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Phils Win Series Behind Masterful Lee

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Wed, May 22, 2013 10:32 PM | Comments: 14
2013 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Richie Ashburn Award: Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee came up huge for the Phillies on Monday night. (AP Photo)

Cliff Lee threw his first shutout of the season on Wednesday night. (AP Photo)

The Phillies took the rubber match of their three game set with Miami on Wednesday, shutting out the struggling Marlins 3-0. It was the second straight series win for the Fightin’s, and the first time since April 15 (when they were 6-7)  that they are back to just one game under the .500 mark.

Vintage Cliff Lee on the mound tonight

The Phillies offense managed three runs on 12 hits against Marlins pitching, which was more than enough for Cliff Lee, who threw nine strong innings en- route to his first complete game and shutout of the season.The left-hander faced minimal danger in the contest, working his way out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the second to go on to throw six 1-2-3 innings. He walked two and gave up just three hits on 115 pitches (85 of which were strikes). Lee has basically been a lock to perform in every start this year. He has had quality starts in each of his last four outings, and in eight of ten outings this season. His record improves to 5-2, and his ERA is now a minuscule 2.48 on the season. He has given up just four runs in his last four starts, and the shutout was the twelfth of his career, and seventh in a Phillies uniform.

Clutch hitting provides just enough offense

The bats showed a decent amount of life tonight, as the Phillies rapped out 12 hits against starter Kevin Slowey and the Marlins bullpen. However it was three of those hits- a solo homer from Delmon Young, an RBI single from Freddy Galvis, and an RBI triple from Domonic Brown that stood out. All three of those hits were with two outs and produced runs, which is something the Phillies have been struggling with immensely this season. There is still some work to be done- 12 hits should produce more than three runs- but the three, two-out RBI hits in the game is a good place to start for a team that entered play hitting .197 with runners in scoring position and two outs (which ranks 25th out of 30 major league teams).

Middle of the order starting to heat up

Ryan Howard was 2-for-4 tonight with a double (albeit it might have been the softest hit, most accidental double he has ever hit), and is 7-for-17 (.411 average) with three runs batted in in his last four games. His double tonight moved him into a tie for eighth place with Johnny Callison on the Phillies all time extra-base hits list with 534. Delmon Young, who had gone 16 games between his first and second home runs of the season needed just a good night’s sleep to hit his third. He was 2-for-4 tonight with two runs, a homer, and an RBI. If he can continue to hit balls hard consistently, Ryan Howard should start to see some better pitches. If Chase Utley, who has been the Phillies best run producer this year, ends up missing a chunk of time, Howard and Young starting to drive the ball will certainly be a very welcome sight.

What’s up next

The Phillies will be off on Thursday before traveling to Washington to open up a three game set with the Nationals on Friday. It is their first meeting with Washington this season. While they will still be facing a team that has been struggling offensively, they will be seeing some much better pitching than they saw in the Marlins series. Friday night’s probables are Kyle Kendrick (4-2, 2.82 ERA) for the Phils and the tough righty Jordan Zimmerman (7-2, 1.62 ERA) for the Nats.

Avatar of Kenny Ayres

About Kenny Ayres

Kenny Ayres has written 68 articles on Phillies Nation.

WCU class of 2014 majoring in communication with a journalism minor.

 
 
  • Posts: 5366 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Nice game, great job by many, group effort.

    One game under .500 and the Nats coming up. These head to head division games are an opportunity to gain some serious ground, or lose it. There’s no in-between now.

     
  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Gotta keep winning series.

     
  • Posts: 1110 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    Lee was impressive, AGAIN. And he’s also hitting over .300…

    Big series coming up now against the Nationals… win 2 of 3 and we tie them in the standings.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Your 2 of 3 point is simple and accurate, and insignificant as it is, I’m not even looking 3 games ahead. This is a 1 game series to me. It’s all about Friday night. You lose that one, and a challenging pitching matchup it is, no matter who Z would face, and any thoughts of a successful weekend are really minimized.

      I just feel more inclined to view this as 3 1 game series, which is a rare regular season mentality. But it’s totally important and relevant how a fan views things, so I came up with an approach.

       
      • Posts: 1110 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        This offense is capable of knocking out Zimmerman (and his sub-2 ERA) out of Friday’s game early…and then get dominated by some other dude with a 5 ERA. I think all pitching matchups are a question mark for us, except when it’s Lee’s turn I guess.

         
  • Posts: 2893 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    We’re almost in a “make it or break it” stretch right now. 22 games (starting with the Giants series and ending with the BoSox), 19 of which are against good teams with records over .500. So far the Phils are 7-5 against those teams, 9-6 overall. The next 7 against the Nats and Sox will be crucial. I’m thinking nothing less than 4-3. 5-2 would be better, obviously, but that may be asking too much.

     
  • Posts: 0 Rabbi

    Watching the ABs the last two nights, I get the impression that everyone is being more selective at the plate. Not only were there more hits, but there were less weak outs. It’s always encouraging to see guy going the other way. Brown is getting better every day, especially in the field. Galvis is proving to be very valuable. I think they bode well for the future!

     
  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Kenny — congrats on your first article.

    Also, most complete game shutouts in MLB since the start of 2009:

    10 -Lee
    9 -Halladay
    7 -F.Hernandez
    6 -Kershaw, Wainwright, Weaver, Shields
    5 -Haren, E.Santana, Holland
    4 -Hamels, Verlander, Dickey, Cain, J.Santana, and 6 others
    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=y&type=0&season=2013&month=0&season1=2009&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=9,d

     
  • Posts: 0 DavidE

    Jordan Zimmerman may be the best pitcher in the National League at this point in the season. In 3 consecutive starts against the Braves, Reds and Tigers, he pitched 24 innings and gave up 11 hits, 3 walks and one earned run.

    Even with Zimmerman’s phenomenal start and Bryce Harper’s hitting, the Nationals are really struggling because there are several players just not performing. At 2nd base, Danny Espinosa has had a horrific start to the season as has backup Steve Lombardozzi. In the outfield, neither Tyler Moore or Roger Berndina is hitting at all. Denard Span has been very mediocre in the leadoff spot and Adam LaRouche stats are fairly comprable to Ryan Howard’s 2013 stats, maybe a little worse. There is a reason that this team is not winning.

     
    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      You could probably squeeze Mike Morse into that explanation and not be admonished for falsehood. Sometimes on paper depth just doesn’t translate to eventual reality. Guy can hit, and the Nats can’t/haven’t. But the synopsis as is is a good nutshell.

       
    • Posts: 0 Rudy Canoza

      Danny Espinosa’s been playing all season with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. I don’t think the Nationals will let him play much longer – they’ve been playing top prospect Anthony Rendon at 2B recently. LaRoche is historically a terrible early season batter. For his career, he hits about 50 points higher in the second half of the season.

       
      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        You need to go back to medical school.

        So suggests this quote from I guess The Post.

        “Sunday, General Manager Mike Rizzo said Espinosa is fine physically, despite playing all year through a torn rotator cuff. Johnson echoed that sentiment yesterday, that Espinosa has not been encumbered by the ailment.”

        So where you got the idea they won’t let him play much longer through it I guess is a matter of believing what you read elsewhere.

         
      • Posts: 0 Rudy Canoza

        I forgot that you’re the expert here Ken. Sorry about that my good friend. I almost forgot that the only opinion here that matters is that of Ken Bland.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Don’t forget sports fans, the Mets are finishing ahead of the Phillies.

    Matt Harvey is 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA; all other #Mets starters are a combined 5-19 with a 5.34 ERA

    *****************************************************************************************************

    Name a Met, Name ONE Met, step right up and name a Met

    Because the Mets are finishing ahead of the Phils

    giving Phillie bashers all sorts of thrills

    East side, west side, all across the Phils fan base

    the M-E-T-S New York Mets, a real disgraaaaace.

     
 
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