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2009 World Series Aligns CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee to Steal Show

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IOctober 28, 2009

The 2009 World Series carries two lineups more powerful than a Blake Griffin dunk.

Too soon, Clipper's fans?

Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard are the highlights of the dynamic lineups for the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies that are stirring the baseball community into a buzz about the possibility of a high-scoring World Series.

Multiple hitters of an equally dangerous caliber flank each superstar.

Derek Jeter, Mark Tiexiera, and Robinson Cano for the Yankees.

Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, and Shane Victorino for the Phillies.

There is so much explosive offensive talent firing from each dugout that surely, we are set for a slugfest of epic proportions.

Right?

Not quite.

The wings of two top-line pitchers that are set to take the mound in Game One of the fall classic may very well stymie the cracks of the bat as well as the predictions of baseball guru’s.

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Game One plunges fans right into the depths of one of the best pitching showdowns we may see in a long time.

It takes place between Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia, two pitchers who share more than a few similarities in their road to the new Yankee Stadium in the 2009 World Series opener.

Both are discarded Cleveland Indians and have earned the title of staff ace for their respective teams.

Both boast a Cy Young Award in their trophy case, marking only the sixth time that winners of the prestigious honor will battle on the hill in a World Series game. 

Both have begun their march to the World Series with surgeon-like precision.

Sabathia is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA.

Lee is 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA.

The challenge will be great and set on a stage that is brighter than any other, but each hurler’s arsenal holds the key to turning off the lights on their opposition.

Sabathia has the movement, power, and placement on his fastball to challenge Howard and the rest of the powerful Philly left-handers on the inside corner, something that other pitchers have attempted to do but failed at miserably.

Lee possesses devastating command of the strike zone with all of his pitches and consistently works ahead in the count. He throws to contact and utilizes an excellent infield behind him to navigate through quick innings.

Both are in the first season as the hired assassin for their new team.

Both have the chance to cement their place in World Series lore.

Some analysts are going to focus too much on the history of these well-traveled franchises, like the World Series win last season for the Phillies.

Or like the 26 World Series championships looming like restless ghosts over the Yankees new playground.  

But starting with Game One, we have the extraordinary chance of seeing this epic duel play out three times if the series goes the distance, and baseball fans need to live in the present to enjoy the moment.

Still, there is some history to keep in mind as the World Series unfolds before us. 

The two aces have the potential to catapult baseball back to the 1960's, if just for a short moment, when pitchers like Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson ruled the game with an iron fist. 

When pitchers would set the tone of a game by retiring the side in order, by sawing off hitters and breaking their bats, and by finishing games they started with the authority of a champion. 

Considering the dull nature of the postseason leading up to this point, we are well deserving to be handed this type of an awe-inspiring final note to the 2009 season.

The only question that remains is which southpaw can deliver enough blows to knockout the opponent. 

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