Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lee leads Phillies to sweep

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
This Cliff Lee guy is pretty good, huh? In his 3rd start with the Phillies, Lee continued his dominance over the National League, giving up one run just as he had in his previous two starts. This time, Lee went 8 innings, scattering 6 hits and 3 walks and struck out 8 to lead the Phillies to a 6-1 win over the Cubs. The win gave the Phillies a sweep over the Cubs, quite a turnaround for a team that was just swept themselves by the Marlins.

One can't understate how dominant Lee has been with the Phillies. He has pitched 24 innings for the Phillies and allowed only 3 earned runs, an ERA of 1.13. Lee has also struck out 23 batters in that span and only walked 6. He's been everything the Phillies could have possibly hoped for when the traded for him back at the trade deadline. He's been an absolute horse, eating innings and pitching deep into every game. I don't think anyone is still pining for that Roy Halladay guy anymore.

The Phillies did make some noise offensively in this one, too. Ryan Howard led the way with a 3-run homer, and, perhaps more impressively, a stolen base, his 5th of the season. Howard's stolen base prowess this season has been remarkable, he only has stolen only 7 career bases, with 5 of them coming this year on 5 attempts. Pedro Feliz also homered on the day and had 2 RBI on 3 hits.

With the sweep, the Phillies put the pressure back on the Marlins to keep up. Just when Florida thought they had a shot at catching the reeling Phillies, the lead looks like it is going to open back up. Of course, the Braves are also tied with Florida, and they will face the Phillies in Atlanta for a three game set this weekend. Hopefully the Phillies respond better this time, they aren't used to being chased after being the chaser all these years.

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