Throughout the month, Phillies Nation will be counting down the Top 25 Phillies Moments of 2009.
Top Moment #20: Cliff Lee fans 10 in 11-0 blowout over LA in Game 3
Put this one in the memory bank for 10, 20, or 50 years from now. Allow it to impress upon your brain, because now that Cliff Lee has departed to cloudier pastures (the rainy northwest), it is this game that may conjure the most pleasantries.
He was here but for a minute (five months to be exact), yet in that short time frame, Lee made the most of it. In Game 3 of the NLCS, following a dull performance in Game 2 by everyone not named Pedro Martinez, a surefire legend was in the midst of being consummated in South Philadelphia. Cliff Lee detached the Dodgers limb by limb, going eight innings, while allowing just three hits, and striking out 10. Try to fathom that, because it’s something that had NEVER happened before in playoff history.
Yep, Cliff Lee, by striking out 10 and walking none, while allowing nary a single Dodger to reach home plate, became the first pitcher in MLB Playoff history to achieve the feat. Tom Seaver didn’t do it, Randy Johnson never did, only Clifton Lee has accomplished it.
Of course, the man needed some help from his friends – the offense – and he got that immediately. The Phillies slapped on six runs through the first two frames, including a two-run triple compliments of Ryan Howard in the opening inning. The Phillies never looked back, and they didn’t have to. They were in good hands from start to finish. After 114 pitches, Cliff Lee was through, but not before changing the direction of the series. The Phils went up two-games-to-one, and polished off L.A. two games later to secure back-to-back NL Crowns.
And although Cliff Lee is now just a memory following his questionable trade to the Mariners, performances like this will forever make him a favorite in the hearts of Phillies fans.