Chase Utley continued his torrid start and Cliff Lee bounced back from a brutal start on Opening Day to hurl seven scoreless innings. The Phillies blanked the Cubs 2-0 at a frigid, Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon.
Utley put the Phillies on the board in the top of the first inning, launching a Jeff Samardzija fastball into the right field bleachers. Utley was in the middle of the action in the fourth inning, as well. He drew a lead-off walk and came around to score on a one-out single by Domonic Brown.
Utley reached base all four times he came to the plate. He has gotten off to blistering start this season: .476/.522/.857 with a 1.379 OPS.
Lee returned to form after one of the worst starts of his career. He scattered ten hits over seven scoreless innings. It was vintage Lee, painting the corners and getting key strikeouts with runners on base.
Not surprisingly, Lee and his new battery mate, Wil Nieves, looked they had been working together for years.
Phillies (3-2) @ Cubs (1-4)
PHI: A.J. Burnett, RHP (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
CHI: Carlos Villanueva, RHP (0-2, 13.50)
Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL) 2:20 PM ET
The Phillies would like nothing more than to leave Chicago this afternoon fresh off a three-game sweep. A.J. Burnett will look to build off a strong outing against the Texas Rangers last Tuesday. The Phillies will face right-handed swingman Carlos Villanueva who took the loss in the Cubs’ first two games, pitching out of the bullpen. Today’s start will be his first of the season.
-Utley’s double in the eighth inning was the 300th of his career.
-Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless, eighth inning. He has appeared in four of the five games this season.
-The Phillies’ bullpen has not allowed a hit in 5 2/3 innings of work against the Cubs this weekend.