Cliff Lee made his debut as a Philadelphia Philly last night in San Francisco, he was acquired this week by the Phillies as a top addition to the Phillies starting rotation, this was his first start for a National League team having spent his major league career with the Cleveland Indians.
This was a chance for the fans and the Philly players to see what Ruben Amaro Jr. had acquired for the team, before the game Dubee and Manuel had said ‘they would sit back and watch, mostly, so they could see what he could do’.
Now before everyone gets overly excited and thinks that he is being put on a pedestal with expectations way above what he could possibly deliver, we all must understand it’s his first game and this cannot be expected every time he goes to the mound… you can hope… but don’t expect it. With that said Cliff Lee came out last night and looked like a natural born NL starting pitcher, the Phillies wanted a pitcher and they got one.
He showed poise and confidence….
He showed he could field his position…
and the Kung-Fu Panda was no match…
and this was just the 1st inning…
What we didn’t know was, could he swing a bat?…
he showed us…
not just once but twice…
he hit a single and a double, with a short sharp swing, you’d almost think he had been through an intense Utley hitting course.
and he was enjoying it…
but how would he fit in with the other Philly players?….
How couldn’t you fit in with the guys in the dugout….
Cliff Lee is officially a Philly….
Yes there was other players on the field, and they all played their parts with the normal characteristics that the Philly players have, this may have only been a 5-1 win for the Phils, but if they had really hit with RISP, it could have been double digits for the Phil’s.
Ben Francisco had another start in place of the injured Victorino, who by the way, probably wont be back till Tuesday is my guess, had another good game with hard hits at each at bat, he picked up a hit and an RBI.
Well done!! the front office for the new players, initial showings make them an excellent fit for the reigning World Series Champions.
Joe Blanton the Phillies work horse, goes today against Lincecum, Phillies have had a tendancy to come alive when facing the Ace of the opposition, lets hope this happens tonight…
Well the HOT Chicago Cubs found out tonight how HOT, HOT really is when the Phillies put 10 runs on the board, via 3 home runs and a couple of RBI hits.
The Phanatic was playing Batman for Jack Nicholson while Rollins and Victorino were doing there impression of the dynamic duo at the top of the line up, Victorino got an education on ‘where to’ and ‘where not to’ run when stealing a base, from the umpires.
Ibanez of course was playing superman again, with a 3 run homer in the 1st with 2 outs and 2 strikes on him. Even as cold as Ruiz has been at the plate, he felt the heat of the team as he hit a 2 run homer in the 2nd and then hit an RBI double in the 4th inning.
Rollins and Utley both picked up RBI’s in the 4th to make this a 9 run game.
Lopez did not have his best stuff tonight, was fishing around the strike zone, giving up 3 walks, even so, he only allowed 1 run through 6 innings of work and 1 extra base hit.
Howard not to be out done by Ibanez struck a typical ‘Howards Homer’ in the 8th inning to make it a 10-1 game.
Durbin came out of the pen in the bottom of the 7th to earn a save the old fashioned way, 3 innings of shut out work, even in a 10-1 game gave Durbin the save, and he earned it allowing just 1 hit in those 3 innings he gave the rest of the pen a night to rest up and have fun.
The Cubs looked like a team with a ‘For Sale’ sign hanging over them, even Lou Piniella looked as though he was in the middle of a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode, either that or someone placed a robot version of him in the Cubs dugout and forgot to read the warning label ‘Batteries Not Included’.
Jayson Werth went deep to record his 20th home run of the season making him the 4th player to be on 20 home runs or more before the All Star Break, a first for the Phillies franchise and only the second MLB team to accomplish this feat. Werth has put up impressive numbers in the first half of this season and has more than proved that he can be an everyday player, I personally thought he would struggle as an everday outfielder, so well done Jayson, you are on a season setting personal best. Jayson’s name has been thrown in the mix for the All Star Game, since Beltran is injured, is Werth worthy of an All Star pick, well he has certainly put up the numbers, however I believe there are others who are a little more deserving, if it’s an outfielder they need then I would have to go with Kemp, he has better numbers this year, if it’s just any position player then there are a number to choose from and everyone will have there own personal favorite.
Chase Utley, in a ball park that is suposed to allow almost anyone to go deep, showed everyone last night that you dont need to hit the ball over the fence to get a home run, his second inside the park home run against the reds. This one came in the 3rd inning and it was Utley’s 20th homer of the year, although there wasn’t a play at the plate this time, he needed some recovery time to catch his breath, who wouldn’t.
Jamie Moyer pitched through 5 innings giving up 6 runs on 8 hits, since the offence took the lead in the bottom of the 5th Jamie was the pitcher of record giving him, his 254th career win. Jamie gave up two home runs, not unusual for Jamie, all in all a good outing for him.
Chan Ho Park gave another stellar performance from the bullpen, 3 scoreless innings, giving up 1 walk, with 4 strike outs.
Brad Lidge continues to make everyone nervous in the 9th inning, after getting the 1st two batters he gave up a walk, but came back nicely to close out the game with a scoreless inning.
Even though the Phillies have taken six of seven in this home stand, they still have a below .500 record at home this season, a sweep of the Pirates would put them still 1 game shy of the .500 mark. We all know that sweeping the Pirates is a huge task, they have played well against NL East teams this year, I for one am glad we have Blanton, Hamels and Happ to face them this weekend.
Victorino won the vote for the final spot on the All Star team, he is more than deserving of his place, he again last night picked up a couple of walks, a hit and a couple of RBI’s and continues to play gold glove quality defense in the outfield. Well Done Shane!!
To the Pirates, welcome to Philadelphia, the in state rivalry isn’t quite as intense as some would think, but still it will make for a good weekend, especially if the Phillies keep up this excellent home stand performance.
RAUL IBANEZ will he return today or will they wait till tomorrow, I think he will probably be here today, but my gut tells me they should probably wait till tomorrow.
The headlines around MLB say it all, the race for the #33 All Star pick is a tight one, since Victorino and Sandoval are playing cat and mouse in the NL ballot, the campaigning is reaching new heights never before seen in an All Star ballot.
Victorino added to his case last night with a walk off RBI to give the Phillies a 3-2 win over the Reds, this was definately the highlight of the game.
Lopez, had another good start, although he only went 5 innings, due to a sore shoulder (last reports), his pitch count was low and he held the Reds to just 2 runs on 5 hits. Rest up Lopez your fast becoming an asset in the starting rotation.
BullPen was again outstanding last night, Madson’s speed was up, location was good, both Durbin and Romero also had good outings. Although for me the best activity from the bullpen was without a doubt Chan Ho Park, the sandwich boards campaigning for Victorino votes, was terrific, I wonder if he lost a bet or won a draw to do that, hopefully we’ll find out on The Pen on MLB Network, whenever that returns.
The Phillies have teamed up with the Detroit Tigers to try and double the voting capacity for each of our respective players, wow, politics in baseball, colaborations between parties, who’d have thought it would come to this, who knows next year they may have to call in the people from American Idol to get telephone voting too.
The only soar note on last nights game was the strike zone, seemed to be a little too flexible when the chance of a called third strike loomed, maybe the home plate umpire was auditioning for an upcoming movie, or maybe a chance to grab a headline and get himself noticed.
All that really matters is that Victorino gave to us last night with the walk off RBI, now it’s our turn to give back and vote him in the All Star game. Voting ends at 4pm EST today, hopefully we will be celebrating during tonights game and Detroit will be celebrating too, which will just go to show the NL and AL can work together for the good of the fans.