Cliff Lee did not have his best stuff again this afternoon for the Philadelphia Phillies but was able to battle his way to victory against a subpar Chicago Cubs lineup. Lee pitched seven shutout inning but allowed 10 hits and struck out six.
With the win, Lee improved to 2-0 on the season but is very fortunate as his team has helped him out.
On opening day Lee allowed 11 hits, eight earned runs and struck out only one batter in 5.0 innings of work. In his two starts so far this season, he has allowed 21 hits, 8 runs and recorded 7 strikeouts in 12.0 innings of work.
The offense bailed Lee out in his first start, scoring 14 runs, making up for one of the worst starts of his career. Today was a different story. Their offense was fairly nonexistent, compiling only 7 hits (Chase Utley had 3 himself) and two runs.
Although he did not have his A game today, he was able to hold the Cubs off the scoreboard despite allowing 10 hits. This was a big game for the Phillies as concerns are growing without the services of Cole Hamels and the bad first start for Lee. He was by no means perfect today but any time your starter can go out and pitch seven shutout innings, you will take it.
The Phillies still need to get more out of their offense but they will rely on Lee to continue to have strong outings and keep them in low scoring games when he is called upon. Two runs is not enough to win most games but today it was enough. Look for him to continue to get better and find better control of his pitches. He could be in for a big year.