Cliff Lee Stellar In Phillies Debut As Philadelphia Takes Down San Francisco
The first batter the former Indian faced, Randy Winn, struck out on three pitches. This was only a precursor of things to come.
Aside from a one-out walk to former teammate Ryan Garko in the bottom of the second, Lee was lights-out all night.
In fact, it wasn't until the sixth inning that Lee gave up a hit.
The run support was lacking for the left-handed pitcher, as Jayson Werth's solo home run in the second inning was all that stood on the scoreboard until the seventh. But Lee didn't let that get to him.
He continued to overpower the Giants, retiring the minimum amount of batters through five innings.
Once the Phillies took a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning, it became clear that Lee was going to win this game. His double off the right field wall in the eighth only helped his cause, as he was driven in on a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
He gave up a run of his own in the bottom half of the eighth, but held the Giants off the board the rest of the game.
Lee came back on in the ninth to finish what he started. That he did.
After a single to begin the inning, he retired Pablo Sandoval before finishing the game with a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Bengie Molina.
The newly-acquired Phillie was outstanding, allowing only four hits and one earned run. He threw his third complete game in his last four starts, giving the Phillies' worn-out bullpen some valuable rest.
Cliff Lee made it loud and clear in his debut that trading for him over the highly-priced Roy Halladay was the smarter option.
The naysayers who remain adamant that Halladay was the correct choice for the Phillies will have a few questions to answer following Lee's dominant performance.
He is scheduled to start again on Thursday against the Colorado Rockies. It will be his first home start with the Phillies.
In other news, Shane Victorino sat out his second straight game with a swollen knee. Ben Francisco, acquired along with Cliff Lee, started in his place both games.
Pedro Martinez took another step toward his return with the Phillies in a Triple-A rehab start on Friday. He went five innings, allowing five runs. Four of those runs, along with 35 of his 84 pitches, came in the fifth inning.
The Phillies will continue their four-game series with the Giants at 9:05 PM ET on Saturday. Joe Blanton will take the ball for the Phillies, facing the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum.
Photo courtesy of ESPN.com
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