5-0, 1-2, 5-0.
That was Cliff’s record for the months of June, July and August. Making his first start of September, he just kept on dominating as he did all of last month. Cliff on his seventh straight and chalked up his sixth shutout of the season. He did it throwing 100 pitches, 70 for strikes. That’s hybrid pitching.
Cliff’s record this season at Citizens Bank Park is even more impressive: 16 starts, 11-2 record, 1.97 ERA.
Cliff won the NL Pitcher of the Month Award in June. No Phillies pitcher has ever won two such awards in one season. The August Award should be announced Tuesday. If Cliff doesn’t win, we’ll ask Joe West for a replay and file another protest.
Cliff became the 14th Phillies pitcher to toss six shutouts in a season and first since Steve Carlton in 1982.
Next on the list at seven: George McQuillan (1908), Grover Cleveland Alexander (1911) and Jim Bunning (1965). McQuillan was shut out eight times in 1908, including five 1-0 decisions.
Cliff reached 200 for the first time in his career and became the fourth lefty to do so with the Phillies.
Steve Carlton did it seven times. Others were Chris Short (1968) and Cole Hamels (2010).
Down On The Farm
**Lehigh Valley, after having never played .500 ball in their three-year history, advanced to the playoffs with a 4-1, 5-inning win at Syracuse on Monday afternoon. Game was called by rain. The win gave the IronPigs a second-place finish and the wildcard entry in the North Division. They begin the best-of-5 series against the first-place Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday night in Coca-Cola Park. Game 2 is there on Wednesday night. “Bring Home The Bacon” is the IronPigs’ postseason theme.
Reading: 6-2 win in Binghamton on Monday afternoon sent Reading into the postseason for first time since 2009. The win gave the Phillies the Eastern Division wildcard berth. They begin a best-of-5 series on Wednesday night at the first-place New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Game 2 is in NH on Thursday night before the series shifts to Reading on Friday night.
Congratulations to managers Ryne Sandberg (LV) and Mark Parent (Reading), two Phillies Alumni.