Lee Is Hittable, Beatable

lee 0829.jpgHow good had Cliff Lee been since he joined the Phillies last month?

“I watched his film and I don’t think he missed but five spots in two games,” Matt Diaz said after last night’s 9-1 victory over the Phillies.

Lee entered the game as the first Phillies pitcher to win his first five starts since Marty Bystrom in 1980. If he had won last night he would have become the first Phillies pitcher to win his first six starts since Al Orth — yes, the Al Orth — won his first eight in 1895.

Lee also had joined Fernando Valenzuela as the second pitcher in the past 60 years to win his first five starts with a team with a 1.00 ERA or less. Lee posted a 0.68 ERA. Valenzuela had a 0.20 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But Lee allowed 10 hits, six runs and three home runs in just five innings against the Braves, easily his worst performance since he joined the Phillies after a July 29 trade with Cleveland.

He is 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA.

“I think he made more mistakes than he’s been making,” Diaz said. “Looking at tonight’s film of my at-bats alone, he missed a couple of spots.”

Lee agreed.

“I went and watched basically every hit I gave up and they were all right down the middle,” Lee said. “It’s hard to get good results when you’re throwing pitches belt high and down the middle of the plate. That’s basically what happened. I feel good about throwing strikes, working ahead and not walking people, but I put myself in positions to put them away and I missed up and down the middle. If you consistently do that, that’s what’s going to happen.”

Homers to Anderson and Brian McCann might not have been home runs elsewhere, but Lee refused to use that as an excuse.

“Ballpark? Whatever,” Lee said. “I got hit today because I was throwing pitches down the middle. That had nothing to do with the ballpark. It was me throwing balls down the middle and them not missing them. They’re good hitters. The ballpark is an excuse. Yeah, maybe in another ballpark a couple of those would have been fly balls, but they weren’t. They were home runs. It’s my job not to throw the pitches where I did.”


The Phillies need to win Sunday night to prevent back-to-back series losses for the first time since they lost four consecutive series from June 12-25 against Boston, Toronto, Baltimore and Tampa Bay.


The Phillies are hitting a mediocre .215 (56-for-260) with 14 homers and 87 RBIs with runners in scoring position since July 26.


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It was just a terrible game pitching was bad and eleven hits with only 1 run, that is embarrising. Bases loaded with no outs and coming out with no runs is rediculous. Blanton is going to have to pitch a gem tomorrow if he wants to win because the way they are hitting Jurrens will probably shut them down. So hopefully they win this series tomorrow.

I’m telling myself they’re just cooling down the bats in time to heat them up again for the end of September………. As long as we don’t become the ’07 Mets in the process… *shudders*

Minor nitpick: The Phillies didn’t lose back-to-back series in Arizona and San Francisco. They won two of three in Arizona before losing three of four in San Francisco. The last consecutive series losses were from June 12-25, when they lost four straight to the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Rays. The last time the Phils lost consecutive series against NL opponents was May 6-14, when they lost three straight series against the Mets, Braves, and Dodgers

Yep, made that correction. Thanks!

While resolving the Closer situation is important, at least the Phils have guys who have the ability to do it- Lidge, possibly Myers , possibly Madsen. A BIGGER problem is the anemic Bench and the inability of almost ANY of these guys ( except Victorino) to make solid contact with men in SCORING position and LESS than 2 outs. In the playoffs , you face BETTER pitching so the inability to play ” baseball” as opposed to ” slugball” is MUCH more important. Unless they make more ball contact with guys in scoring position, they likely will not NEED a closer as there will be nothing to close. As for that Bench, there are too many older, limited ability veterans who are One- dimensional players. Only Francisco is a good player with multi- talents . But Charlie is just too loyal to an older and leveling off Ibanez to play Francisco. Big mistake.

Lee does not concern me…everyone has a bad day sometimes; what concerns me is the lack of offense. Bases loaded, no outs and we still can’t score? Not good.


How about Utley and Werth swinging at some of the pitches earlier in the count? Sure it is grear to be selective but why should pitchers count on neither of them swinging at that first pitch?

McCann didn’t hit a homerun last night.

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