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Lee Sharp Again as Phils Sweep Cubs

Posted by Ben Seal, Thu, August 13, 2009 05:26 PM | Comments: 26
2009 Recaps, Posts

For a few brief moments it appeared that Cliff Lee’s stretch of brilliant pitching with the Phillies might be in jeopardy. His pitch count was rising in the bottom of the fifth inning as Ryan Theriot knocked a run-scoring single, and Lee looked like he might not be able to last much longer.

Those moments faded quickly, though, as Lee kept his composure to finish the inning, then breezed through three more frames on his way to another sterling effort. Lee allowed just the one run and struck out eight batters over 8 innings, and Ryan Howard stroked a 3-run homer to left as the Phillies beat the Cubs, 6-1. The win completed the three-game sweep, the first for the Phillies in Chicago since 1984, and pushed the NL East lead to 5 games.

With each start Lee continues to settle into his new role as ace of a World Series contender, showing that last year’s Cy Young campaign was no fluke. His effort today, lasting deep into the game to preserve a tired bullpen, moves his record to 3-0 with a miniscule 1.13 ERA in three starts with the Phillies.

Lee and Cubs’ starter Ryan Dempster traded zeros for three innings, but the Phils got to the righty in the fourth. Shane Victorino led off with a single and Chase Utley drew a walk to bring up the big guy. He didn’t disappoint. Howard poked a lazy changeup deep to the opposite field, breaking a career-long streak of 14 games without a long ball and giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. Three batters later Pedro Feliz turned on an inside pitch and sent a line drive over the ivy in left to tack on a run. On a windy day with the flags whipping around the outfield, it took two very hard-hit balls to clear the fence.

Just as he did in his first two starts in a new uniform, Lee baffled another batch of National League hitters once he had a lead. His control wasn’t flawless, as he allowed three walks to go with six hits, but he had no trouble retiring batters with runners on base. Even the wandering strike zone of umpire Mark Carlson – who seemed to move the zone with each new batter – couldn’t stand in the way of Lee’s sharp fastball-changeup combination.

The Phillies added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh to guarantee the sweep. Howard walked, then stole second cleanly and scored on Feliz’s grounder through the infield in the sixth. An inning later Utley singled home Victorino after the centerfielder reached on a bloop double, making the score 6-1.

Ryan Madson entered to pitch the ninth and struck out two batters to secure the win for Lee. After another 8 innings of one-run ball, it was a well-deserved win for the Phillies new ace.

Avatar of Ben Seal

About Ben Seal

Ben Seal has written 48 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Eli

    “Ryan Howard stroked”

    Ooooo! Don’t excite me like that! I saw that and had to stroke too!

     
  • Posts: 0 Lt.

    w00t!

    Onward to Atlanta!

     
  • Posts: 0 phils_ftw

    Lee! Man, this is one of the best trades in a while.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    “On a windy day with the flags whipping around the outfield, it took two very hard-hit balls to clear the fence.”

    I didn’t watch but I was listening… Franzke/LA said that he ball was carrying out to left field… where both home runs were hit… and that the both home runs weren’t exactly hit hard.

    Great trade so far…

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Rueben Jr. looks like the man for this one. First you get a 4th outfielder that already hit a game winning homer. Then you dont get Halladay and everyone wanted. Lee is the man. Good for you Jr.

     
  • Posts: 0 george

    nice sweep for the phils against a team that a contender,now we need to take at least 2 of 3 in atlanta.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Awesome trade. Lee is a stud and fun to watch. Francisco will be on this team for 3 or 4 years as a 4th OF. Now go after Jamey Carol for like Kyle Kendrick or something.

     
  • Posts: 0 birth of phillies dynasty

    phillies or going to be the team of the decade back to back to back phillies champ wins…my wife just had twins

     
  • Posts: 0 jeff of nova

    Great job

     
  • Posts: 0 Joe

    @birth, did you name them Shane and Jayson? Or Raul and Pedro? Or Cliff and Carlos? Do tell!

     
  • Posts: 50 Jason Bintliff

    Avatar of Jason Bintliff

    @birth…
    I just had a son on Sunday and his middle name is Chase!

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    That’s awesome Jason! Congratulations!

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    Yeah Congrats Jason. Is his first name Patrick? Cause that would totally work. Patrick Chase.

     
  • Posts: 0 Manny

    His first name is Chevy…

     
  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    Picking up Lee was the best move a Phildelphia team has made in the past month, including today.

    Read between the lines. Tonight,I have never been so glad to be a Philadelphia Phillies fans.

     
  • Posts: 0 phils_ftw

    Now, if Hamels ever gets himself back into form this team will be deadly come October.

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Phils_ftw has a point. If Pedro works out, then Hamels can’t hide behind the #5 starter anymore. Thats all he has been doing since May is the former #1 starter was hiding behind the #5 starter. If Pedro keeps his ERA below 4.4 then Hamels will no longer get the free pass because of last season. Also regardless of if the “home runs weren’t exactly hit hard” that could be the exact confidence Howard needed. Howard hits Homers in bunches alot of time, so this might be the jump start we needed. Lets hope. We definately need to take the series against Atlanta.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Congrats Jason!

    Lee has been amazing for this team. His three wins have all come against some of the better teams in the NL too. I really do want to see him pitch live bad. I remember Hamels not wanting to pitch on three days rest if needed last year. I wonder if Lee will think otherwise.

     
  • Posts: 0 DJ

    Morris shove it and don’t hate on Vick or judge unless u want to be judged by god! Everyone makes a mistake u @$$! Not always as big as his but D@mn let the man be! Anyways I hope we make it and see the Yankees cus I feel good about the Phillies against CC and Lee can handle that line up anytime!

     
  • [...] Phillies Nations’ Ben Seal provided the recap on this one: For a few brief moments it appeared that Cliff Lee’s stretch of brilliant pitching with the Phillies might be in jeopardy. His pitch count was rising in the bottom of the fifth inning as  Ryan Theriot knocked a run-scoring single, and Lee looked like he might not be able to last much longer. [...]

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Congrats birth & Jason! My son’s wife gave birth to a little boy yesterday (game time) and they named him Lee…

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    So it looks like Congrats to birth Jason, and brooks! Hope they are healthy, and you caught up on your sleep. Hoping for a great October. My wife is due mid october with our second, so I am hoping for that and another WS!

     
  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    Brian, I think your son’s nickname – at least, has to be ‘Champ’ !
    This seems to be a big birthing season

     
  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    I already have an Eagles hat and booties, and a Phillies t-shirt for him when he comes home. Or should I say, when “Champ” comes home. I like that, I think Ill use it, thanks!

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Former 1st starter hiding behind the former 3rd starter, you mean.
    And when you refer to Moyer as the 5th starter, are you saying that Lopez and co. were better than him?

     
  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    DJ, I did not mention the name of a certain pile of scum that was signed by a certain team that has not won a championship in 50 years, yet claims they are the Gold Standard.

    Anyway, for further reference, I don’t respond to people who use the phrase “Don’t hate” “u” or use symbols in place of letters because they are not smart enough to use words that are not curses.

     
 
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