I told you to watch. I told you this was going to be one of the best WS to be played in a very long time.
Through 7 innings, it was. As I stated in previous posts, this team has owned Sabathia. They have proven that they hit him well. The consensus in the media was that the Phillies predominately left handed line up would struggle against the lefty Sabathia and that this game would be the one that could be the pitchers duel.
It kind of was through 7. The Phils only scored 2 hits. Both coming from Utley and both being solo home runs. But Sabathia struggled being dominate and those mistakes came from what looked like frustration to me.
I said that Utley was thought to be hurting from his hip injury and some in the Philly media may have thought that he would continue to struggle at the plate, and moreso in the field. However, the 6 days off that the Phils had between the NLCS and last night proved to Chase some good.
His first homerun was really an incredible at bat. Sabathia had thrown at least 7 pitches to Utley before serving up the fast ball low and inside. Utley hits that like a bitch and the Phils take a one run lead. The second was almost Broxton like. On an 0-2 count, Sabathia threw another fastball, only this time straight up the middle. A literal meatball. An 0-2 meatball which should just never happen from a great starting pitcher. Utley killed that ball and that brought the lead to 2, and making history by being only the second player in WS history to hit two home runs from the left side of the plate against a left handed pitcher. The other was some cat named George something or another.
Meanwhile, Cliff Lee spent his night just plain dealin'. Never before has a pitcher thrown 10 strike outs, not allowed an earned run, and not allowed a walk in World Series history. Lee was spot on, and he did so with an air of confidence that has never been reached before. This was after all, game 1 of the World Series. Not some rubber match in May against a non divisional opponent.
Lee proved to everyone that he is worthy of his Cy Young last year. This is truly one performance that is more appreciated by watching then by reading about. He gave up 6 hits in total, 3 coming from Jeter, and 1 unearned run when Rollins tried to force a double play.
What was most amusing to me was the banter going back and forth between Yankees fans and Phillies fans via facebook, blogs, twitter, and IM.
There was very little gloating going on from the Phillies fans. The comments I saw were more about the Phils performing well moreso than shots being thrown at the Yankees. But the Yankees fans were hysterical. "Philly gets lucky and they think they are champs". Um... Lucky?? Yeah, Lee's performance was a fluke. Think we are champions? Um... Reigning world fucking champions dumbass.
How is it that Philly fans get the brunt of all insults when morons out there make statements like these??
Anywho, The Yanks never managed to put forth any kind of comeback effort. Lee was just too dominating almost toying with them by basket catching an infield fly and snatching an up the middle shot behind his back as if it were an everyday occurrence, shrugging it off to his team mates as if to say, "whatever". His persona just showed everyone that he knew this game was his, and that there was no way they were losing.
After the Phils put up two more in the 8th I notice the stadium start to get a little empty. I couldn't imagine that happening anywhere. You certainly wouldn't see that in Philadelphia. It's a World Series game. You are supposed to be the most dominate team in the league. You claim to be the best fans anywhere, and everyone else pales in comparison. Yet you bail when your team is down 4 in the 8th with 6 outs left. Have you no hope? Have you no SHAME???!?!
Who are the fraud fans now? Just unfathomable to me.
The last thing I want to make note of about last night is the umpiring. Home plate ump Gerry Davis called a fantastic game. His zone was generous but fair. His calls were even and he even threw some in that made the batters swing. Some questionable calls for strikes only came when the batter was behind in the count and that happened on both sides.
Tonight is a huge game for the Yankees. It's also a huge game for the Phils. Winning tonight will give them their best chance to win the series at home, and really put the Yanks in bind. If Pedro does what he did against LA, the Yanks will be in for it. Make no mistake about Pedro as well. He seems to have a little bit of a chip on his shoulders given recent media interviews. This guy will throw his arm off as well to perform.
With Pedro facing Burnett anything can happen. A pitchers duel is possible but unlikely. I think you'll see a ton of hits and a lot of scoring, although it won't be lopsided. This one will go down to the final innings and if that's the case, I gotta give the edge to the Yanks.
They need Burnett to get into the 7th or 8th inning. If he can do that, Rivera should have an easy 6 outs. If not, the Yanks are in for it.