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Old friends face off on the mound

Philadelphia's Cliff Lee and New York's CC Sabathia were a strong one-two punch while with the Cleveland Indians.

October 28, 2009|Wire Reports

The first time they met was seven years ago. Cliff Lee was a September call-up with a cocksure attitude, and his new teammate was immediately impressed.

"He was the Cliff that he is now. He went out and pounded both sides of the plate, attacking, real aggressive in the strike zone," CC Sabathia said. "He goes right after you."

Lee lost his major league debut that day for Cleveland, despite pitching well against Minnesota. The two pitchers soon struck up a friendship, however, and it's still going strong.

Now, the left-handed aces are set to square off in the World Series opener tonight. Both traded by the Indians within the last two years, Lee will start for the Philadelphia Phillies against Sabathia and the New York Yankees.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Sabathia said.

Teammates only 16 months ago, Lee and Sabathia have more in common than their Cleveland history and potent left arms.

Their families are friendly, and they still text each other often.

"I think we made each other better," Lee said. "We helped each other out as far as how we thought we should approach certain teams and just what's the best frame of mind to have on the mound and stuff."

Sabathia won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award with the Indians, then Lee took home the trophy last year.

They've both been dominant throughout this postseason, leading their new teams onto baseball's biggest stage. And they've already faced each other in a similar setting.

Lee pitched the Indians to a 10-2 victory on April 16 in the first game at the new Yankee Stadium. Sabathia started for New York but did not get a decision.

Martinez to start Game 2

The Phillies tabbed Pedro Martinez as their starting pitcher for Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night, with Cole Hamels the starter for Game 3, according to

The right-handed Martinez is a former longtime pitcher in the American League who has had plenty of experience pitching against the Yankees in the old Yankee Stadium.

The left-handed Hamels will pitch Game 3 on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. Hamels, last year's World Series most valuable player, has had a mediocre year in the regular season and playoffs.

Myers replaces Cairo on roster

Right-handed reliever Brett Myers has replaced backup infielder Miguel Cairo on Philadelphia's 25-man roster for the World Series.

Manager Charlie Manuel has mentioned several times throughout the last week how much progress Myers has made since being passed up for the National League Championship Series roster.

"He's throwing the ball better," Manuel said Monday. "He's probably well or close to being well."

Myers was in the rotation when the season started but had hip surgery in June. He unexpectedly worked his way back and went to the bullpen in September before hitting a snag when he injured his shoulder and back.

He was on the division series roster against the Colorado Rockies, but did not fare well and clearly wasn't 100% healthy, forcing Manuel to bump him off the roster for the NLCS.


The Allentown Morning Call and the Associated Press contributed to this report.




*--* Today, 4:45 p.m. REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS SERIES OPPONENT TV: Channel 11 W-L ERA W-L ERA W-L ERA CLIFF LEE 7-4 3.39 2-0 0.74 1-1 3.00 CC SABATHIA 19-8 3.37 3-0 1.21 0-0 3.38 *--*

Note: Lee's regular-season and playoff stats are with Philadelphia; he also played with Cleveland.

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