Aside from Utley, Phils shut down
Sabathia holds rest of lineup to a 2-for-23 effort
NEW YORK -- Chase Utley and Cliff Lee stole the show against CC Sabathia in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night at a damp and cold Yankee Stadium, which was a good thing. The big Yankees left-hander had his way with the rest of the Phillies' lineup.
While Utley hit a pair of homers in the third and sixth innings, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead on the way to their 6-1 victory, the non-Utley's were 2-for-23 against Sabathia, who took his first loss of this postseason against three victories."I don't know what he was doing against the rest of us, but against me he was just mixing up his pitches," said Phils slugger Ryan Howard, who whiffed swinging against Sabathia after each of Utley's homers. "Utley had some incredible at-bats against him. We were lucky, I guess." "He's a great pitcher," added Raul Ibanez, the designated hitter, who was 0-for-3 against Sabathia with two strikeouts. "You can't take anything for granted against him." It was the great anomaly of a ballgame in which two former Indians teammates locked horns in the first World Series appearances for both pitchers. Lee pitched the first World Series complete game since Josh Beckett, then of the Marlins, shut down the Yanks to win the 2003 Series in six games. Like Andy Pettitte that night across 161st Street at the old stadium, Sabathia was good, but just not good enough. Pettitte threw seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. Sabathia pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits. Beckett threw a five-hit, 2-0 gem. Lee threw a six-hitter, allowing one unearned run. Becket walked two. Lee walked none. Beckett struck out nine. Lee whiffed 10.
"[Lee] was great tonight. He kept us off-balance," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "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 was really good. I thought CC grinded it out and made the two mistakes to Utley, but that was it."Between the two Utley homers, Sabathia retired eight Phillies in a row. He struggled early, walking a pair in the first inning when Philadelphia loaded the bases with two out, but to no avail. After Utley's typical third-inning Yankee Stadium homer popped into the front of the right-field seats, Sabathia hit a groove and struck out three in a row. After Utley crushed his sixth inning blast into the rear of the right-center-field bleachers, Sabathia whiffed two of the next three hitters. "He got some balls in the middle of the plate to Utley, and Utley made him pay," Girardi said. "He made his pitches after that. Sometimes when you make mistakes, you get away with them, and sometimes you don't." The other two Phils' hits against Sabathia were Howard's first-inning double and Jason Werth's sixth-inning single. Otherwise, Sabathia walked three. "Three walks. I was behind everybody," said Sabathia the MVP of his club's six-game victory in the American League Championship Series for winning twice against the Angels. "I wish I could stand here and say it was just two pitches, but I was behind pretty much the whole game. I was able to battle back and make some pitches when I needed to, but that's not at all how I've been pitching in the postseason."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.