Cliff Lee, Pitching and Hitting to Win #3…..(updated)

Cliff Lee takes his 3rd straight win as the Ace in the Phillies rotation and
lee1-vs-cubs.jpgdrives the Phillies to a sweep of the
Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. After suffering the embarrassment of being swept at home last weekend the Phillies issued there own 3 game sweep on the road.

Lee pitched outstanding for 8 innings, like me, most thought Madson would come on in relief at the start of the 8th inning, but he didn’t, Lee came out for the 8th and got through it like an Ace. Lee ended his day after throwing 122 pitches with over 67% of them for strikes, he gave up 1 run on 6 hits and walked 3 batters. It wasn’t till the 4th inning that the Phillies offense gave Lee the lead, he managed to get himself out of a couple of jams during the first 4 innings, it wasn’t till the 5th inning that the Cubs managed tlee2-vs-cubs.jpgo drive in a run and that was the only time a Cubs player would cross the plate. He held the Cubs to a 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position, obviously the Phillies defense played a role in this too. Lee seems to like this playing in the NL where he gets to show case his bat swinging abilities, he hit his 2nd double, but was eventually stranded on 3rd at the end of the inning. With the Phillies, Lee is now 3-0 with an ERA of 1.13 through 24 innings as a pitcher, as a hitter he is 3 for 9 (.333) with 2 doubles.

Ryan Madson came on in relief of Lee to start the 9th, he pitched a scoreless inning giving up just 1 walk with 2 strike outs.

The Phillies offense came off of 10 hits and 3 walks, the big offensivehoward-vs-cubs.jpg inning was the 4th, when Ryan Howard hit a 3 run home run to the opposite field, this was Ryan’s 1st home run in August, ironic really, I had said at the end of July, that it seems when 

Raul Ibanez goes deep then Ryan goes deep and visa versa, and in Wednesday’s game Raul went deep and so Thursday Ryan went deep. In the same inning Pedro Feliz took Dempster deep too, giving the Phillies a 4 run lead. Utley picked up an RBI in the 6th and Feliz picked up another in the 7th giving the Phillies a 6-1 lead that they never relinquished.

The Phillies headed to Atlanta last night to start a 3 game series against the Braves today, before heading home for the only day off between now and the end of August. Joe Blanton is scheduled to start tonight against the Braves, Saturday is an afternoon game and although it’s Hamels rotation spot, it is currently being listed as TBA, have they not announced it yet or are they holding back to the last minute because of a possible problem? I am sure we will find out soon.(update: Hamels is now listed as the starting pitcher for Saturday). It does though, seem to be freaky days of late in Philadelphia sports, everybody has heard by now that Vick signed a 2 year deal with the Eagles, what were they thinking? I am sure they will let us know soon enough.

Still with freaky things, the ‘Idiot Cubs Fan’ turned himself in to Chicago police yesterday, probably wants another 15 minutes of fame, or a beer commercial contract.

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Phillies Offense Wakes Up…

On a night that had been promoted by the media to be the second coming of Pedro Martinez turned out to be the awakening of the Phillies bats. The night at Wrigley Field was broadcast on ESPN, you have to ask yourself, was that just a coincidence that the rotation was switched around to debut Pedro Martinez, or were greater powers at play, the word is, that the Phillies would not change the rotation just to help ESPN get extra ratings, but conspiracy theorists believe otherwise. Personally it didn’t matter, the Pedro Martinez debut was over shadowed by the return of the long awaited Phillies offense.

How did Pedro perform in his return…

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for me the verdict is still out!

It is really hard to compare how one pitcher would have performed over another pitcher on a specific night, since things may have been different for a different pitcher. When you consider he went 5 innings, anyone else out on the mound and Charlie would have pulled in the 5th inning, he loaded the bases with nobody out, the fact that he had a huge lead at the time and his name is Pedro Martinez on his debut in a Phillies uniform was the only reason he stayed in the game to get through the 5th, had the Cubs hit a grand slam I hope Charlie would have pulled him regardless of the circumstances. In the end he finished with a 5.40 ERA, I just cant help thinking had it not been a struggling Cubs, but a red hot hitting team, he would have been crushed and the huge lead the Phillies had would have been worthless, but I will wait for at least a couple more starts before rendering a verdict on his inclusion as the 5th starter.

The night really was all about the Phillies offense, which came to life, you could tell from the begining it was going to be a good night for them, even the defensive plays were considerably better than they have been over the last couple of weeks.

Who was the hero of the night…

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 All of them!!

Yes, some had more hits than others, some had more RBI’s than others etc. etc. but the real fact is they all hit, they were all swinging the bats well, and none of them made any errors. Until Eric Bruntlett came in to give Chase Utley a rest, then he managed to kick a ball into the outfield that should have been a routine double play.

The only other incident, which I am sure will be picked up on highlight reels was that of a fan, with Victorino going back on to the warning track in left center, some stupid, idiotic, Cubs fan, I know I here some of you saying they just have to be a Cubs fan to to be those things, but this one was a little more of those things, he threw, what i can only believe to be perfectly good BEER at Victorino just as he was making a catch…

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1 – Shows him throwing the BEER, (what a waste)

2 – Shows him pleading his denile case

3 – Shows him further denying it, while the wrong guy gets ejected

4 – Shows him bragging to fans around him how he got away with it. (okay, so I helped out a little with the t-shirt lettering)

It wasn’t over, I am guessing they reviewed the footage and decided the guy they ejected wasn’t the one,

because this lonely idiot…

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managed to get everyone around him ejected too…popular guy now I bet…

Today is a day game and Cliff Lee will be taking the mound, lets hope the offense stays alive and gives him similar support. It will be a day where the Phillies fans will be hoping to bounce back from the weekend and complete a sweep of there own.

Here’s something that came to me yesterday while watching this game, no real reason why it came to me just did, so thought I would share for others to ponder it, and if you know the answer great…

Has a hitter in a single game, hit for the cycle, been put on base by a HBP and got on base by a swinging strike that gets away from the catcher, thats 6 at bats, I know, but has anyone ever done that?…