Cliff Lee spent the end of last season pitching for the Texas Rangers. Everyone really wanted him to care, to show a tinge of regret after choosing Philadelphia over last year’s American league champions. If he missed his old teammates, he sure has a funny way of showing it. Lee was great tonight, tossing eight innings of shut-out ball and striking out then en route to a 2-0 victory. Colby Lewis lined a pitch off of Lee’s neck in an obvious attempt to knock him from the game. Lee smiled coyly, as he is want to do and continued to dominate the Rangers.
Colby Lewis is something of a feel good story. He is a former first round draft pick that pitched himself out of major league baseball and into the rotation of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for two years. The Rangers took a flyer on him last season and he responded by giving them two hundred innings and striking out 196 batters. Wishing for his complete destruction makes you feel a little bad, but I am sure that someone can dig up a photo of him talking to Jeff Francoeur to erase any goodwill generated by his story. Lewis pitched well tonight, but was not able to keep up with his former rotation mate by allowing two runs and seven hits in his six 2/3 innings of work.
Ryan Howard has experienced the longest hitless stretch of his career. He had gone twenty three straight at bats without a hit. He ended the slump by hitting a Colby Lewis fastball out to right field in the bottom of the second. He also hit a single off of Lewis to go 2-4 on the afternoon. Hopefully this is a sign that he has pulled out of his slump and not some sort of terrible world ending harbinger.
The Phillies scratched across one more run in the bottom of the sixth when John Mayberry Jr. singled after a pair of walks to score Raul Ibanez. Carlos Ruiz was caught in a run down attempting to go to third on the play, upsetting people who like to watch players go first to third.
Ryan Madson remained perfect in save opportunities by pitching a scoreless ninth and is further cementing the fact that he should close for the Phillies in the foreseeable future. Reports on Brad Lidge’s reported soft sobbing in the corner of the dugout are inconclusive.
Domonic Brown made his 2011 season debut with the Phillies by going 0-4 with a couple of strikeouts and leaving five men on base. There will be other days. He is way to gifted not to hit the baseball a little bit. He will probably get the night off tomorrow with left hander Matt Harrison going for the Rangers. Roy Oswalt takes the hill for the Phils as they go for the series sweep.