Posted by Danielle Wilson
I can’t explain how loud Citizen’s Bank Park was tonight. Why was it so loud? Clifton Phifer Lee started his first game as a Philadelphia Phillie in 2011.
Cliff didn’t fail to remind us just how incredible of a pitcher he is. In the first inning, he tossed 18 pitches, 11 strikes, striking out two and grounding out one. Then it was the Phillies’ turn to bat. Polanco and Rollins led it off with a couple of singles, and Ryan Howard followed with an RBI single, scoring Jimmy. Raul Ibanez almost killed a baseball, but it hopped off of the left field wall, and moved Raul to second, and Polly to home.
Cliff Lee continued to deal throughout the second and third innings, aside from hitting Chris Johnson in the second, he only allowed that one base runner, until the fourth inning when he gave up a single and an RBI triple which was hit by Carlos Lee. That triple was pretty bizarre, because it was hit into right-center field, right between Victorino and Francisco who collided and were both slow to get up, but were both ok.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Raul Ibanez walked, and Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch, and with those two on base, Shane Victorino smacked a two-run single, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead.
The bats were not quiet in the fifth inning for the Phils. After Ryan Howard singled (again), Ben Francisco doubled to deep right-center to score Howard. Raul Ibanez (who was my standout star of the day) doubled and scored Benny Fresh, and Wilson Valdez singled and scored Raul Ibanez. 7-1 Phillies.
Cliff Lee’s strikeout count made it up to eight by the top of the sixth before he gave up a single and then a homerun to Carlos Lee. Rejoice, he struck out Bill Hall for the third time tonight shortly after. Nine strikeouts on 98 pitches through six. 7-3 Phillies.
Cliff started the seventh inning with 98 pitches, but still continued to rack ‘em up. He struck out Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace, and grounded out J.R. Towles. Strikeout count: 11. Pitch count: 111. Cliff Lee was done after that.
In the bottom of the seventh, Raul Ibanez walked again, which was the fourth time that he was on base for the night, and Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double, 8-3 Phillies.
Danys Baez started the eighth for the Phils, and it wasn’t very pretty. After striking out Bourn and grounding out Inglett, Angel Sanchez reached first on a throwing error by Placido Polanco. Hunter Pence singled as well as Carlos Lee who scored Sanchez. 8-4 Phillies.
Let me start this paragraph by saying this: All Polanco does is hit! In the eighth, Polly led things off with his third single of the night, and made it to second on Jimmy Rollins’ line-out, which he was a little too angry over, and then Polly scored on Ben Francisco’s RBI single.
Jose Contreras came in to seal the deal on game number two. He gave up back to back singles to Chris Johnson and J.R. Towles, then struck out Jason Michaels and Michael Bourn to finish off the ‘Stros. Phillies won 9-4.
So, Cliff Lee takes the W for his first game as a Phillie in 2011, what else did you expect? J
Tomorrow, Roy Oswalt will take the mound against Bud Norris at 1:05. Sleep tight tonight, Phillies fans, and don't worry too much about Shane Victorino and his sore left calf.
Also, enjoy this tweet from @The700Level.