Superman has kryptonite, Tiger Woods has his own libido and know we now we know that Cliff Lee has an insurmountable nemesis as well.
They are the San Francisco Giants and they thumped Lee like no other team has been able to do in the last two postseasons to grab a 11-7 victory in Game One of the World Series. Lee, who entered the game with a 1.26 career ERA in the playoffs and an even smaller 0.75 mark this October, didn't get out of the fifth after allowing eight hits and seven runs to Giants hitters who should probably offer seminars to the rest of the big leagues.
Two of the biggest blows off of Lee both came from the bat of Freddy Sanchez, who went 3-for-3 against the Rangers ace on Wednesday night. His double in the third inning scored the first run of the game and another double sparked the six-run fifth inning rally that put the Giants well on their way to victory. The biggest at-bat of that rally likely belonged to Pat Burrell, however. He drew a walk, just the second of the 2010 postseason from Lee, that seemed to drain what little energy was left in Lee's left arm.
Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff followed with run scoring singles, Lee left the game and then Jose Uribe, the hero of NLCS Game Six, put the game out of reach with a three-run homer that sent AT&T Park into a frenzy of joy.
All the runs helped Tim Lincecum pick up the first World Series win of his career despite having less than his best stuff. He gave up runs in each of the first two innings, was touched for seven hits and four runs and had to be removed with two outs in the sixth. So much for predicting pitcher's duels ahead of time, eh?
Adding insult to injury, Lincecum also had two batted balls bounce of his body on their way to becoming base hits and made a bizarre play in the top of the first. Lincecum fielded a comebacker and then ran Michael Young all the way back to third instead of throwing the ball to Uribe who was waiting to tag Young at the base.
Coupled with a major baserunning gaffe by Sanchez in the bottom of the inning, it felt like the Giants were either a bit too tight for the World Series opener or that they jumped the gun a bit on the passage of California's Proposition 19 legalizing marijuana. Things settled down for them after a couple of innings, though, and they put a major hurting on a guy that conventional wisdom had turned into some kind of unholy combination of Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax and the young Mike Tyson.
Not bad for a team that everyone said was going to have a hard time scoring runs. We'll see if they can keep it up on Thursday night.