Apr 262011
Phillies ace Cliff Lee

Phillies ace Cliff Lee

April 25 phillies.com:

PHOENIX — This is why they have to play the games. On paper, Monday night’s matchup between the Phillies and D-backs at Chase Field appeared to be a mismatch, pitting $120 million man Cliff Lee against $423,000 man Ian Kennedy.

Lee struck out 12 and Kennedy whiffed 10. Lee walked one and Kennedy strolled none. Lee allowed five hits and Philadelphia managed only three off Kennedy. Lee was pelted for two homers, Kennedy none.

Final score: D-backs 4, Phillies 0.

“He pitched great,” Lee said about his counterpart. “To shut down our lineup like that you have to be doing something right. I wouldn’t have expected him to go nine innings without letting up a run. That was impressive. He did a great job tonight and that’s that.”

Lee made two early mistakes and that cost the Phillies the ballgame, allowing homers to Chris Young and Gerardo Parra. The Phillies came into the game with the best record in baseball and on a five-game winning streak. The loss left them at 15-7, tied with Colorado.

On the upside, though, the left-handed Lee lost for the second time in four decisions, he pitched seven innings and equaled his season strikeout high. Lee also whiffed 12 on April 14 in a three-hit, shutout win at Washington. His career high of 13 came last July 27 against the A’s as a member of the Rangers.

“[Lee’s] a great pitcher,” said Young, who hit a two-run homer (his fifth) in the third, two innings before Parra’s solo shot, his first of the season. “We took advantage of a few mistakes and that was pretty much the ballgame. We had a pitcher who goes out there and throws a shutout. It doesn’t take much [offense] when someone does that.”

Kennedy (3-1) pitched the first shutout of his career and allowed only two runners as far as second base. He’s now 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies since coming to Arizona from the Yankees in a multi-team deal prior to the 2010 season.

The D-backs had just come off a three-game sweep by the Mets in New York and four losses in a row. But in the last week, they’ve won three out of four over the Phillies and Reds. Hard to figure.

The Phillies‘ offense, though, has been struggling. Although they swept a four-game weekend series against the Padres at PETCO Park, the Phils scored just 12 runs in doing so. Veteran left fielder Raul Ibanez, who came into the game in an 0-for-18 slump and left having extended it to 0-for-21, is at .179 overall and may be the most desperate of the bunch.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said it was part Kennedy, part his own team’s lack of punch.

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