Cliff Lee Dominates Rockies: Phillies Win Game One

If the Philadelphia Phillies keep getting starting pitching throughout the postseason like what they got from Cliff Lee on Wednesday afternoon, it won’t matter that their bullpen is a mess.

Lee completely dominated the Colorado Rockies today in Game One of their National League Division Series. Lee threw a complete game allowing only six hits, and one run while striking out five in the Phillies 5-1 victory.

Lee was dominant for the Phillies

Lee was dominant for the Phillies

This is exactly what the Phillies envisioned when they acquired Lee from the Cleveland Indians in July.

The Rockies had some chances early against Lee. They had runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings. The Rockies failed to score and you got the sence that if the Rockies didn’t get to Lee early, it might be a long day.

It was a very long day for the boys from Denver.

What made it a long day for the Rockies is that Lee threw first-pitch strikes to 25 out of the 32 batters he faced. He was ahead in the count all day.

As I have mentioned time and time again, if you throw first-pitch strikes and get ahead in the count, you will be successful as a pitcher at any level. It’s just a fact of life.

As for the Rockies, their starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez looked for a while like he would match Lee pitch for pitch. For the first four innings, Jimenez was nasty. But then Jimenez fell apart in the fifth and sixth.

How did the Phillies start their rally? With a walk. As John Smoltz says “Walks lead to rally’s.” Jimenez walked Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez doubled him home to make it 1-0. 

Carlos Ruiz then singled home Ibanez to make it 2-0. What was puzzling about Jimenez was that as soon as he got in trouble he went away from his fastball and threw mostly offspead pitches.

If you throw 97 mph like Jimenez does, you need to pump that fastball in there as much as possible. Terrible game calling by Yorvit Torrealba.

The Phillies added three more runs in the sixth and Lee took care of the rest.

The Phillies lead the best-of-five series 1-0. Is Game Two a “must win” for the Rockies? No, I don’t think so. It will make things difficult, but it is not a must win.

Even if the Rockies lose tomorrow, they can still win both games in Colorado, and then in Game Five anything can happen.

Game Two is tomorrow at 2:37 ET.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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