NLDS Game 1: Cliff Lee's Complete Game Leads Phillies to 5-1 Win Over Rockies

The National League Wild Card Rockies head to Philly to take on the World Series champs in the NLDS. It's Rocktober! Get it? Cause Rockies + October ... nevermind.

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Cliff Lee Loses Shut-Out, But Still Gets Complete Game Win

At least the Rockies didn’t get shut out in Game 1.

Colorado strung together a pair of doubles in the 9th to spoil Cliff Lee’s complete game shutout, but the Phillies come away with what matters: the victory. Lee gave up six hits and one run over nine innings in his first playoff game.

The Phillies scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth innings, all five of them counting against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez. From there, a group of four Colorado relievers were able to keep the Phillies scoreless, but the Rockies’ offense was unable to do anything against Lee.

Game 2 is tomorrow in Philly at the same time — 2:37 ET.

Stay tuned to Phillies blog The Good Phight and Rockies blog Purple Row for post-game reactions and analysis.


So, Starting Cliff Lee in Game 1 Was Probably the Right Decision

Cliff Lee’s numbers through eight innings: 4 hits, 0 walks, 4 K's, 96 pitches, 0 runs. Other than the first inning, he’s been absolutely dominant today. So much for those late-season struggles.

You know what they should do now? Bring in Brad Lidge to SHUT THE DOOR.


Umpires Continue to Put on a Fine 'How Not To' Clinic

Hey, it’s still preseason for the umpires, too. Wait, what’s that? It’s actually the postseason. Well, huh, I’m not sure what’s going on then. I guess maybe the first base ump just wanted to get in on the act.

After horribly blown calls by the third and second base umps earlier, the first base umpire just called Rollins out on this play:


That resulted in the third out of the sixth inning, and cost the Phillies a run that crossed the plate just as the wrong call was being made at first.

But hey, no need to be greedy, Phillies: You had already scored five runs in that inning. How many do you need?!


Sorry, Make That Five Earned Runs for Jimenez: Phillies 5, Rockies 0

After replacing Jimenez, Joe Beimel promptly gave up a hit to Ibanez, allowing Werth — who Jimenez was responsible for — to score from third. It’s now 5-0, Phillies.


Phillies Knock Jimenez Out of the Game, Take 4-0 Lead

It seems that Jimenez only had four good innings in him against the potent Phillies line-up.

After scoring two in the fifth, the Phillies have tallied two more in the sixth and knocked Jimenez out of the game. The runs came thanks to a deep drive to left field by Ryan Howard, scoring Chase Utley, which was followed by a triple off the top of the wall to center field by Werth.

Jimenez 's final stat line: 92 pitches, 56 strikes, 4 runs, 9 hits, 4 K’s, 5 innings.


We Have Runs! Phillies Strike First, Take 2-0 Lead in Fifth Inning

After rolling through the first four innings, Jimenez struggled a bit in the fifth.

He walked Werth to start the inning, then gave up a double down the line to Ibanez after falling behind in the count. Werth scored easily from first, giving the Phillies their first lead of the playoffs.

Jimenez wasn’t out of the woods yet. He recorded one out, before giving up an RBI double to Ruiz, scoring Ibanez.

It’s now 2-0, Phillies, after five innings.


Rockies Get Hosed By the Ump on Awful Call, Part 2

Cliff Lee, who is apparently a six-tool player, single sharply to center. Then he stole second base. Then he was clearly picked off. But once again, the umpire called it in favor of the Phillies.

It’s hard to see from this still shot, but the replay showed that Tulo tagged him on his front leg (as seen here) and his back leg before Lee reached the base.


Despite the umpires, the Rockies are keeping pace with the game still tied 0-0 in the top of the 4th.


Rockies Get Hosed By the Ump on Awful Call at Third

Torrealba led off the second with a double for the Rockies. Hawpe then flew out to shallow center. The next batter was Barmes, who hit one moderately deep to Jason Werth in right. Torrealba tagged, made it into third with relative ease to get a man 90-feet away with one out.

Well, that’s what actually happened. But not what the third base umpire called. The visual evidence:



Cliff Lee Stuggles; Ubaldo Jimenez Rolls in First: Rockies 0, Phillies 0

The Rockies managed a couple singles off Cliff Lee in the top of the first, with a Ryan Howard throwing error mixed in to pose a threat, but they ultimately came out with no runs.

In the bottom half, Ubaldo Jimenez mowed down the Phillies in order, with his fastball topping out at 100 mph.

Also, the wind is as wicked as advertised. Expect it to make someone look silly today on a pop fly.


Bon Jovi, TBS Back Together to Melt Your Face Off

Once again, Bon Jovi is the house band for TBS’s postseason coverage. I would be upset about this, until I realized it’s approximately 17% less annoying than ESPN’s Kenny Chesney and DMB combo. Which is to say, hearing Bon Jovi all October will only make me want to gouge one eyeball out, instead of both.


Forecast For Rockies-Phillies Game: Windy

If ever Ryan Howard was going to hit a 600-foot home run, today would be the day. Philadelphia is currently under a wind advisory until midnight tonight, with speeds sustained at 25-30 mph, and gusts around 45 mph.

David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News is on the scene, and gives his take as amateur meteorologist

A scene from my walk into the ballpark this morning that should tell you all you need to know about how hard the wind is blowing here: In the distance, a gentleman has a baseball cap pulled low over his face when suddenly a gust not only blows it off of his head, but sends it airborne skimming across the ground where, 50 yards away, a good samaritan fields it like a ground ball. The wind isn't just blowing hard - there is some Wizard of Oz stuff going on at the ballpark today. The flags in centerfield are blowing straight toward the right field foul pole. Charlie Manuel realized it when he walked out of his house this morning and saw a big tree limb down on his street.

"It got my attention right when I walked out of my house this morning," Manuel said. "I've been down in the dugout. I walked around the field. When the wind blows as hard as it was this morning, it definitely can affect the ball, of course."

The Phillies and Rockies both have some heavy-duty left-handed hitters, so it will be interesting to see how the wind affects the way the ball carries to right field.

The 2008 Championship Pennant is wrapped around the flag pole right now.

No, I will not make any Windy City jokes involving Chicago and/or the Cubs. Carry on.


Cole Hamels: 'Day Games are No Fun'

Okay, so he didn’t really say that. But he does make a good point. Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News:

But in being the defending world champs, I think it’s kind of a little weird that we kind of get both games at 2 o’clock. I don’t think it’s fair. I defenitely don’t think it’s fair for the fans, because this is all about the home-field advantage or just baseball in general.

I understand TV ratings, but I think at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they’re most comfortable, and that’s kind of what we’ve trained at, either 1 o’clock or 7 o’clock, and I think that’s more fair for us than really the TV ratings…

Ah, how far we’ve come since the days of yore, when night games were considered sacrilege. Still, it’s 2009, and last time I checked, fans have “jobs” and “school,” and players have “naps,” all of which are neatly scheduled for 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Why must television ruin our routines?


NLDS: Rockies vs. Phillies, Game 1 at 2:37 ET Today

The Wild Card Rockies travel to Philly today for the first game of the '09 MLB Playoffs, and Game 1 of this NLDS. If you're a Phillies fan, you can join in over at The Good Phight. Or, if the Rockies are more your style, head over to Purple Row.

Your line-ups for today's game:


Fowler CF
Gonzalez LF
Helton 1B
Tulowitzki SS
Atkins 3B
Torrealba C
Hawpe RF
Barmes 2B
Jimenez P


Rollins SS
Victorino CF
Utley 2B
Howard 1B
Werth RF
Ibanez LF
Feliz 3B
Ruiz C
Lee p

Pitchers: Cliff Lee vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

Some series preview links to whet thy appetite:

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