x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Phillies' Lee silences Yankee faithful

The first World Series game played at the new Yankee Stadium turns into a sombre affair by the Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee.

Cliff Lee was in fine form by mixing up his pitches and keeping the Yankee hitters honest in Game One.
Cliff Lee was in fine form by mixing up his pitches and keeping the Yankee hitters honest in Game One.

NEW YORK // The first World Series game played at the new Yankee Stadium was turned into a sombre affair by the Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. Lee gave the crowd of 50,207 little to cheer about while leading the 2008 World Series champions to a 6-1 victory over the New York Yankees in the first game of the 2009 Fall Classic. On a chilly night with a consistent drizzle, the powerful Yankee hitters were kept off-balance by Lee's ability to mix his fastball with an array of off-speed pitches.

"That was the key," said Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz. "If you're the pitcher, you've got to mix it up. He did it very good. His curve and change-up was great all night." Lee, a midseason acquisition by the Phillies, struck out 10 while giving up only six hits and an unearned run in the ninth. By that time, most of the fans had headed for the exits. "Winning Game One is huge," said Lee, who won the 2008 Cy Young Award with the Cleveland Indians.

"You want to get off to a good start. It's a seven-game series, getting that first one out of the way is big for us. "At worst we can split here in New York and go back home and really have the home field advantage." Thursday's Game Two has turned into a crucial test for the Yankees, who do not want to head to Philadelphia for the next three games in an 0-2 hole. New York manager Joe Girardi praised Lee for keeping the Yankees guessing.

"He was great," said Girardi. "He kept us off balance. "He got us to chase some pitches when we were down in the count, up in the zone. He used his cutter very well, he used his curveball really well. "He's pitching extremely well. But one thing is he can't pitch every day." Phillies reliever Brad Lidge said he enjoyed watching Lee from the bullpen. "It's pretty amazing what he did tonight, but he's been doing it all postseason," he said. "He can pinpoint his change-up. His cutter. His curveball.

"I don't even have close to that kind of control. I don't know a whole lot of guys in the game that do. It's fun to watch a guy when he's on the top of his game." * Reuters