Cliff Lee was thought to be invincible, and his postseason record proved that he just might be. He had never lost in the postseason, that is until Game 1 of the World Series.
Game 1 was a disaster for the Rangers. They allowed 14 hits and 11 runs, with Cliff Lee allowing a postseason-high of six. They made four errors, which was uncharacteristic for a normally solid Rangers team. Cliff Lee was pounded around for 4 2/3 innings.
When the dust settled in the fifth inning, the Rangers were down 5-2, and Cliff Lee was taken out of the game. By the time the inning was over, the Rangers were down 8-2, and Game 1 might as well have been over.
So much for the unbeatable Cliff Lee, so much for the Clee Facts, so much for the "I heart Clee shirts, the absurdity that was "Cliff Lee's wife doesn't flirt with him because no one hits on Cliff Lee" turned into anyone and everyone can hit on Cliff Lee.
Lee was unable to locate his breaking pitches and was forced to abandon those altogether. He was forced into being a strictly fastball/cutter pitcher, and that was not working either. Countless times his cutter drifted over the middle of the plate, allowing the Giants to tee-off on Lee.
If you would have told me before the game that Cliff Lee would have more hits than Josh Hamilton, I would have laughed at you, even though Cliff Lee was put up on this high pedestal. Hamilton could not produce a hit, while Lee produced a double in the second inning.
Freddy Sanchez had three doubles in his first three at bats off of Cliff Lee, and everyone was pounding the ball.
The matchup of aces Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum quickly turned into an afterthought, as both made early exits. The Rangers, rookies in the World Series, played just like you would expect any rookie. They were jittery and nervous, and it showed in their play. Even the great Cliff Lee showed his nervousness throughout the game.
"I think it's just baseball. That's the only thing you can say," Sanchez said. "This is a crazy game."
"I was trying to make adjustments," Lee said. "I was up. I was down. I was in. I was out. I was trying to find it, and I was never really consistent with what I was doing."
This has been the "year of the pitcher", but if Game 1 was any indication, it will be the World Series of the hitter.
The Giants won 11-7 in a game that was never really that close.
What does this mean for the Rangers?
The Rangers desperately need a win tonight, and they will give the ball to left-hander, C.J. Wilson. Wilson has been the Rangers most consistent pitcher this year, and has snapped Texas' losing streaks time and time again this season. The Rangers will need him to do just that tonight.
He will be facing Matt Cain tonight, who could be difficult for the Rangers to rebound against. Cain has allowed one run, nine hits and struck out 11 over 13 2/3 innings while going 1-0 in two starts this postseason. These are impressive stats, and the Rangers will need to produce runs if they want to go back to Texas with the series tied.
A 2-0 deficit is not insurmountable, but it will put the Rangers in a hole that I am not sure they could dig out of.
The Rangers look to rebound tonight against the Giants, and they will need a solid effort from C.J. Wilson to do so.
B/R Prediction: Texas Rangers 5, San Francisco Giants 4
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Paul Ferguson is an intern at Bleacher Report.
Follow him on twitter at: @paulwall5
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