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2009 Recaps

Bako’s Homer Lifts Lee in Home Debut

In front of 45,316 in his Citizens Bank Park debut, Cliff Lee pitched in front of the largest crowd since he pitched on April 16 at Yankee Stadium.

Lee’s outing started off a little shaky.  The Rockies took an early lead  on Todd Helton’s sacrifice fly.  The Phillies mirrored the Rockies in the bottom half of the first inning, tying the game at one on Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly.

Other than that, Lee cruised.  In seven innings, he allowed just one earned run.  He gave up seven hits, walked one, and struck out nine.  However, Lee is all too-familiar with a lack of run support.  Once again, the Phillies had trouble manufacturing runs as Aaron Cook was able to keep the ball down in the zone.  Lee received just enough run support, but it came from an unlikely source: Paul Bako.

On the 1-0 pitch, Cook threw a changeup right down the middle.  Bako waited, and crushed it into the first row in the right center field seats.  It gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.

A couple batters later, Jimmy Rollins (3-for-4) tripled.  Rollins extended his hitting streak to 12, and fell a homer shy of the cycle.  Then, Shane Victorino chopped a ball to Clint Barmes, who fired home.  The throw was wide, and scooted past the catcher.  The insurance run made it 3-1.

Lee and the bullpen worked with what they were given, and mowed down the Rockies.  Ryan Madson pitched an easy eighth.  Next, it was Brad Lidge’s turn.  Lidge has been pitching in non-save situations lately, and struggled.  Recently, he’s been a lot better in actual save opportunities.  Ian Stewart swung and missed Lidge’s slider to end the game.  He allowed one base-runner, but Lidge managed to convert his 21st save of the season.

With the 3-1 victory in the final game of a three game set, the Phillies took the series from the Colorado Rockies, two games to one.

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