After a 4-6-3 game ending double play, Cliff Lee was handed the baseball and stuck it in his back pocket. In his much anticipated Philadelphia Phillies debut, Lee absolutely dominated the San Francisco Giants. There is a reason why he won the American League Cy Young award last season, and there is a reason why the Phillies picked him up. He did it all in the Phillies 5-1 win.
The very first pitch he threw was a called strike and that was a sign for good things to come. He struck out the lead-off batter and had an easy 1-2-3 first inning. It wasn’t the only 1-2-3 inning he had. Lee had a no-hitter through 5.1 innings.
Before Lee allowed a hit, he got a hit of his own. Lee singled in the fourth inning. He later doubled off the left field wall in the eighth inning, just missing a home run. He also scored a run before he allowed a run.
Juan Uribe ruined Jonathan Sanchez’s perfect game earlier in the month by making an error. He ruined Lee’s no-no in the sixth inning with a double. He would later ruin Lee’s shutout by scoring a run on Aaron Rowand’s sacrifice fly.
The Phillies offense managed enough run support for Lee. The Phillies scored early on Jayson Werth’s solo home run, but went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position until the seventh inning. Raul Ibanez drew a bases loaded walk and Werth’s two run single broke the hitless streak. The other addition, Ben Francisco, hit a sac fly that made it a 5-0 game. It also gave Lee a five run cushion.
Lee didn’t need all the runs, but it was a nice change of pace after receiving minimal support in Cleveland. In the complete game, he allowed one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six. He located and mixed his pitches very well and wasn’t afraid to throw any pitch in his repertoire. He kept his pitch count down to 109 and fielded his position extremely well. Lee put on a show that kept everybody on the east coast awake.