Prediction: 7-4 Philadelphia
Result: 5-1 Philadelphia
Eh, Close enough. The Phillies looked pretty darn good in their first win of the first game of the 2009 playoffs. It wasn't the 9 innings of six hit, one run baseball of Cliff Lee that impressed me the most today (I'm not saying it didn't impress me though). It was the fact that the Phillies scored five runs today without the benefit of a homerun. All year the Phillies have had trouble hitting with runners in scoring position, but not on this day. The fact that the Phils found out how to hit in the clutch and simply manufacture runs with a stolen base or an extra base hit is what was really impressive. Now to the second most impressive part of Game 1, Cliff Lee.
Lee struggled early in the game and gave most everyone in the record attendance of Citizens Bank Park, as well as myself, a little scare. But after the first few innings, Cliff Lee went on to retire 16 in a row en route to a one run complete game. Not only did he pitch a gem, he chipped in at the plate as well, getting a base hit as well as a sacrifice bunt. He also set a Phillies record as the first Phillies pitcher ever to steal a base in the postseason.
I was extremely satisfied with the game today and look forward to seeing what Cole Hamels has to show us on Thursday. He should want to show everyone that he still is the Cole who won the NLCS and World Series MVPs and that he has the stuff to take the Phillies far into the postseason. Hopefully Lee's performance gives Hamels a little motivation and something to try to top. Good luck tomorrow Phils!
Game 2 Prediction: TBD