Posted by Kenny Ayres, Tue, June 18, 2013 10:49 PM Comments: 25
Richie Ashburn Award: Cliff Lee
It’s funny how fast things can change. Just two days after finishing up an atrocious road-trip against three bad teams, the Phillies have won two straight against the Nationals, with a chance to sweep the series on Wednesday.
Cliff Lee allowed a solo home run to Jayson Werth in the fourth, but the Phillies came back to score four straight runs, which was all they would need in their 4-2 victory. The Phillies have now won six straight games at home.
Lee dazzles again
Lee tossed eight strong innings, striking out nine and walking none en route to his ninth win. PHOTO: AP
It seems like every start is the same. He works fast, pounds the strike zone, racks up the punchouts, and exits having only improved his season numbers. Yea he gave up a few mistakes (solo homers to Werth and Jeff Kobernus) but he was still flat out dealing tonight.
Lee tossed eight strong innings, giving up just the two runs on five hits while striking out nine. It’s his third nine strikeout game in his last four starts, and his ERA is sitting at 2.53. He threw 110 pitches, 82 for strikes and walked none.
Frandsen provides knockout punch in sixth
Kevin Frandsen has quietly been one of the most consistent hitters on the Phillies when he plays. In the sixth inning, after Domonic Brown and Delmon Young both struck out with the bases loaded and less than two outs, Frandsen came through with a clutch two-RBI single to give the Phils a nice three run cushion.
Frandsen, who has to deal with sometimes not playing for two, three or four days or only having one at bat per game, has an average of .286 after play tonight. He is also hitting .300 with six RBI with two outs and runners in scoring position, and in the month in June his average is .375 with an OBP/OPS of .464/.923
Howard tripled? And Young doubles thrice
I thought it was at least worth noting that with his triple tonight, Howard now has more triples than he did in his 2006 MVP season when he was young and spry (sort of). Who would have thought.
Michael Young smashed three doubles tonight, and drove in a run. It took Young 29 games to get his first three doubles of the season.
Wednesday provides the Phillies a chance to sweep the series, but they will have to do it against the reigning N.L. wins leader Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies. He will be opposed by Kyle Kendrick, who has pitched well for the Phillies this year, but is coming off his worst outing of the year in which he gave up seven runs on ten hits to Colorado. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.