A Vintage Performance

23 May

If you have an offense that’s having trouble scoring runs, what do you do?

 And if you have a bullpen that has been know to be, shall we say, generous to the opposition, what do you do?

 If you’re tired of leaving the game in the 7th inning with a lead only to sit in the dugout and slowly and painfully watch it turn into a loss, what do you do?

 You do what Cliff Lee did last night.  You leave nothing to chance.  And how did he do that?

He only pitched a complete game shutout, blanking the Miami Marlins and leading the Phillies to a 3-0 victory.  The win improved Lee’s record to 5-2 with a 2.48 ERA.  It was Lee’s first shutout since Sept. 5, 2011 and the 12th of his career.

It was a vintage Cliff Lee performance as he got stronger as the game went on.  He even got two hits.  It was the kind of performance the Phillies used to get on a regular basis from their aces and it was refreshing to see it again.

Another refreshing sight was seeing Delmon Young homer for the second consecutive game.  He also singled and scored in the sixth.  Young says he’s close to finding his timing at the plate.

I say, there’s no time like the present.  The Phillies will need a hot bat or two to keep things going.  Believe it or not they’ve won 7 out of their last 10 games.

After today’s day off they will enter an interesting series against the Washington Nationals, the team most experts picked to win the Eastern Division easily.  It hasn’t been quite as easy as predicted, however.  The Nationals enter the series in second place just one game against the third place Phillies.  See why this series could be interesting?

The bad news?  The Phillies will be facing two of the Nationals top pitchers in Jordan Zimmerman on Friday and Stephen Strasburg on Sunday.

The good news?  In another believe it or not statistic, the Nationals offense has been worse than the Phillies.  Yep, you read that right.  The Phils entered Wednesday 12th in the league averaging 3.57 runs per game while the Nats ranked 13th, averaging 3.41 runs per game.

So despite it all, the injuries to Halladay, Ruiz, Adams and now maybe Utley, the inconsistency of the offense, the mistakes in the field and on the base paths, somehow, some way, this team is still playing a meaningful series this weekend.

So I say, let’s enjoy it.

Happy Memorial Day!!

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