Phillies Tab Cliff Lee for Game 1 Start Against Rockies


October 6, 2009

Phillies Tab Cliff Lee for Game 1 Start Against Rockies PHILADELPHIA — Cliff Lee will
start Game 1 of the NL division series for the Philadelphia Phillies
against Colorado on Wednesday.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner
got the nod over Cole Hamels, who was MVP of the World Series and NLCS
last year. Hamels will start Game 2. If the series goes five games,
manager Charlie Manuel will have his choice between the two

The decision wasn't a surprise. Lee
pitched against Houston last Thursday and will take the mound on five
days' rest. Hamels would've had to come back on three days' rest after
tossing 47 pitches in three innings against Florida on Saturday.

"We've got two top-notch pitchers going the first two games of this series," Manuel said.

Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ or Pedro
could take the mound in Game 3. Blanton and Happ will be
available to help an injury-depleted bullpen in the first two games.

Lee was 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12
starts after the Phillies acquired him from Cleveland on July 29.
However, he was shaky after an excellent start in Philadelphia. Lee was
2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his last seven starts after going 5-0 with a
0.68 ERA in his first five. Overall, Lee was 14-13 with a 3.22 ERA in a
career-high 231 innings this season.

"He's a tempo pitcher," Manuel said.
"When he's really going good, he gets the ball and throws it. He's
aggressive. His command is a big part of everything he does. When he's
been real good, he throws all three of his pitches and uses both sides
of the plate."

Hamels struggled all year, hardly
pitching like the dominant ace who went 4-0 last October. Hamels was
10-11 with a 4.32 ERA this season.

"When it really got down to it, did
we want to bring him back on short rest or keep him on his routine?"
Manuel said. "I think he's one of the top pitchers in baseball. Cole
Hamels can pitch any game for me that he wants. If it gets down to five
games, we have a pretty good decision between him and Lee."

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