After an unbelievable June in which he allowed one run in 42 innings over six starts, Cliff Lee was a little off in July. Last night he made his first start of August and it looked like June all over again. Lee threw a complete game shutout, striking out eight as the Phils topped the Giants 3-0.
Pence went 3-for-4 in last night’s game, homering early and adding an RBI-single in the ninth. He drove in two of the three runs the Phils scored in the game.
The Phillies are 72-39 on the year after beating the San Francisco Giants 3-0 last night in San Francisco. They have won seven in a row and lead the NL East by 8 1/2 games.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing six singles and a double. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight.
Aaron Rowand led off the bottom of the first with a single, but Lee got Jeff Keppinger to ground into a double-play behind him. Pablo Sandoval grounded to third for the third out.
Up 2-0, Lee set the Giants down in order in the second.
Chris Stewart singled to center with one out in the third. The pitcher Madison Bumgarner bunted him to second with the second out, but Lee got Rowand to ground to short to leave Stewart stranded.
Sandoval singled with one out in the fourth. Lee struck Carlos Beltran out behind him before Orlando Cabrera moved Sandoval to second with a single. Lee struck Cody Ross out swinging 2-2 to the inning with both men stranded.
Lee set the Giants down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh. In the fifth inning, Howard made a very nice over-the-shoulder sliding catch in foul territory to retire Stewart for the second out. In the sixth, Keppinger hit a ball down the third base line, but Polanco made a diving stop and threw to first in time for the second out. Cabrera ripped a line drive ticketed for left field in the seventh, but Polanco snared it for the second out.
Aubrey Huff singled to start the eighth with the Phils still up 2-0. Stewart flew to left for the first out and switch-hitter Andres Torres hit for the pitcher Bumgarner. Torres reached on an infield single that moved Huff up to second, but Lee struck Rowand out looking and got Keppinger on a ground ball to third to keep the Giants off the board.
Lee was up 3-0 when he started the ninth. Beltran doubled to left with one out. Cabrera popped to short for the second out and Lee struck Ross out looking 2-2 to end the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Madison Bumgarner went (1) Rollins (2) Polanco (3) Victorino (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Mayberry (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Utley and Ibanez sit against the lefty with Mayberry in lefty and Valdez at second. Victorino hits third for Utley with Polanco hitting second.
Rollins and Polanco both singled to start the game, putting men on first and second. Rollins was thrown out trying to steal second for the first out, with Polanco moving up to second. Victorino walked, putting men on first and second for Howard. Howard hit an inside-out liner to third, which was caught by Sandoval. Sandoval threw to second to double-off Polanco and end the frame.
No run for the Phils on two hits, a walk and a stolen base.
Pence led off the second and homered to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Mayberry was next and he homered to left, too. 2-0. Ruiz grounded to second for the first out before Valdez walked. Lee tried to bunt him to second, but struck out for the second out. With Rollins at the plate, Valdez was picked off of third and then thrown out at second to set the Phillies down.
The Giants had gotten six outs in the game, two of which they had gotten on the bases.
Polanco and Victorino struck out as the Phils went in order in the third.
Howard and Mayberry struck out as the Phils went in order in the fourth.
Ruiz and Lee struck out as the Phils went in order in the fifth.
Victorino singled to right with two outs in the sixth, but Howard struck out behind him.
Pence singled to center to start the seventh. Mayberry was next and he grounded to third, with Pence forced at second for the first out. Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the frame.
The Phils went in order in the eighth.
Victorino singled to left with one out in the ninth and moved up to second on a ground out by Howard. Pence chopped a ball up the middle for a single and Victorino raced around to score, putting the Phils up 3-0. Mayberry struck out swinging to leave Pence at first.
Rollins was 1-for-4 with a single and a caught stealing. He’s stolen 24 bases on the year and been caught six times.
Polanco 1-for-4 with a couple of nice plays at third.
Victorino 2-for-3 with a walk.
Howard 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Pence 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 360/393/600 in 25 at-bats with the Phillies so far. The Phils are 6-0 since he arrived.
Mayberry 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts. He has three home runs in his last 11 at-bats.
Valdez 0-for-2 with a walk.
Vance Worley (7-1, 2.33) faces lefty Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81) tonight. Sanchez has been sidelined with biceps tendinitis and will be making his first start since June 24. He’s walked 52 of the 297 right-handed batters he’s faced this season. Righties are hitting just .224 against him for the year, but on-basing .367. Worley didn’t pitch great in his last start, allowing four runs in six innings to the Pirates. His seven starts before that were fantastic, though. In those outings he was 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA and opponents hit .151 against him over 47 1/3 innings.
Manuel is doing his best to explain why he called Lincecum and Cain “good but not great.” It’s kind of a tough task.
The article linked above suggests that when Oswalt is activated to start Sunday’s game, Francisco or a pitcher may lose their roster spot. The Phils are currently carrying 11 pitchers. If you count Gload as an infielder, they have seven infielders.