Lights On, Lights Out

1 Sep

Last night our lights finally came on just in time for a lights out performance by Cliff Lee.  And what a performance it was. Lee was one out away from a complete game shutout but Ryan Madson came in to get the final out as the Phillies and Lee beat the Reds 3-0.

Lee is now 15-7 overall with a 2.59 ERA but for the month of August he was as red hot as the temperatures.  He was 5-0 for the month with a 0.45 ERA and only gave up 2 runs in 39 2/3 innings.

This is the kind of week that Ruben Amaro, Jr. must have been dreaming of when he put together this stellar rotation.  From Hamels to Halladay to Lee, each seemingly better than the last and most importantly 3 wins for the Phillies.  And that’s not even counting Roy Oswalt who is still trying to regain his stride after returning from a back injury.

As for bringing Madson in to get that final out, I was yelling at my newly working television for Charlie to make the move even sooner (I was getting a little impatient but I didn’t want to throw anything since we just got the tv back!)  After all, the real goal here isn’t individual records and achievements but team wins and preparing for the post season.

Not only did Madson secure the win but it’s important for the Phillies bullpen, especially the closer, to have to perform in pressure situations with the game on the line.  It’s good preparation for the post season where a good closer is a necessity to going deep into  the play-offs.  (Wasn’t there another ‘lights out’ guy in 2008 when the Phillies won it all?)

Of course, Lee wanted to stay in the game:

“It’s not very often you go 8 2/3 and not give up a run and somehow not feel good about it when it’s over,” Lee said later.  “It worked out.  Madson came in and got the guy out.  It’s hard to question the move.”

Good answer, Cliff.  And he had another response later that I liked even better.

His August performance matched with his equally incredible June when he went 5-0 with a .21 ERA tied him with Bob Gibson and Walter Johnson as only the third pitcher to have two months with a 5-0 record and an ERA under 1.00.  Pretty impressive, right?

“I don’t really care,” Lee said.  “I hope I have a good September and October, too.  That stuff’s already over.  Now we’re on to the next one.”

Great answer, Cliff.

Let’s see, an average May followed by a great June.  July, not so great, then an amazing August.  So Cliff, it’s OK, if you take it a bit easy in September.  Following your current model, that means you’ll have an “electric” October!

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2 Responses to “Lights On, Lights Out”

  1. geetie cohen September 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Bless “powers” that be
    Above all bless our Cliff Lee
    Normal for now, wee !

  2. Susan Cohen-Dickler September 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Love the haiku!! Thanks.

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