10/07/09 6:48 PM EST
Phillies Short Hops: Game 1
Lee's gem, timely hitting spark defending champions
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com
In < 25 words ...
Cliff Lee was phenomenal in his first career postseason start, and Philadelphia scored five runs in the middle innings to claim Game 1.
Raul Ibanez hit just .228 after June 2. But nine years after his last postseason appearance, he delivered the game-changing blow Wednesday. In the fifth, the Phillies were scraping for their first run against a dominant Ubaldo Jimenez when Ibanez laced a 3-1 changeup down the first-base line for an RBI double. The Citizens Bank Park crowd erupted and the Phillies never looked back, chasing Jimenez one inning -- and four runs -- later. Big number
16 -- Consecutive batters retired by Lee. After Yorvit Torrealba doubled in the second, Lee did not allow another baserunner until Garrett Atkins doubled with two outs in the seventh.
Lee made life easy for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who did not have to maneuver through an unsettled bullpen. Instead, Lee went the distance, allowing just six baserunners and striking out five.
Werth worked a leadoff walk to set the stage for Ibanez's go-ahead single. He also singled in the second inning and, in the fifth, launched a high fly ball to center that fell for a triple. And for good measure, he recorded an outfield assist, nailing Yorvit Torrealba at third base.
After breaking the scoreless tie in the fifth, Ibanez picked up his second RBI with a single to right in the fifth. He is now a career .417 (5-for-12) hitter in Division Series play.
Sense of October
Geoff Jenkins, who is now out of baseball, threw out one of two ceremonial first pitches as the Phillies try to channel the magic from their 2008 World Series run.
3 AB, 2 H, 3B, RBI, 2R
Comment: Werth, who hit .309 during last year's postseason, was in the middle of both big Phillies innings.
9 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 Ks
Comment: Lee breezed through the Rockies' lineup, tossing 113 pitches. It was his third complete game -- and nearly his third shutout -- since joining the Phillies in July. Lee also singled and became the first pitcher in Phillies postseason history to record a stolen base.
"The crowd got pretty fired up, so I took a little second to look around and soak it all in." -- Lee, on the ninth inning of his first postseason appearance
For Game 2, the Phillies hand the ball to Cole Hamels, the MVP of the 2008 NLCS and World Series. The left-hander had a tough regular season, but with another postseason gem, Hamels could deliver a 2-0 series lead.
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.