Lee Does It All
Cliff turned in another brilliant pitching performance on Thursday afternoon as the Phillies finished a four-game sweep of the Marlins. As everyone knows, he threw a 2-hit, 3-0 shutout and drove in the first run with a booming double.
But, one has to wonder if any pitcher was more dominating in the history of homestands. The Phillies seventh straight win capped a 9-2, 10-day funstand at Citizens Bank Park. Cliff won three of those games and posted a 0.38 ERA. Repeat, a 0.38 ERA. Heck he drove in as many runs in Thursday’s game as he allowed in his three wins, one.
This from Elias Sports Bureau: Lee was the first Phillies pitcher to allow two or fewer hits in a shutout performance while stroking a pair of hits with the bat since Steve Carlton did it against the Cubs at Veterans Stadium on October 1, 1980.
The long ball returned to the offense in the 11 games. J-Roll hit three homers and drove in 10; Ryan, three homers and 11 RBI; Chase, two homers, nine RBI. Shane had the most hits (15) and highest average (.349). That’s balance, folks.
Thursdays win boosted the team’s record when they score three runs or less to 14-23. When they score more than three, a frightening 30-3. In eight of their nine wins, they topped three runs. When the offense matches the starting pitching, it is scary.
Thursday’s game is over, followed by a five and one-half hour flight to Seattle and a three-game weekend series against the Mariners and then three games starting Tuesday in St. Louis.
In interleague play this year, the Phillies are 2-1 (Rangers). In interleague play against the Mariners, the Phillies are 1-5, 1-2 in Seattle. So, put away the joy stick. There’s work to be done.
Seas of Red
When the Phillies play on the road, enemy ballparks often resemble a sea of red. Phillies fans flock to see their team.
It will be interesting to see how many fans the Phillies have in the great northwest. We know there is a group of 75 on the first Phillies Road Trip for this weekend. Co-hosts are Greg Luzinski and Scott Palmer.
The trip is sold out as are the three others coming up, Toronto, Washington, DC and Chicago.
Down On The Farm
Lehigh Valley hit three home runs but lost, 6-5, in 10 innings at Pawtucket . . . Reading also hit three home runs in a one-run loss, 8-7, at Bowie . . . Clearwater ended the first half with a 5-3 defeat at Dunedin . . . RF Anthony Hewitt had 3 hits, 2 steals but Lakewood dropped a 4-3 decision at West Virginia.
Fans living in the Philadelphia area wanting to see some Phillies baseball can visit Reading where the those Phillies are home to New Britain. Or, you can drive to Williamsport for manager Mickey Morandini’s debut as the Crosscutters start their season with home games Friday night and Saturday night against State College.
If you want to drive to Seattle to see the big league Phillies, you should have left a couple of days ago.