Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee needed a solid bounce-back game tonight after his last start was a small disaster. Against the Nationals in the third game of the series, Lee did more than bounce back. He pretty much destroyed the Nats line-up, one batter at a time.
Over nine innings in a complete game, Lee allowed only three hits, no runs, 1 walk and struck out 12 batters. The Nats bats looked baffled at the plate. At this rate, teams may have to start a support group soon for players who are totally humiliated by this Phillies pitching staff. They can call it C.R.A.P.P, Cannot Rally Against Phillies Pitching.
Lee’s competition, Jordan Zimmerman, kept up with Lee through five innings. He had a no-hitter going until the sixth when Carlos Ruiz smashed a home run to left. With one swing, the no-hitter was gone and Phillies took a 1-0 lead. Shane Victorino scored later that same inning on a Placido Polanco single.
Zimmerman was pulled in the eighth after both Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez singled and Lee reached on an error to load the bases. A ground out followed by a Jimmy Rollins single scored two more runs, increasing the Phillies lead to 4-0.
The Nats, in a four-run hole in the bottom of the ninth, attempted a comeback with a lead-off single. But Lee shut them down. Our old buddy Jayson Werth made the last out, which was the icing on the cake.
The win tonight means the Phillies have taken two out of three games in D.C. this week. This marks their fourth consecutive series win to start the season. It also marked the first time the Phillies had back-to-back complete games since May of 1999.
The Phils go back home to face the Marlins tomorrow. Roy Oswalt will pitch and game time is 7:05pm.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography