I suppose it was bound to happen. I know that Cliff chose us and came back to us after flirting with the Yankees. We all fell for his jawline and his slight southern drawl. Well everybody, even the prettiest girl in school gets a zit once and a while.
Tonight’s blemish was provided by the Atlanta Braves who got to Lee for ten hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings. Trouble started in the bottom of the second inning with the Phils on top 3-0. Jason Heyward started the inning with a triple and was knocked home by a Alex Gonzales double. Rookie Freddie Freeman singled and was doubled in by Martin Prado. The Braves tied the game with an RBI groundout from Nate McClouth. It was at this point that I assumed that Lee had settled down and would be able to go deep into the game after getting all that unpleasantness out of his system. The Braves knocked Lee out of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the crippling blow provided by a Chipper Jones bases loaded double which cleared the bases. It looked like Shane Victorino was going to track the ball down, but he got a little turned around and the ball glanced off his glove giving Larry the opportunity to hurt the Phillies one more time.
The Braves countered with their ace, Tim Hudson. This is the point where all the baseball people who have sprinted from the Phillies bandwagon tell us that Hudson is every bit as much of an ace as all of the members of our stalwart rotation. Shut up. None of us want to hear that there is another girl at school who is just as hot as our girlfriends. Hudson acquitted himself impressively today tossing 7 2/3 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing three runs. He worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth when he got Ryan Howard to ground into an inning ending double play with a check swing combacker to the pitcher.
Positives from the mound today were provided by the bullpen, who held the Braves scoreless through the final 4 2/3 innings. Kyle Kendrick replaced Lee and worked out a bases loaded jam. He was followed by Antonio Bastardo who struck out every single person he faced over two innings and reminded us that the Braves cannot hit left handed pitching. J.C. Romero further cemented that fact by finishing the game with a scoreless inning.
Offensive positives came from the running game. The team realized that Brian McCann mccan’t throw anybody out. In the first two innings Victorino, Jimmy Rollins and Ben Fransisco all swiped bases off of the Braves all star catcher. Victorino went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI, Ben Fransisco went 2-3 with an RBI and Chooch went 2-4 with a run scored.
The Phillies could not keep the first four batters in the Braves order off the bases with Prado, McCann, McClouth and Jones going a combined 9-14 with five RBIs. Chipper Jones got his 2,500th hit today. It seems like at least 2,000 of those hits have come against the Phils. Bobby Cox took time away from hitting his wife to attend the game and see his hall of fame bound third baseman stick it to the Phillies one more time. I am really tired of these two. I hope today’s 6-3 dusting is the last we see of those two guys, but I suppose that we will get to hear about Cox and Jones for the remainder of the season.
The Phils get another crack at the Braves tomorrow when Roy Oswalt takes on Brandon Beachy.
Don’t worry everyone, in the end, Cliff will still put out on prom night.