Cliff Lee Makes Season Debut With Hopes to Notch Phillies’ First Win In Series Finale

CliftonphiferPhoto: Philliedelphia/Steve Trapani

The Phillies fell to 0-2 on the season with last night's 9-2 loss. Roy Halladay was not good, but was not bad at the same time. He surrendered two home runs, allowed five earned (one he inhereted to Jeremy Horst) on six hits through 3 1/3 innings. Doc walked three, but managed to strike out nine Braves in such a short outing. He threw 95 pitches, 55 for strikes en route to his first loss of the season. After jumping on the season with an 0-2 record, the Phils are in search of their first win of the season. Hopefully tonight will be the night as Cliff Lee (2012: 6-9, 3.16 ERA) and Kris Medlen (2012: 10-1, 1.57 ERA) get the start in the season-opener-series finale in Atlanta.

Cliff Lee is making his first start of the season in an effort to put out the fire as well as seeking to bounce back from a dismal 2012. Provided little to no run support last season, Lee didn't take a winning decision until July 4th, fourteen starts into the season. He managed to post a 3.16 ERA (74 ER in 211 IP) and held batters to a .255 BAA. This past spring Lee was somewhat efficient, allowing 11 ER in 20 2/3 innings pitched over six starts. In 2012 Lee made two starts against Atlanta, taking a win and loss while holding a 0.60 ERA (1 ER in 15 IP). In his career against Atlanta, Lee is 4-4 with a 3.08 ERA.

Kris Medlen is coming off a very impressive 2012 after being moved from the bullpen into the rotation. Despite making just twelve starts, Medlen managed to maintain a 10-1 record with a remarkable 1.57 ERA (24 ER in 138 IP) in 50 appearances. After being moved from the pen to the rotation, Medlen kept a 0.97 ERA through those starts. Medlen also struck out 120 batters, totaling a 7.8 K/9 ratio. Medlen did not make any starts against the Phillies last year, but did make three appearances against them, posting a 8.79 ERA (3 ER in 3 1/3 IP). In his career, Medlen is 1-0 with a 5.32 ERA against the Phils.

Game Notes:

  • Avoid the sweep. Heading home 0-3 from Atlanta is not the way to start off the homestand. 
  • Cliff Lee's last 5 starts vs. the Braves: 38 IP, 0.95 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 37 K, 3 BB. Phillies lost 2 of those games.
  • Justin Upton has two home runs in two games, Freddie Freeman has 1 HR and 6 RBI in two games.

Phillies lineup:

  1. Ben Revere CF
  2. Jimmy Rollins SS
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Michael Young 3B
  6. Domonic Brown LF
  7. Laynce Nix RF
  8. Erik Kratz C
  9. Cliff Lee P

Braves lineup: 

  1. Andrelton Simmons SS
  2. Jason Heyward RF
  3. Justin Upton LF 
  4. Freddie Freeman 1B 
  5. B.J. Upton CF
  6. Dan Uggla 2B
  7. Chris Johnson 3B
  8. Gerald Laird C
  9. Kris Medlen P

Weather forecast: 45° • Few Showers  • 40% PoP. 

TV: The Comcast Network, MLB Network
Radio: 94 WIP, 1210 WPHT

Let's Go Phillies!

Erik Seybold is The Senior Bloglord of Journalistic Activities at Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.