By CB360 Editor Sean Stires
On a rainy night when the New York Yankees’ big man was supposed to start the Bronx Bombers on their way to
their first championship in nine years, it was a former college pitcher that stole the show in game one of the 2009 World Series.
Former Arkansas standout, Cliff Lee, struckout 10 with no walks in a complete game 6-1 win to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the series. Lee’s former Cleveland Indians teammate, C.C. Sabathia was touched for two runs in 7.0 IP and suffered the loss. Both runs were courtesy of a pair of home runs by Chase Utley-who starred in college at UCLA.
“I really never have been nervous in the big leagues”, Lee told Fox after the game when asked about nerves facing the vaunted Yankee line-up in his first World Series start. “Workin’ ahead, mixin’ speeds and stayin’ out of the heart of the plate”, is what Lee said was the key to
keeping New York in check all night.
“It’s a tough line-up to pitch to. If you make them keep it in the yard you’re doin’ pretty good”, he added. Lee’s ten strikeouts were one away from his career-high. He threw 80 of his 122 pitches for strikes. Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez accounted for three of Lee’s ten punch-outs.
Another Philladelphia former college player, Ryan Howard (Southwest Missouri State), had a pair of doubles with an RBI in the game one victory.