deserves a lot of credit for what he did in the field… he secured at least two non-routine outs and in a game like that, outs are just as important as runs. You can’t waste opportunities to get guys out…

    Werth also came up big… getting on base, playing the field and igniting the fire.

    All in all, we played opportunistic baseball; we took extra bases, we didn’t leave runners on base, we didn’t make costly errors, we stayed away from double plays, we moved runners along and when Jimenez lost control of his fastball we sat on his changeup and hit the ball into the gaps. Colorado has two clear advantages; pen and bench… we didn’t have to use either.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    joedad…I certainly don’t mean to say that the Phillies will lose the series if they lose today but rather that the Rockies are a team who thrive on momentum…give them a foot and they will take a mile. If you don’t bury them early then will come back to haunt you. They are like the Twins except with a nicer ball park and less fans. I think the Rockies have a better chance to come back and win the series down 0-2 than the Phillies do of winning the series if they leave Philly tied 1-1. I know that sounds crazy, and maybe I am crazy. Momentum is afterall, only as good as tomorrows starting pitcher.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Papa Thompson – if you re read my analysis of Hamels you will see I qualified alot of my statements with words like “could”, “may”, or “might”. Also, i did say “Is this causal or just coincidence, I can’t say yet.” I just thought the word hypothesis was a little heavy handed for this blog. But that what it is. I didn’t draw any conclusions. I did go on site my own observations not numbers, but what i saw in support of my hypothesis but didn’t draw any conclusions otherwise i would have shown the numbers i was spoke of and said something like ” and therefore he should throw more curveballs.” Instead I said,
    “His last 2 starts if I remember correctly, he hardly threw any. And those he did we’re terribly executed…we’ll see. Hopefully he’ll have command of his FB like he did for that complete game shut-out against LA and he won’t even it need the curveball. He only threw 3 that game.”
    Did i conclude he should therefore throw more curveballs? No. if he can perform like he did in that LA game or is locating his fastball then why to do anything else. I think that this is easily inferred from what i originally wrote. Also, it is reasonable to speculate that tim linececum might have thought that Cy Young Award would be a target on his back and so developed that nasty change up in the off season because two pitches now a days with the ever diminishiing strike zone can hamstring you esp. once batters make it a point to spend that extra time in the video room looking for any advantage they can get. I mean three pitches is sort of standard these days for starters. Now do i think Hamels should have done the same in the off season, maybe but he did has less time to prepare and there was the injury issue. Futhermore he has a free pass in my book for taking us to the promised land; a sentiment best expressed when I said,
    “What ever the outcome of this game or season, next year Hamels will come back a smarter, more developed pitcher….I would say a cy youngish season in 2010.” I think i am acknowledging his talent aplenty with that statement. I don’t have an issue with criticism provided your really read what I said and consider the tone with which it is said.

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    C.C. Phat B*stard pitches 6 2/3 inns against a hung over and exhausted Twin team and now all of sudden he’s Schill of 2004(Yankee epic choke job) or Schill/Randy J of 2001 (Yanks lose on walk-off), or the Marlins 2003 (beat Yanks again). The Marlins won it on your field, sprayed Champagne in your lockeroom and then they partied in your City and mated with your New York ‘Smores…. If the Twins were rested they would’ve tatooed.. that Fat B*astard. He had choke written all over his face when the Twins went up 2-0…. Consider yourselves lucky…. This post season is the Yanks to win or lose. If they don’t win C.C, A-Rod and the boys will be placed in a wittness protection program. and the Yankees will once again be the Richest Loser in sports.. We beat a real team yesterday. The Yanks beat a shell of a team…. You are the A**clown of the year. Like I keep telling you, win a title retard and then come back….

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    that’s “did i conclude that he shoud throw more curveballls?”

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Someone take H.K’s blood pressure. He might be on the verge of a stroke.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    HK – fight the power. Yeah the yanks get a gassed team and a rookie pitcher…maybe burnett’s arm finally falls off tonight. the Yanks are like school in the summer time….no class

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    No, I’m good Edr…. But do those spilts w Hamles numbers in day games at home make you view Cole chance’s today any different? Just curious… I am a bit amped for the Game… I didn’t sleep more than 2-3 hours on Tues because I was so excited about the game……

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    fight the power…. classic! Good one

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    HK, I wasn’t impressed with CC either. He had some decent numbers but was gassed pitching against, as you said, a hungover, exhausted Twins team.

  • Posts: 0 SDO

    Kalas, now now, we must remember to be PC here on this board. I’m sure you meant to say the little “mentally challenged” man. In any case, I’m wondering how he got out of the schizo ward in the Bronx.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    @ HK

    I actually agree with that. 6 2/3 for an $180 million dollar pitcher against a tired, hungover and depleted Twins team and he is God.

    I love it!

    I don’t think the Phillies have gotten enough respect being the defending champions and all. Yesterday seemed like they had a chip on their shoulder and I hope it continues. We all know that if we win this series and play either STL/LA, all the hype will be with them. If we are forunate enough to get back to the WS, the hype will be with the AL team.

    Maybe it’s just being “in the shadows of the NY, LA and Boston’s of the World” but I feel like this team is always overlooked.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    well if the dodgers come to town i guess the strating pitching will be in for 3.5 innings and we can expect to face a BP whose arms have been hot glued back on. I mean wolf looked flat but what little confidence did torre show in the guy esp with carpenter struggling. Though I liked seeing Jeff Weaver exact some revenge on the team that chucked after his amazing 2006 WS effort. Talk about head case…you lose your spot in one of the best rotations in the game (halos) because you were 3-10 but also lose it to your younger brother who is a total phenom, only to get traded as a pity project for Dave Duncan to fix. Then you are instrumental in winning the WS only to be rewarded with a pin slip. I ‘m amazed the guy isn’t at the bar hanging with Jean M ichael Vincent bt now.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Jayson Werth said after yesterday’s game that Game 2 is “just as important, if not more important… because if they manage a split, it gives them homefield advantage the same way the Phillies took it in the World Series”

    Hamels will be on his game today..

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Truthfully HK the splits don’t matter to me at all. As Cliff Lee showed yesterday, the regular season really is a whole other animal. What happened May – September matters little if at all once the playoffs begin. Although Cole’s numbers blow in day games, and blow less at home I still think that he has the talent and ego to turn it on come 2:37 today. He does not want to relinquish the title of staff Ace so naturally, he is going to have to one up what Cliff Lee did. A CG shutout is pretty much the only way to do it, but hey, I’m not greedy. I’ll take a win, I don’t care how we get it.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    bob – don’t disrespect the holy trinity


    BSox LAA

    with the mere mention of our Flithy Fhillies. We might get slotted for the early morning news hour if we don’t learn our place in MLB

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Any predictions….ed r., joedad, mike d., hk , don m

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Look, Cole stated the obvious (that MLB sucks a big nut) and I respect him for that… maybe he’s searching for an excuse IF he doesn’t perform but I’m hopeful that we’re going to see the reemergence of Hollywood Hamels. I’m hopeful that he comes out with a chip on his shoulder because a.) he was tagged as the game 2 starter b.) MLB screwed us (collectively… I had to sell my tickets today because I couldn’t get out of work) c.) this team gets no respect.

    Yesterday, Lee pitched a gem and we handed the Rockies a big time loss… realistically, it’s going to be really tough for them to win this series because we are clearly the better team… but we are the third story on ESPN. Who gets the headlines? CC Sabathia for pitching 6 2/3 innings and A-Rod for finally getting his postseason RBI. On a side note, I think that Gardenhire is setting up the Yankees; pitching Duensing against CC means that he’s got Blackburn, Pavano and Baker to go against the Yankees 2,3 and 4 pitchers and I think that the Twins can still win that series.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Yeah hamels really made his bed with that statement but I like the sentiment and I think he put himself against the wall to get more pumped

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I’m going with 6-2 Phillies. Expect a homer from the Big Piece and Raulllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!

    I also think we will see a Lights Out showing and I do mean, Lights Out.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    Don M. – i heard he preferred the number 2 because of his rest scheldule. I don’t know how true that is. that ‘s what i heard

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    man mike D. said the same thing but uped the ante and said lidge for the win… that too much pants crapping for my blood

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    j reed, a critisism of you, whenever you make a gramaticul eror or mispeling, you feel comp[elled to corect yer mistakes. No ned for that becuz we can undrestand what you aer writing.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    j-reed. To my understanding, Charlie went with Lee in game 1 because it was on his normal rest. Using Hamels in game 1 would have meant going on short rest and it is well documented that Cole does not like to,(I won’t say refuses to) pitch on short rest. Pitching today allows Cole to go on normal rest. Cole seems to know his body and so I guess his reluctance to pitch on short rest is due to him knowing what he can and can’t do. I guess that is a good thing?

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    My prediction for the Rockies? PAIN

    Phillies win, of course, 5-4. Hamels pitches through 7+. Eyre with a shutdown appearance in the 7th or 8th. We might see Happ in the 7th or 8th. Madson closes the door.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    f Can’t help but to be rooting for the twins like every other baseball fan who aren’t yanks, white sox, or tiger fans

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I predicted that the Phillies would win 7-0 yesterday…

    Today, I’m going with a 4-2 victory for the Phils… I think that the Rox will be keeping a close eye on Cook and won’t let this game get out of hand if his sinker is not sinking. They’ll throw the kitchen sink at us if they have to and we’re going to have to win by any means necessary… I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rockies likely switch it up and go with their “A” lineup in this one (no Atkins and no Fowler… insert Smith, for offense, and Stewart, for offense and defense). We’ve got too many LH SP… at some point, Tracy has to start thinking about playing his best players regardless of match ups. Cook is two weeks removed from a stint on the DL and although he has pitched well, the road to recovery is rarely smooth so I see him going 5-6 innings. Hamels should be good for 7-8 innings and hopefully our bullpen can string together a few tough outs.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Ed R, Dela Rosa is not on the roster so the Rockies are down a starting pitcher So if they are only as good as their next day’s starting pitcher, it makes it even less probable that they would win 3 in a row.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I think that Charlie went with Lee because he’s thinking that he might be able to use him in game 3 or 4 to finish off the Rox… if Hamels pitches well today, you don’t have to worry about saving Lee for game 5… if you use Lee in relief, you can use Hamels for game 5 and bring in Lee in the late innings, if necessary. Once again, the Rockies have two clear advantages in their bench and bullpen… the only way that the Rockies can win is if we have to lean on our bench/pen. Our starters are going to carry us and using Lee to finish a potential series clinching game makes a lot of sense to me.

  • Posts: 0 GWFightinsFan

    All this talk about Cole throwing the curveball more…I wonder if he’s actually slightly hurt, and that’s affecting his ability to throw the curve without pain..

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The one thing I kept thinking yesterday was how calm the entire team looked..

    knowing that it takes 3 wins to advance this round.. you can’t try to win all 3 games on the first day.. so I really doubt that Hamels was pissed about starting Game 2

    I actually think he’s pitched pretty well when following a strong-start by Lee .

    So im not one for projections usually, but I can see Hamels going a strong 7 innings or so, and definitely giving us a chance to win this game .. Our offense has all the confidence in the world right now .. every start got at least one hit yesterday!

    Hopefully our bats are getting hot at the right time.. and our streaky team will streak its way back into the World Series

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    joedad – Yeah, I’m a little self conscious grammatically speaking. Ever seen Take the Money and Run….where Woody Allen tries to rob a bank with a note but mispelled “gun”? That’d be me. Ever since then I’ve become grammar/ spelling nazi.

  • Posts: 0 j reed

    GWFightins – I read something in a forum on Fangraphs that said he might have tweaked his elbow. It makes sense because it really began to come around and then suddenly the last two games, neither hide nor hair of it really. And when you saw it, just a few times it was too ugly and scaring too many children.

  • Posts: 0 bob

    I can’t see the Twins pulling that series out, as much as I would love to see it. They seem really worn down and who can blame them at this point. It took alot out of them making that September run, ala our 07 team. Too many hitters in that Yankee lineup, IMO.

    I feel good about the Phils. Today is the day to really show Colorado who the team in control is. This is why we paid Mr. Hamels, for starts like today. I think the crowd is gonna be even more pumped up. The jitters are gone and 2008 is now officially behind us.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    That was a great movie, “gub” was a funny scene. My blog posts are streams of consiousness so i don’t take care to make sure I spell consiousness correctly. I’m sure the nuns who taought me in grade school are turning in their graves.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    It would be crazy for anyone to bet against the Yankees against the Twins but Gardenhire did what he had to do to give his team a chance to win the series… concede game 1, let NY waste CC against his worst pitcher and prepare for game 2. If they can win game 2, they’ve turned the series around heading back to MIN… there are a lot of question marks at the back end of the Yankee rotation (Pettitte’s not 100% and Joba is a train wreck) which is why game 2 is critical in that series… their lineup is capable but unproven in the postseason and Minnesota is one of those teams that always finds a way to hang around long enough to defy the odds.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Speaking of betting, today’s line favors the Phils more than yesterday’s.

  • Posts: 0 Joey

    looked good last night

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