More over, Cole Hamels. The Philadelphia Phillies have another big-time lefty ace in town.
Cliff Lee proved his worth last night with a six-hit complete game against the mighty New York Yankees, striking out 10 and walking none.
Lee now has a 3-0 postseason record and a remarkable 0.54 ERA.
His pitching efforts stifled the Yankees offense, but he didn't do it alone: The bats of the Phillies did not remain silent throughout the game, helping the starter with timely runs in a resounding 6-1 victory on the road.
The World Series still has no victor as yet. It's still too early to tell, but as history has shown for the past six years, the team that has won Game One of the Series went on to win the title.
On a pretty typical, Atlantic Coast mid-fall evening, brave patrons weathered through rain and a few chills, seeing what at first looked like a pitchers' duel between CC Sabathia of New York against Lee of Philadelphia, former pitching mates with the Cleveland Indians.
That was up until the third inning, when Phillies second baseman Chase Utley erased the pre-game jitters and scoreless tie by hitting a 3-2 fastball for a solo home run to right field of the new, billion-dollar Yankee Stadium.
Later in the sixth inning, Utley had another solo homer off Sabathia, not too far off the first spot, to right-center field.
Utley's feat may seem normal, since eight other players have hit two home runs dating back to the 1995 World Series. But with his bat, Utley became only the second left-handed batter in Major League history to hit two home runs off a left-handed pitcher, joining Babe Ruth, who completed the feat in 1928.
He also set a record by reaching base safely in 26 consecutive postseason games on a Sabathia walk in the first inning, breaking Baltimore Orioles legend Boog Powell's 1966-1971, 25-game streak.
Philadelphia did not remain dormant after Utley's two RBI, tacking on four extra runs, thanks to hits from Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, and Ryan Howard against the New York bullpen in the eighth and ninth innings.
The Yankee batters did not display any firepower most of the game: Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez remained hitless, as he, Mark Teixeira, and Jorge Posada finished 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts. Derek Jeter had three of the team's six total hits and only run.
Lee even showed his command in defensive fielding, as he nonchalantly stretched his glove out to collect a Johnny Damon pop-up and snagged a Robinson Cano grounder behind his back later on.
Pedro Martinez, famous for throwing former Yankees hitting coach Don Zimmer down to the ground in Boston in 2003 when he pitched for the Red Sox, will start for the Phillies tomorrow night. He will face A.J. Burnett, the Yankees starter, in Game Two, which will preceded by a performance featuring New York-bred entertainers Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
Game One goes to the defending champions, with potentially many more great ones to go in the best-of-seven series.
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