Phillies 2009 World Series Flashback: The Cliff Lee Game

MLB: OCT 28 World Series – Game 1 – Phillies at Yankees
October 28, 2009: Pitcher Cliff Lee (34) of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during Game 1 of the World Series against the New York Yankees on October 28, 2009 at the new Yankee Stadium in New York, New York.

The last time we saw the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series, it was in defeat to the New York Yankees. The 2009 Phils were looking to become the first team since the 1999-2000 Yankees to repeat as World Series champions. The Phillies may have lost the series 4-2 to Joe Girardi and the Yanks but that didn’t stop Philadelphia’s ace, Cliff Lee, from dominating a powerful Yankees lineup. Let’s look back on one of the best in-season pickups in Phillies history as we review Cliff Lee’s dominant 2009 World Series.

Bringing in an Ace

Cliff Lee was brought to Philly to help the Phils win another championship. Lee was acquired by the Phillies in a deal with the Cleveland Indians on June 27th, 2009.

Cliff would be joined by outfielder Ben Francisco as the Indians would receive starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, alongside catcher Lou Marson, and utility man Jason Donald. The veteran lefty would pair with Cole Hamels to form a dynamic 1-2 punch in the rotation.

The Cliff Lee Game

Cliff Lee was given the ball in Game 1 and was told to deliver a victory. Lee came through on that promise.

A dominant outing completely left the Yankees’ lineup puzzled and out in the October cold. The final stat line from the game included 9 innings pitched, 1 run allowed, and 10 strikeouts in the complete-game shutout.

Aside from his memorable performance, there were some flashy defensive plays that are still talked about to this day. Cliff showed that the moment wasn’t too big for him and his calm demeanor shined on the mound.

Phillies Then Fall off a… Cliff

After winning Game 1, the Phillies would lose the next three games to the Yankees. Down 3-1 with their season on the line, Cliff Lee would step back out on the mound.

While his performance did not match that of Game 1, Lee and the red pinstripes would take Game 5 and bring the series back to 3-2. This would be the last time Cliff would pitch in the series as history reminds us that Yankees would win in Game 6 to close out the World Series.

Despite not winning the ring, Cliff Lee gave us a performance to remember. Once the Phillies return to the World Series, this game will be the bar that has been set. Whether it be Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Mick Abel, or a future Phillies ace, it will be an impressive feat to match what Cliff Lee did in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series.

Photo By: SportsAge/Icon Sportswire