After choosing Philadelphia over Texas this offseason, Cliff Lee faced his former team for the first time since pitching in the 2010 World Series for them. The reunion appeared to be motivating, as Lee was on top of his game.
Over eight innings, Lee struck out 10 Rangers, allowed only five hits and did not give up a run. Lee has been the victim of a lack of run support this year, but it did matter this time as he kept the Rangers off the board.
The offense had another rough day, but they managed to squeak out two runs for Lee. Ryan Howard busted out of his slump with a solo homer and a single in the game. John Mayberry Jr. collected a two-out RBI single in the sixth for the Phillies second run.
Domonic Brown made his 2011 debut in right field. He got off to an ugly start in the first inning by grounding into a fielder’s choice in which Jimmy Rollins was thrown out at second. Brown then was caught stealing afterwards. He later left the bases loaded with two outs by hitting a fly ball to end the fifth inning.
Another player who had a bad day was Raul Ibanez. He went 0-3 and hit into two double plays. The first one came with one out and a runner on third, which was really disappointing as a sac fly could have added on a run.
But even though the offense is still holding on by a thread, Lee pitched them out of trouble. He even tried to help out with a single and his first career stolen base. But the two runs on eight hits turned out to be enough.
After Ryan Madson closed the game, the Phillies walked away with a 2-0 win and a chance to sweep the series. The final game with the Rangers is Sunday afternoon at 1:35pm. Roy Oswalt gets the start. I will be there and return with photos.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography