Giants climb Cliff to take Game 1 of series

Wednesday the Giants gave Cliff Lee his first career postseason loss. San Francisco chased Lee in the fifth inning racking up eight hits and seven runs (six earned). Lee entered the game with the third best postseason ERA in MLB history at 1.26. After Wednesday's start, that ERA is now 1.96, good for 18th all-time.

Cliff Lee


Cliff Lee, normally extremely efficient, threw 104 pitches in 4⅔ IP. That's tied for the second-most pitches in ANY postseason start with less than five IP since 2000 (farthest back for accurate pitch data). Jason Schmidt of the Giants also threw 104 pitches in 4⅔ IP in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series.

Here’s how the Giants got to Lee:

• Opponents entered Wednesday 3-28 against Lee's cutter in the postseason; the Giants were 3-10 on Wednesday, with all of the hits going for doubles. The difference was Lee threw more cutters than usual in the strike zone, especially on outside pitches. Fifteen of Lee's 18 (83.3 pct) outside cutters were in the strike zone, and the Giants doubled off two of them. In the first three games of the postseason, 60.0 pct of Lee's outside cutters were in the strike zone, and opponents had just one hit on them.

Opponents vs Cliff Lee
On Outside Pitches This Postseason

• The Giants did damage against all of Lee's outside pitches. Lee had made a living on the outside corner in the postseason, but the Giants made him pay in Game 1. Lee had allowed five hits on outside pitches in the ALDS and ALCS; the Giants had six hits on outside pitches in Game 1. Four of the six hits were on line drives or fly balls, as the Giants were able to elevate Lee's outside pitches.

Lee also didn’t get a lot of help from his defense as the Rangers committed four errors (though not all while Lee was in the game).

FROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: The Rangers are the ninth team to commit four or more errors in a World Series game and the first since the 2004 Boston Red Sox did it in back-to-back games.

Although Juan Uribe hit a big three-run HR off of Darren O’Day immediately after Cliff Lee was taken out of the game, it was second baseman Freddy Sanchez who gave Rangers pitching the most trouble. Sanchez doubled in each of his first three at-bats and later added a single.

Freddy Sanchez tied a Giants record with 4 hits in a World Series game. It has been done 8 times previously. The last 4 times it was done before Sanchez were by Hall-of-Famers Ross Youngs (1923), Fred Lindstrom (1924), Mel Ott (1933) and Monte Irvin (1951).

Freddy Sanchez

SanchezFROM THE ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU: Freddy Sanchez had three doubles off Cliff Lee, equaling the number of extra-base hits Lee had allowed over his previous three starts this postseason. Only three players have had three extra-base hits off Lee in a regular-season game (and no one else has done it in the postseason): Adrian Gonzalez this season, Alberto Gonzalez in 2009 and Mark Teahen in 2006.