I’m not sure what the opposite of invincible is, but Cliff Lee was it last night.
Lee got roughed up in Game 1 of the World Series, giving up seven runs in 4.2 innings. He was even spotted a 2-0 lead by the second inning, but couldn’t keep the Giants down last night. The Giants seemingly doubled their postseason run total in one game, putting 11 runs on the board.
Lee showed signs of being the same, previously unbeaten in the postseason pitcher he has been so far this October, but at times he looked like a regular, average left-hander. He left a lot of fastballs up in the zone, and he doesn’t have overpowering velocity. As Dan Patrick said on his radio show this morning, a lot of people, myself included, had penciled in the Rangers for a win in Game 1. Check that, we had penned that in.
Freddy Sanchez led the way for the Giants, knocking three doubles in the game, all of them off of Cliff Lee. After the game, I think he showed his surprise: “You never think you’re going to have success against a pitcher like that,” Sanchez said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game, been unhittable in the postseason.”
You may never think you’re going to have success, but the Giants went up there looking to hit. They didn’t want to let Cliff Lee beat them. If they were going to lose, they were going to put the ball in play.
The consensus in the Rangers clubhouse was that Lee just didn’t have the control he normally does. “We left some pitches in spots we didn’t want,” manager Ron Washington said.
“I was up. I was down. I was in. I was out. I was trying to find it, and I was never really consistent with what I was doing,” Lee said after the game.
If Lee is the guy who’s supposed to pound the strike zone, then tonight’s starter CJ Wilson is the antithesis. Wilson will try to get Giants hitters to chase balls out of the zone. If the Giants are patient, then they could take a 2-0 series lead to Arlington. This is a must-win for the Rangers, in my opinion.