Thursday, October 8, 2009

Playoff Reflections: ALDS & NLDS, Wednesday

Phillies vs. Rockies: The Philadelphia Phillies opened up the 2009 playoffs by defeating the Colorado Rockies, 5-1, in the first contest of a five-game series. Starter Cliff Lee of Philadelphia showed why he was the big fish traded for at the trade deadline as he pitched a complete game, going nine innings and gave up a run off a Troy Tulowitski RBI-single in the ninth inning. Overall, Lee struck out five and had no walks. Amazingly, this was his first playoff starter, as he was left off the 2007 Cleveland Indians playoff roster.

Philadelphia's high octane offense did the work and gave Lee an assist as they scored twice in the fifth inning, and scored three times in the sixth to decide things. Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez who started the game, rolled through the first four innings, and matched Lee pitch for pitch; however, the Phillies jumped on him and sent him to the showers in the sixth inning. Jimenez only lasted five innings, and took the loss, giving up nine hits, but struck out five and walked one.

Philadelphia's Raul Ibanez drove in two, and Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth along with Carlos Ruiz drove in a run each on Wednesday.

Twins vs. Yankees: The expectations for the Yankees are huge in 2009, thanks to their outrageous payroll and their free agent acquisitions; however, on Wednesday, their march to a 27th championship started off in splendid fashion as they defeated the upstart Minnesota Twins, 7-2.

The Twins, a day after their amazing win over the Tigers to take the AL Central, perhaps looked a little fatigued. For the Yankees, C.C. Sabathia -- he, of the largest contract ever given to a pitcher -- put aside some of his postseason failures, as he came through huge going 6 2/3 strong innings, giving up eight hits, two runs, and striking out eight. The Yankees used their bullpen -- four pitchers in total, including Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera to take the first game of the series.

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