TALKIN’ BASEBALL: World Series, Game #1, CC vs. Lee.

Match-up of aces.

Match-up of aces.

Following tradition, the Yankees and Phillies will play their aces in Game 1 of the World Series tonight at Yankee Stadium with Cliff Lee going against CC Sabathia in a match-up of former Cleveland teammates and the last two AL Cy Young Award winners.

Game 1 sets the tone for the World Series, which is why both managers are going with their best tonight. You always throw your ace first because holding him back for Game 2 is a tacit admission their ace is better. You also throw your ace first because that gives you a chance to use him three times, with the last time on three days rest.

LEE: Phillies' Game 1 starter.

LEE: Phillies' Game 1 starter.


For example, should Charlie Manuel have held Lee back in anticipation of Sabathia winning Game 1, and then have him get lit up in Game 2, then the Phillies would have been in a huge hole even with the Series heading back to Philadelphia.

“This matchup couldn’t have been better,” said Manuel. “This is a big, premier game. I’m looking forward to it.”

This could be a special World Series featuring the two aces – a combined 5-0 this postseason by Lee and Sabathia – and two potent offenses.

“We’re going to see a lot of runs,” said Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.

In Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez, the Phillies have four players with at least 30 homers. Meanwhile, the Yankees had seven players with at least 20.

There are so many players from either team who could find themselves on fate’s doorstep as possible heroes. Derek Jeter, for example, owns this time of year. With the game on the line, I’d want him at the plate as much as anybody when all I need is a single or sacrifice fly.

Would anybody be surprised if this went seven?

39 thoughts on “TALKIN’ BASEBALL: World Series, Game #1, CC vs. Lee.

  1. I wonder how they are feeling in Cleveland tonight, watching their two former Cy Young Award winners working elsewhere because the Indians didn’t want to pay them.-JD

  2. Sorry — I have to disagree with that logic about tacit admissions and having Lee getting lit up in Game Two.

    By throwing Lee against CC, Manuel runs the risk in losing in four. Indeed, the pressure swings away from Lee and onto his other pitchers. Moreover, this isn’t foreign territory: In big series, Davey Johnson would often throw Darling in the first game and then follow up with Gooden in Game Two.

    As for whether Lee gets lit up in Game Two, why would that be more likely than getting lit up in Game One? How and why are the Phils better situated by having Lee throw Game One, rather than Game Two? If you think there’s a decent chance CC is going to win in Game One, then Game Two becomes all the more valuable — does Pedro give them a better chance in Game Two than Lee would?

  3. you throw ur ace vs. their ace. bad karma to do otherwise. the manager would say to his team we suck. we are going to lose.

    now go out and get em.

    mixed msgs are not good.

    you go at them with everything. just because cc is huge doesnt mean he cant lose.

  4. Tiffany (7): I know what you’re saying, but the winner of Game 1 usually goes onto win the Series, so you need to go with your best. By not starting your best, you’re sending a message you think you can’t win Game 1.-JD

  5. But if you lose with Lee on the mound against CC, then you’re dependent on Pedro to get you even in an all-important Game Two. It seems to me that you have win one of the first two in the Bronx: Do you have a better chance with Lee against CC or with Lee against Burnett?

    I know Hamels is having something of an off-year, but hasn’t he been the ace of the staff? I’d have thrown Hamels in Game One and Lee in Game Two. If Hamels lost Game One to CC, I’d put the pressure on Lee to win Game Two. I’d hate to think that the Phils might lose Game One (and waste Lee in the process), to put that must-win pressure on Pedro.

  6. Tiffany (12): Yeah, but if you don’t start Lee, you’re sending the message you don’t think you can beat Sabathia. … That’s negative thinking. … The Phillies wanted to start Hamels at home because he’s had problems on the road.-JD

  7. Yeah, well, for all the macho posturing about negative thinking and sending messages, Lee better beat CC or it suddenly falls on Pedro’s shoulders. Me, I’d rather put the pressure on Lee to win Game Two against Burnett than Game One against CC.

  8. John (16) I thought MLB appointed only veteran umpires for this game so that there wouldn’t be any problems here.

  9. John (20) Yes they did, I hate to even think of questionable calls in a World Series.

  10. John (19) we are getting the serious, close game I predicted early on here. Just as it should be. OOps Utley hits another one out.

  11. SIXTH INNING: Sabathia keeping the damage to a minimum because he’s not walking anybody. …. Two runs, even with Lee, probably won’t be enough.-JD

  12. John (23) both pitchers are really doing their jobs – I know most fans want to see high scoring games, but a pitcher’s duel is a better game, for me anyway.

  13. John (25) Can’t wait to see Pedro tomorrow – did you see any of his news conference?

    FYI – His legal US residence is still that lovely house in Greenwich with all the gardens.

  14. EIGHTH INNING: Yankees’ pen has been dicey at times. Sabathia is gone. Here’s a chance to maybe put things away because the Yankees have a penchant for comebacks this season.-JD

  15. John (27) I’m with you on the Kate Smith tape. I think Ronan may be banished for a while…

  16. EIGHTH INNING: Three walks in the inning and the Phillies haven’t been able to push a run across. This could be a huge part of this game if the Phillies don’t break it open.-JD

  17. John (30) They just did – it’s 4-0 now. Reminds me that in Tony Paige’s WS poll, Girardi was named the ‘goat’ 11 times.

  18. John (32) not sure but those 11 people apparently blame him for the bull pen pitchers performances – I guess.

  19. The opening game of the 2009 World Series started out as a pitcher’s duel between Yankee CC Sabathia, and Cliff Lee who eventually pitched a complete game and led the Phillies to a six to one win in an off and on drizzle.

    Tomorrow’s game:AJ Burnett and Pedro Martinez @ 7:30PM on FOX.

    See you then.

  20. Complete game, no walks, 10 strikeouts. That is pretty impressive. I’m starting to think that You Gotta B… heh, um, (cough)… I mean, I’m starting to think that the Yankees aren’t the favorites everybody thought they were. If Pedro can shut them down again tomorrow, this could be over a lot sooner than 7.

  21. I was at a debate in town where everybody opened by saying “Thank you for coming out on such a rainy night and missing the start of the World Series” and they were all Yankee fans. Then I came home and was watching Mythbusters with my wife and son and didn’t even remember there was a game on until the 8th inning. But don’t get me wrong: I am Really Mildly Interested in this Series!

  22. Watching the game last night made me think that if the other, lesser, Manuel was managing last night, then Utley would have probably been sat because the lesser Manuel wouldhave decided he couldn’t hit a lefty like CC the great.
    The other thought was that watching the Philly team the Mets front office better come to the conclusion that injuries or no, the ’09 NYmets wouldn’t come close to the talent of the Phillies.
    And did anyone notice how relaxed the greater Manuel was right from the start and his attitude reflected all theru the team, just as the lesser Manuel’s hideous attitude is reflected all thru the Mets team.