On Brad Lidge Bobble Head Night, it wasn’t Lidge who finished the game. All 45,356 rose to their feet anticipating the final out of Cliff Lee’s complete game. With the Phillies 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Lee has won seven consecutive games.
With Lee and Dan Haren on the mound, the game was expected to be a pitchers’ duel. Lee did his part, but the Phillies rocked Haren. Normally, the Diamondbacks play shaky defense, but all six runs that Haren allowed were earned.
After a couple missed opportunities in the first two innings, the Phillies got on the board in the third on Chase Utley’s two-run home run. With the homer, the Phillies now have four players with at least 25 home runs: Howard (31), Werth (27), Ibanez (27), and Utley (25).
In the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks manufactured a run without a hit. Ryan Roberts grounded to Pedro Feliz, but the ball went under his glove for a two-base error. Roberts moved to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield, and Stephen Drew’s sacrifice fly put the D-backs on the board. The perfect game and shutout ended, but Lee still had the no-hitter working.
For the second time in four starts, Lee took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Chad Tracy broke up the no-hit bid on a line drive up the middle.
The Indians did not provide Lee with much run support, but he received plenty tonight. Ryan Howard’s opposite field, three-run homer gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Before the Liberty Bell could stop ringing and the fans could sit down, Jayson Werth took the first pitch deep off the ivy in center field. Werth homered again in the seventh inning.
As he stepped into the batter’s box in the eighth, fans knew that Lee would be attempting the complete game. After a big hack on the first pitch, Lee dribbled a hit down the third base line. Mark Reynolds hoped it would roll foul, but Lee hustled out the single. It was his second hit of the night; the same amount of hits he allowed.
Lee struck out 11 batters, tying a career high. He improved to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.82 with the Phillies. His complete game is his second with the Phillies, and fifth of the season. The only run he allowed was unearned, and he did not walk a batter. Lee has gone at least seven innings in each and every of his starts with the Phillies. A tremendous addition to the Phillies, Lee is quickly becoming a fan favorite, and deservedly so.