Earlier today on our Phillies Nation twitter account (@PhilliesNation), I posted this:
Well, it happened. Cliff Lee was awesome tonight, fanning 10 Mets in eight innings as the Phillies held on for a 3-1 victory.
Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown supplied the offense, both going yard to right field; Rollins in the fifth inning, Brown in the seventh, both off starter and Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey. Jonathan Papelbon supplied the other arm, closing down the Mets in order in the ninth for his 35th save.
For J-Roll, it was his 21st of the season. CSN put up an interesting graphic regarding Jimmy: He’s had four seasons of 20 homers and 30 steals, only Bobby Bonds (9) and son Barry Bonds (7) have had more. That’s how good he’s been for such a long period of time in this town.
For Dom, it was his fourth bomb of the season; he also added a triple to raise his average to .248 on the season. He homered over the weekend, so he’s starting to flash some of that power we were all hoping to see.
But it was all about Lee pushing the Phillies to within 3 1/2 games of the second wild card in the National League. They needed that shutdown performance from him, something he was able to provide for most of last season, but has been relatively sparse this year. That’s not to say Lee hasn’t been the victim of bad luck and bad play by his offense – but I think we all know he hasn’t been as crisp as in 2011.
For him to come out and take control from the start was key. It was apparent even prior to first pitch he would need to do that against a very good knuckleballer in Dickey, a guy who has been one of the best in baseball all year. With runs hard to come by, Lee was ace.