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Phillies Ride Lee, Homers to 7-0 Victory over Dodgers

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, April 22, 2014 01:18 AM | Comments: 11
2014 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Posts

The Phillies opened up their series with the Dodgers Monday night with a 7-0 win behind the strong left arm of Cliff Lee, and some much needed run support in the form of a couple of longballs from the heart of the order.

Choooooooooooch

So much for Carlos Ruiz not having a home run or an RBI this year. Ryne Sandberg moved him up to the cleanup spot Monday night, despite his .204 average and lack of run production, and did he ever clean up. Ruiz took care of both of those 0-fers, smacking a two-RBI double in the first, and crushing a two-run homer to left-center in the ninth. He finished the day 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer, a walk, and two runs for eight total bases in the game.

Lee dealing again

Make it 10. That’s how many times Cliff Lee has has double-digit strikeouts and no walks in a start while wearing a Phillies uniform, which is now the most in team history. Lee was utterly dominant Monday night, earning his third win of the season after tossing eight shutout innings, and allowing just four base runners (all hits) while punching out 10 on 113 pitches (83 strikes!). At one point he retired 20 straight Dodgers hitters. He also added a base hit at the dish, because, you know, he is Cliff Lee.

Lee, who is just four starts removed from allowing his Opening Day implosion, has somehow pitched well enough in less than four weeks to be able to lower his ERA to 3.09 for the season. He now has 23 strikeouts and has allowed jut one run in his last two starts combined, and three of his last four starts have yielded one run or fewer. He also continues to handle the Dodgers extremely well, as he entered the game with a 1.70 ERA against them in his career and lowered that number to sub-1.50 with his brilliant start tonight.

The Big Piece with another bomb

Ryan Howard opened up the game in the fifth with a two-run blast to dead center field off Dodgers’ starter Paul Maholm to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. Howard aggressively swung at a first pitch slider after taking a meatball right down the middle of the plate to strike out in his first at bat.

It was Howard’s fifth home run of the season, in what is traditionally a bad month for The Big Piece in his career. He has only hit five homers or more in April three other times in his career, and he still has eight days left this month to tie or pass his career high of six in April. Last year it took him 31 games to hit his fifth, this year he has done it in 19. He now has homers in back-to-back games on this road trip, and has raised his average from .217 to .271 in two days’ time.

Up Next

A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.74 ERA) will take the hill Tuesday night against tough Dodgers’ lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 1.93 ERA). First pitch is at 10:10 ET.

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: 0 Whatever

    Tonight was just Cliff Lee being Cliff Lee. Give him a little offensive support … and just sit back with a good beer or wine …. and have fun!

     
    • Posts: 0 Chuck A.

      Because of the late hour I was already dozing off.. A “good beer or wine” would have probably made me catatonic. Great game though.

       
  • Posts: 0 crow

    If you thought you were seeing more slow/breaking stuff from Lee, you were right. His combined curve-slider-changeup use last night was 30%. It’s been 28% on the season so far. Last year 24.4%. I like it. The average difference, incidentally, between the velocity of his 2-seam and 4-seam fastball this year vs 2012: down 2 mph. So it’s an evolution that is probably necessary.

     
    • Posts: 5229 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I noticed that, and then looked it up too. Cliff is being really smart about it though and transforming himself quite well. He’s nearly 36, it’s definitely necessary.

       
  • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

    It’s nice to see Howard coming around, when he’s going to center and left field is when he is really going good hopefully he can continue to stay on the ball and continue his good pace, a big year from him is really needed if this team has any hope

     
  • Posts: 5229 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    I thought the best stat of the night was given by Vin Scully on the Dodger broadcast. Not only did Cliff Lee strike out 10 and walk none, he only got to a 3 ball count on one batter all night. Remarkable.

    Nice to see Howard hit the lefty, and Chooch break out some.

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Cliff Lee. In the words of the great Stan Lee, “‘Nuff said!”

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    It’s funny how the Phillies are often referenced as a fair or worse team, and by no coincidence, the second half od the thought is about their payroll being high.

    Here sit the Dodgers now, having spent 230 million or so, and early on, with neither Koushaw or Kerfax having pitched of late (does that remind of Cole Hamels and the 9-10 Phils, or what?), and they sit atop the NL West. With, he added, a record of 7-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and 5-7 against real life major league teams.

    Maybe that shows how important CK is. Maybe it shows how money can have so little to do with rostering a winning ballclub in many ways.

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    Sometimes I wonder if this site doesn’t have more messages than meet the eye. Case in point…the ones in white font. Like surely, the one “person” who seems to time his every post when the Phils lose, or look terrible. No doubt there’s a message from that “person” today, and I missed it. And no doubt that although I am HARDLY perfect, and not necessarily even consistent in this myself, somebody must have posted that James Rollins is having an all-star level year 1/8 of the full season way. And to appease his many critics wish list, pretty damned quietly, sans a braggadocio style. And that, if you’re looking for a positive angle, is in comparison to several of his starts over the last several years. IF, and I wish I could say when, but I’ll stay uncommitted, Jimmy has a good year, and prorating the start would be more like a GREAT year, that’d make 2 of the 3 guaranteed years that Jimmy signed for as inarguably plus. Yell and scream all you want about Rube, but he’s got more than a fighting chance to cut his easy to criticize him for this list by an important factor. A couple weeks back, Jimmy told a singular fan to shut the uck up. He’s multiplying that by countless dozens on the whole. And if his history of improvement as the season wears plays out, watch out.

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    954 times in the last however long, I have watched the Phils go into a game, series, period feeling like it was an above the norm test of sorts. And that’s as contrarian an indication as I’ve ever blessed the world with, as reflected by the 954 times they have come up short. Sure, Cool, and Greinke is billboard stuff tomorrow, but with a little wind at the back now, Burnett ironically, and hopefully finding some groove with the forced short stride, and the test against maybe a pretty underrated Ryu on tap for California night action this evening, welcome to time 955. Through the down times, you just can’t help but feel like this club is inches from a certain line that at least makes you wonder if they might reach a point where they can test actually being a good club. I can’t help but wonder.

     
  • Posts: 993 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    Was a great team victory last night. Howard new found patience and I think faith in his legs is grooving some swings. Nice to see him going the otherway. And. Carlos having 4 solid at bats and driving the ball and clutch hits. Defense playing like I expected it to play all year. And Cliff being Cliff with an amazing outing. Hope to keep it rolling into tonight against a tougher lefty.
    A little strange AFW has not come out of his hole with the Big Piece heating up. How I miss his awesome positivness

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    There is a great article on Cliff’s awesomeness at The Good Phight, which lists his twelve best games. When he is in the zone look out, for there is not a more dominant pitcher around.

     
 
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