Yes, it is the 4th of July. But more importantly for the Phillies, it is Cliff Lee Win Day! Appropriately, fireworks and celebration will be seen all over the land!
It only took 3+ months and 83 games, but Lee finally won a game. Hey, you know what Lee’s favorite holiday is? That’s right! Independence / Cliff Lee Win Day!
Over 8 innings against the Mets, Lee allowed just 2 runs, one of which was a solo homer. He struck out 9 batters and only walked 1. THIS is the Cliff Lee we have all been missing. Finally, he is back!
This day was also the first win for Chase Utley. 7 games ago, Utley played his first game of the year after a long rehab of his shoddy knee(s). In that game, he hit a home run in his first at-bat and then Carlos Ruiz did the same right after. Oddly enough, that combination set off a 6-game losing streak.
But tonight, Utley and Ruiz went back-to-back again, apparently spinning the universe back into the correct direction and producing a Phillies win. The earth is back on its axis and gravity is once again in proper alignment. Whew!
That home run combo gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead which they added onto in the final two innings. Jimmy Rollins no-hit streak ended and he drove in 2 runs. And Ty Wigginton added 2 more RBI with a home run in the 9th.
So both Utley and Lee get their first wins of the year with a 9-2 final score. After the game, Lee had bear hugs for Chooch and was later greeted with a chilly Gatorade bath.
Could this be the big win the Phillies needed to get back on track? We can only hope so. Certainly, we can at least see that this team is still capable of winning.
Game 3 with the Mets starts tomorrow at 7:10pm. Cole Hamels will have to face R.A. Dickey; the knuckleballer has been on fire this season. But in the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the fireworks in honor of Cliff Lee Win Day! Whoo hooo!
Oh, and Happy 4th of July, too! :O)
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Lee & fireworks photos by Jenn Zambri Photography