CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Phillies look like champs in opener win

Phillies look like champs in opener win

NEW YORK -- They made it look easy.

The defending champion Phillies hopped an easy Amtrak train from Philadelphia to New York and quickly jumped on the Yankees with a 6-1 victory to start the 105th World Series.

More

Cliff Lee looked like he owned Yankee Stadium, putting a signature stamp on his wondrous night with three defensive plays over three consecutive innings.

There was his nonchalant catch of a Johnny Damon popup in the sixth, the comebacker to the right side where instead of throwing to first he put a tag on Jorge Posada's rear, and then that behind-the-back catch of a Robinson Cano smash in the eighth.

Chase Utley hit a pair of solo home runs to right off Yankees ace CC Sabathia. It should be noted that Sabathia is really good and never had given up a homer to a left-handed batter in the new ballpark.

Jimmy Rollins was so "on" that he was even able to try to short-hop a fifth-inning liner off Cano's bat instead of actually catching it -- and then still completing a 6-3 double play after realizing he had in fact caught it.

The Phillies never even had to slide into home. They barely had to get a single uniform dirty.

They came here and beat a team that had not lost at home in this postseason. They quickly quieted the crowd and never really let the fans back into it.

"The fans were pretty rowdy early on in the game," Utley said, "and during the end of the game, I noticed some people left. It was a little bit quieter."

That is the image you are left with after one game of this Fall Classic. It is a best-of-seven series, though, and now the question will be how Pedro Martinez -- knows the Yankees well from his Red Sox days -- fares in this setting against A.J. Burnett and the Bombers.

Game 2 is at 7:57 p.m. ET (FOX) at Yankee Stadium. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys will perform a pregame rendition of his "Empire State of Mind," followed by John Legend's national anthem, and the house will be rocking.

GRABBING THE REINS
The winner of Game 1 of the World Series has won six straight Fall Classics, 11 of the last 12 and 12 of 14 in the Wild Card era.
Year Game 1 winner World Champions
2009 Phillies TBD
2008 Phillies Phillies in 5
2007 Red Sox Red Sox in 4
2006 Cardinals Cardinals in 5
2005 White Sox White Sox in 4
2004 Red Sox Red Sox in 4
2003 Marlins Marlins in 6
2002 Giants Angels in 7
2001 Diamondbacks Diamondbacks in 7
2000 Yankees Yankees in 5
1999 Yankees Yankees in 4
1998 Yankees Yankees in 4
1997 Marlins Marlins in 7
1996 Braves Yankees in 6
1995 Braves Braves in 6

The question is whether Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees will make it loud.

"As far as being frustrated, our guys will grind it out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, when asked if his hitters were frustrated by Lee. "I'm not concerned about that."

"That's just one win, and that's why you play seven," Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino said. "They're professionals over there. They're a good team. They didn't have the best record for nothing. It's a win and we've got three more to go."

Game 1 might have seemed shocking to many, because the Yankees posted the best record in Major League Baseball this season and opened with the home-field advantage.

But this is not an underdog. The road goes through the reigning champs. This is a Phillies team thinking parade again -- or more accurately, thinking only of the moment and the next pitch. It just yanked away the Yankees' home-field advantage, earned through the American League's All-Star triumph, and countless fans in the City of Brotherly Love are happy to note that the winners of the first game have won the past six World Series. That streak began when the 2003 Marlins opened on top at Yankee Stadium on their way to the title.

"This team didn't win 100 games being desperate," Ryan Howard said of the Yankees. "They're professional. They're not here by accident."

The World Series is under way. It might be the first seven-game Fall Classic since 2002, finishing on Nov. 5, later than any in history. It might be a sweep. Who knows?

The drama has started. Everyone is watching.

For the Phillies, it was like one giant behind-the-back catch.

They made it look easy.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Less