Lee unavailable for Game 2 after clutch nine-inning save
Updated: October 8, 2009

By Zaki, PhillyGameday.com

It appears the question of who the Phillies’ playoff closer will be was answered yesterday as Charlie Manuel called upon Cliff Lee in the first inning to close out Game 1 against the Rockies.

Manuel’s hunch paid off as Lee dominated for nine innings in relief, giving up only one run in the final frame as he closed the door for the Phillies in a 5-1 victory.

“Cole [Hamels] was ready to start the game,” Lee said after the game. “But with the score knotted at zero in the top of the first, I guess Charlie didn’t want to take any chances.”

Lee will not be available to pitch in Thursday’s Game 2 matchup and will likely sit out Game 3 as well, due to being overextended on Wednesday. This means Manuel will have a tough decision to make should Hamels throw an incomplete game on Thursday.

“If Cole can go out there and give me nine innings, that would make my job a lot easier,” Manuel said. “If we have to dip into the bullpen, I’m just gonna go with what the gut tells me. Right now it’s tellin’ me Cole should just go ahead and throw nine innings.”

Zaki is the Chief Rocka and senior writer for PhillyGameday.com.

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