The Phillies held on to win the finale of their three game series with Milwaukee on Sunday, 7-5, and avoided the sweep.
The Phils jumped out to an early lead in the first, scoring five runs off Brewers starter Mike Fiers. Domonic Brown hit a three-run home run, while Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis each drove in a run in a first inning during which Philadelphia batted around. They then added another two runs in the second to jump out to a large 7-0 lead.
With seven early runs and Lee on the mound, there was a definite feeling of comfort.. .until there wasn’t. Antonio Bastardo pitched the ninth instead of Jonathan Papelbon, who was nowhere to be found, and nearly let the game slip away. A game that was already too close for comfort because of Justin De Fratus’ struggles. Turns out Papelbon was unavailable due to a stomach illness.
Dom Brown’s Power Carrying Offense
At this point, you feel spoiled if Brown does not hit a home run in a key spot with men on base. The Phillies left fielder cranked his 16th homer of the year in the first inning, a three-run blast off the facing of the upper deck in right. He followed that up with an RBI triple in the second, a single in the fifth, and a walk in the seventh inning.
Brown’s power has been almost hard to comprehend. In his last nine games, he has eight home runs and 14 RBI, which is more than any other player in the majors over that span. He has also raised his average from .243 on May 19 to .282, which is no easy feat two months into the season.
Walks from Howard a Key to Scoring Runs
One thing that happened in Sunday’s game that has been happening more often of late is Ryan Howard working a walk out of a tough count, and having that extend the inning for Brown, who drives in the runs. In the last three days Howard has three walks after having just one in his previous seven games. When your best hitter is doing what Brown is doing, Howard getting on base (especially with two outs) is key because it gives Brown an opportunity to drive in runs like he did today, and does not bring him up with the bases empty in the next inning.
Lee is Lee, did you expect anything else?
We have come to expect Cliff Lee to do what he did today, and has done the last several outings. The southpaw has been almost untouchable in his last six starts. He has been mixing up his pitches, forcing weak contact and pounding the strike zone. At one point in the seventh inning, when he hit the 80 pitch mark, he had thrown 64 strikes and 16 balls.
Lee finished the game with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. He did allow three earned runs, but that was mostly due to Justin De Fratus allowing the two runners he inherited to score on a bases-clearing triple by Jonathan Lucroy. It could have been even worse as a grand slam was overturned on replay.
In his career, Lee is 72-7 when his team has scored six runs or more for him.
The Phillies will remain at home for a three game series with the last place Miami Marlins. The Phillies are 6-4 against Miami this year, which is not all that good considering they have only 16 wins all season and more than a quarter of those are against the Phillies. On Monday night Philadelphia will send Kyle Kendrick to the hill. He pitched well his last time out and has a 5-3 record and 3.27 ERA this season.