Cliff Lee jogged off the field.
This is what Cliff Lee does.
But Cliff Lee jogging off the field in the bottom of the fifth inning in the World Series?
The San Francisco Giants had scored more than four runs just once since September 24th. Lee had allowed just nine earned runs total in his previous seven postseason starts, all of them wins.
And yet, in Game 1 of the 2010 World Series, the Giants touched the untouchable for six earned runs in just 4.2 innings.
After pitching around doubles in both the first and second inning, Lee ran into trouble in the bottom of the third. The man who dominates with precision control did not have his typical command, and Freddy Sanchez made him pay.
Sanchez doubled in runs in the third and the fifth and his teammates got in on the act as well. Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff each singled in runs in the decisive fifth before Lee was pulled from the game with two on and two outs.
AT&T Park was rocking and the Rangers wouldn't recover.
On a night when Tim Lincecum also took the mound with less than his best stuff, the diminutive ace enjoyed a six-run cushion when he went back to work in the top of the sixth.
While Lincecum couldn't survive the inning, Giant relievers came to his rescue. It wasn't pretty, but the bullpen got the job done just as they have all postseason long.
The game ended with Brian Wilson on the mound. And no, it wasn't Brian Wilson closing out a 2-1 pitcher's duel. It was Wilson mopping up an 11-7 marathon that included 12 total pitchers, six Giant doubles, four Ranger errors and multiple Vlad Guerrero adventures in right field.
This article was tentatively titled "Ode to Cliff" or "I miss you Cliff" (I'm a Phillies fan) before the game started, but Lee decided to throw a wrench into that plan, didn't he?
I'd be absolutely shocked if Ron Washington sticks with Vlad in right in Game 2. Matt Cain is scheduled to pitch for the Giants so expect to see David Murphy in left and Nelson Cruz in right.
It's easy to praise Sanchez after a game like this but I really do love his approach at the plate. He's the definition of a contact hitter and punches the ball around to all fields.
I do miss Cliff Lee's patented jog on and off the field.
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