Cliff Lee, arguably the Phillies’ best pitcher, gave up a second-inning hit to Marlon Byrd, followed by a no-out single Andrew Brown and didn’t look back. Lee, now 11-6, threw 121 pitches through eight innings and struck out seven Mets, only walking one.
Understandably, the Mets aren’t as dynamic of a lineup as baseball has to offer, but Lee looked dazzling. After allowing a leadoff hit, Lee limited the damage by getting a strikeout followed by a double play. Then in the second frame, after allowing the first two runners on, he settled down and retired the next seven batters.
Letting bad innings get worse has been such an issue for the Phillies all season not only Lee, but Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Tyler Cloyd, just to name a few. In Lee’s case, some narrow it down to the fact he throws so many strikes, maybe too many strikes for his own good.
But tonight, Lee was on his game, limiting the Mets’ all game and not allowing a rough inning get worse. For the Phillies to be successful, they need guys like Lee to continue to limit the damage and allow their sub-par offense a chance to score a manageable amount of runs.
If Lee and company can continue to stop the bleeding in times like tonight, they will be in good shape for the future.