Tagged: Cliff Lee

SF Giants. 2010 World Series Champions.

First World Series Championship win since moving to San Francisco. How’s that for ending a 56-year torture?

A lot of people doubted the so-called team of misfits, but the Giants moved they way up and up until they won the best title of all: World Series Champions. And they did it in uncanny fashion, as uncanny as their clubhouse is.

World Series Game 1, the anticipated pitchers’ duel slash battle of the Cy Young kings was nothing but a collective team effort game. But the reigning Cy Young king held on to get the win for the Giants, 11-7, against the Texas Rangers and Cliff Lee.

Then there came Matt Cain for Game 2. It’d be impossible not to see posters and signs saying, “YES WE CAIN.” More than winning, Matt Cain shut the Rangers down on their 9-0 victory. He only gave up four hits in his 7.2IP.

Both teams had to travel to Arlington for Game 3 where the Rangers fans had their first taste of a World Series game at home. They also had their first World Series (game) win as the Rangers halted the red hot Giants on their 4-2 victory.

World Series Game 4 made history in so many ways, from the ceremonial pitch to the last out. Albeit being just 21 years old, Game 4 starter Madison Bumgarner claimed the mound as if he was a post-season veteran. His stance would even remind one of Andy Pettitte. What’s more? He pitched an 8-inning shutdown allowing only 3 hits with 2 walks. And the offense drove in 4 runs while the Rangers had nothing on board, especially having The Beard Master seal the game.

Both Madison Bumgarner and Brian Wilson’s ERAs are frozen at 0.00. The Giants are still leading the series, 3-1, against the Texas Rangers.

Game 5 was a rematch of the aces. It’s how Game 1 should’ve been like. Cliff Lee was supposed to help the Texas Rangers win. He did help them, in a way. Cliff Lee even showed off his claw in the third inning, which would remind us of 2009 World Series Game 1 in the eight inning when he caught Robinson Cano’s ball behind his back.

It was a battle of Cy Young kings. But kings do need their respective armies to step up. Cliff Lee came short of his when the Rangers’ bats were silenced by his successor, Tim Lincecum.

The Freak may have given up a solo shot to Nelson Cruz, but it was not enough for the Rangers to surpass nor at least tie the 3-run homer by Edgar Renteria off Cliff Lee. Besides, that was the third and last hit Tim Lincecum allowed. The shortest Giant struckout 10 Rangers in eight solid innings.

The game was only three outs away.

Miracles do happen in Baseball, but that was quite impossible when Brian Wilson stepped on the mound. Surely, every Rangers fan and those in their clubhouse finally realized that “Fear the Beard” does make sense. The Beard Master was as reliable as Mariano Rivera.

The ninth seemed like just a second-long inning. Strikeout. Groundout. What’s next? Nelson Cruz, who in his last at-bat hit a solo shot, was in the batter’s box. Brian Wilson didn’t care, so what happened? Nelson Cruz struckout swinging. It seemed like a routine last inning, but it was the final out of the game. And too bad for the Rangers, it was the final out of the series.

Game over. World Series over. The San Francisco Giants are the 2010 World Series Champions.


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The Fightin’ Phillies Off to the Bronx for Game 6. Utley Chase-ing again.

Chase.jpgChase Utley’s bat seems to be on fire during the third inning.

On
Game 5 of the World Series against the New York Yankees, the Fightin’
second baseman hit a home run in the right field. He did the same in
Game 1. But the difference with the home run in the third inning of
Game 5 were the two men on bases- Jimmy Rollins who got a base hit and
Shane Victorino who was hit by pitch as he tried to bunt the first
pitch.

Of course, the pitcher was no longer the big leftie CC
Sabathia but the right-handed AJ Burnett who was starting for the
Yankees on short 3-day rest.

AJ Burnett gave up a back to back
walk to Utley and Howard in the third inning. The home run hitter Utley
stole second base while Howard was batting and reached home plate on
Jayson Werth’s base hit. No Phillies was retired to the dugout yet.

With
Raul Ibañez’ base hit, Ryan Howard scored widening the gap with the
Yankees; 5-1 on board for the Phillies. Burnett, who was dominant in
and won Game 2, was chased in the third inning and  replaced by David
Robertson.

The Phillies were not done fightin’. Ibañez was out
at second base but Carlos Ruiz stayed in first base while Jayson Werth
gave the Phillies another run. 6-1 on board.

The Bronx Bombers
were first to have a run in the first inning before Utley hit his 3-run
homer. Johnny Damon scored on A-Rod’s double. The Yanks had their
second run in the fifth inning. Johnny Damon grounded out to Ryan
Howard but the first baseman missed the throw  to home plate allowing
Eric Hinske, who was pinch hitting for David Robertson and was walked
by Lee with just one strike, to score safely.

Brett Gardner,
replacing Melky Cabrera in Game 5 as centre fielder, kept Jayson Werth
from having extra bases with his speedy and golden catch on a flyball
in the centre field wall in the fifth inning. Werth, not sure if the
ball was caught, kept moving until Gardner who was taking some time to
recover from hitting the wall showed the ball safe in his glove.

It
was the first out for Alfredo Aceves, the second reliever for AJ
Burnett, in the fifth inning. Aceves retired the next two batters on
ground outs.

History seems to repeat itself, in a very quick
fashion. Chase Utley in the seventh inning in Game 4 with two strikes
hit a solo homer off CC Sabathia. Chase Utley, again, with two strikes
in the seventh inning in Game 5 hit a solo home run but off Phil Coke,
Burnett’s third reliever. It was the second homer of the night and the
fifth home run in the series for the Phillies’ second baseman.

Chase
Utley just tied Reggie Jackson for a World Series record with
multi-home runs. The Phillies were still on lead with 7 runs against
the Yankees’ 2 runs.

With two outs, the Phillies had another
home run in the seventh inning. It was off the bat of Raul Ibañez. Phil
Hughes then had to replace Phil Coke.

Hughes may have allowed a
back to back walk in the eight inning of Game 1 and gave up a solo
homer in Game 3, but the young pitcher had his command back in Game 5.
He struck out Pedro Feliz on three consecutive strikes for the final
out of the seventh inning.

Carlos Ruiz had a base hit in the
eight inning but he grounded into a double play along with Matt Stairs
who was pinch hitting for Chan-Ho Park. Phil Hughes retired the last
batter, Jimmy Rollins, on a ground out.

The Yankees line up in
the eight inning was back on top but with Johnny Damon leading. Again,
the left fielder kept the line moving. Damon singled and reached third
base on Mark Teixeira’s double. A-Rod hit the first pitch and earned a
2-run double, as well as a cheer from Kate Hudson, sending Johnny Damon
and Mark Teixeira at home plate. The Yankees were 4-7 on board against
the Phillies.

Cliff Lee may not be as impressive as he was in
Game 1 but he still earned cheers from the Phillies fans as he was
retired to the dugout and replaced by Chan-Ho Park.

A-Rod
reached home plate on Robinson Cano’s sacrifice fly. The slugger who
calls himself an “underdog” in the World Series gave the Yankees their
fifth run.

Not giving up, the Yankees rallied some hits in the
ninth inning. With Posada leading the line up, he hit a double and
reached third base on Hideki Matsui’s base hit. The veteran catcher
reached home plate for another run but Derek Jeter grounded into a
double play. Hideki Matsui was out at second base.

The ninth
inning of Game 4 has become historical. It all began with Johnny Damon,
who on two out and two strikes hit a single on a battle against Brad
Lidge. With Mark Teixeira batting, Damon stole second then third base
that was left uncovered. Teixeira earned a base on hit by pitch. Damon
scored in that inning on A-Rod’s double.

Yet again, Damon on two
out and two strikes singled on a line drive to keep the line moving in
the last inning of Game 5. But the Phillies were on guard to keep the
wheels of Johnny Damon from going any further. With Teixeira in the
batter’s box, Ryan Madson made sure that the game would be closed. And
he did as Mark Teixeira struck out swinging.

The Philadelphia Phillies won Game 5 with 8-6 on board for the last game in Citizens Bank Park.

AJ Burnett and Cliff Lee both wear #34 on their uniform, but the Phillies’ ace was the prevailing pitcher of Game 5.

The
Fightin’ Phillies are pushing the World Series to Game 6 in Yankee
Stadium for a battle against the Bronx Bombers who are one win away for
their 27th World Series Championship title.

Also posted in Bleacher Report.

Amazing Lee Dazzling in World Series Game 1

34.jpgIt
was a total domination by Cliff Lee against the New York Yankees in
World Series Game 1. The left handed pitcher, who was traded from the
Indians in July, pitched in a complete game with 80 strikes and 42
balls on Wednesday night.

Lee, who was a former Cleveland
Indian teammate and a close friend of Game 1 opponent CC Sabathia,
struck out two batters in the first and another two in the second
inning. He allowed an RBI, with extra base hit, for Derek Jeter in the
third inning.

But in the fourth inning Cliff Lee did nothing
but strike out all batters in the box: Teixeira, A-Rod, and Posada. All
three struck out at least twice. A-Rod was struck out thrice.

The Yankees scored in the bottom of the ninth, but it was on throwing
error of shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Lee allowed 6 hits, no walk, and 10
strike outs.

2.JPGBesides the ten strikeouts and no runs, two of
Lee’s impressive performances include a waiting-in-the-mound catch for
Johnny Damon’s pop-up in the sixth inning and the behind-the-back catch
when Robinson Cano hit the second pitch in the eight inning.

A big smile painted on the pitcher’s face and a shrug showed how much fun it was for him to start the bottom of the eight.

The 2008 Cy Young awardee started his game with a strikeout and ended
it with another strikeout. Both strikeouts were to World Series
veterans Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.

Cliff Lee did not just
secure the game for the Phillies, along with Chase Utley’s back to back
home runs, he also saved their bullpen. He now holds 3 starts with 3-0
wins in his 2009 post-season resume.
3.JPGThe defending champions beat the Bronx Bombers on 6-1 and now have a 1-0 lead in the 2009 World Series.


Also posted in Bleacher Report.

Cliff Lee Striking and Phillies Fightin’

Cliff Lee.jpg

Cliff Lee has been tremendous in the first half of World Series Game 1
against the Yankees. He struck out two in the first as well as in the
second inning. As if those were not good enough, Lee struck out Mark
Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada in the fourth inning. It was
the second strikeout for Teixeira and A-Rod.

CC Sabathia, a
former Cleveland Indian teammate and a close friend of Cliff Lee,
scuffled in the first inning. He’s thrown 24 pitches in that inning
alone. And in the third inning, CC pitched eight times to Chase Utley
before giving up a home run in the right field near the foul pole.

Utley’s home run was the first homer of the 2009 World Series and the
first home run in the new Yankee Stadium in a post-season game.

As for CC, it was the first home run he gave up on a left-handed hitter
at home. The next time he faced Chase Utley, another home run was given
up in the right field. It was a back to back home run for Chase Utley.

Cliff Lee is just so striking and the Fightin’ Phillies lead by 2-0 against the Bronx Bombers in the first six innings.

Phillies and Yankees on World Series

Old Guard.jpgThe wait is finally over.

After
5 days of waiting, the Philadelphia Phillies now know which team will
they face. The New York Yankees just defeated the LA Angels in the
American League Series of Game 6, 5-3 on board. It was a game that
lasted for 3 hours and 40 minutes with 50,173 people in full
anticipation.

The Phillies and Yankees have faced each other
during the regular season, and the Phillies have won the series, 2-1,
against the Yankees. Game 2 of that series was a walk-off win as Melky
Cabrera hit a single, scoring Robinson Cano. Alex Rodriguez provided
the tying run, a two-run homer to the right field.

Game 1 of the
World Series will be started in the Yankee Stadium and starting
pitchers will be CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee. Both pitchers are
considered aces in their ball clubs. But who will prevail?

Cliff
Lee has a 14-13 record, 245 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts, and a 3.22
ERA. CC Sabathia, on the other hand, has an amazing 19-8 record. He has
allowed 197 hits and 67 walks while striking out 197. If Mo is capable
of calming the Yankees organization, and fans alike, during the late
innings, CC has a calming effect on me when he’s starting for the
Bombers.

Both NL and AL teams know how big the World Series will
be. The Philadelphia Phillies will do everything to defend their title
while the New York Yankees will be looking forward for a 27th World
Series title.

There are a lot of World Series rookies from the
Yankees, but the Old Guard remains intact. The last Old Guard
appearance in the World Series, excluding Andy Pettitte who was in the
Astros, was on 2004. This would be a nice reunion, especially that
Pettitte is back to the Yankees. With new members in their club, the
World Series will be more exciting.

Yogi.jpgThe Phillies and Yankees are
strong teams in their respective leagues, but only one team will claim
the 2009 World Series title. I am a fan of both teams, but I am rooting
for my top favourite team, the New York Yankees.

The National
and American League Series are over.  But, “It ain’t over till it’s
over.” It must be a wonderful night for Yogi Berra who watched the
game. I’d love to hear what he’s got to say about Game 6.

It’s Home Sweet Home in Philadelphia.

Battery.jpgAfter losing the first two games of
the NLCS in the Dodger Stadium, the Phillies are back at home in
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

The whole universe must’ve
conspired together for the defending World Series champions. Perhaps it
was just Cliff Lee. And the Phillies.

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee was quick
to retire three Dodgers with a strike out to the third man on plate in
the top of the first inning.

The bottom of the first inning
may have started with a fly out in the right field, but it was followed
by successful hits and a rally of runs.  Ryan Howard started the rally
with 2-run triple RBI that brought Shane Victorino, who hit a single,
and Chase Utley, who hit a double, to the home plate.

As if
that was not enough, Jayson Werth hit a 2-run homer off Hiroki Kuroda’s
93 MPH fastball. The Phillies earned two more runs from Howard and
Werth. As the right fielder  stepped on the plate, the Phillies were
4-0 on board.

Bottom of the second. Cliff Lee was out on a
sacrifice bunt to advance Carlos Ruiz from second base to the third.
After Jimmy Rollins  hit  double, Ruiz gave the Phillies another run.
Joe Torre had to replace Hiroki Kuroda with Scott Elbert. It was two
short but terrible innings for the Japanese starter.

The Phillies haven’t ran out of luck
yet. Scott Elbert gave them a back to back walk and caused Rollins to
move to third base on a wild pitch to Chase Utley. Shane Victorino was
on second base and Chase Utley on first.

With Ryan Howard grounded out on
first, Rollins gave his team another run. The Phillies were leading
with 6-0. With another run earned by the Phillies, Manager Torre was
back in the mound for his third pitcher. Chad Billingsley replaced
Elbert, and ended the inning with a strike out.

Cliff Lee kept
dominating the mound with two strikeouts in the 3rd inning, one in the
4th, 5th and 6th, two in the 7th and 8th. A total of 10 stike outs
including the third batter in first inning. He only gave up 3 hits, one
for Belliard and two for Ramirez.

Chad Billingsley also struck
out Phillies; he had Jayson Werth twice and Cliff Lee. the great The
last two were both on the fifth inning. It was the same inning that the
Phillies earned another runs, one from Raul Ibañez on Pedro Feliz’
triple who also scored on Carlos Ruiz’ line drive single in the right
centre field.

The Dodgers were not able to make any runs, yet, and the Phillies were not yet done running to the home plate.

Shane
Victorino, who was 1-3 (single, walk, strike out), homered on a fly
ball to the right field. He scored the batterymen. Ruiz was walked
earlier followed by Cliff Lee who hit a single on a ground ball in the
centre field. They sealed 11 runs on board for the defending champions.

Five
Dodgers pitched for the game giving up a total of 11 runs and 11 hits
while the Phillies only had Cliff Lee and Chad Durbin. The closer had 3
up, 3 down. No chance for a run.

The NLCS Game 3 was for the Phillies. They won the Sunday night game with 11-0 on board. It was a no walk, no run game.

Cliff Lee earned 2-0 record, 0.74 ERA, and more fans this post-season.

The Phillies still lead the NLCS with 2-1, but anything can happen in Baseball. You just have to beLEEve.

Also posted in Bleacher Report.