Cliff Lee Improves to 9-2 on Season as Phillies top Nationals

Cliff Lee only made two mistakes for solo home runs in last night's victory over Washington 4-2.The Phillies were going into this series against the Washington Nationals with very little, if any, momentum after a horrendous 7-3 road trip. However, the Fightins continued there success at Citizens Bank Park by picking up there fifth straight win at home Monday Night in the series opener. Tuesday night, the Phillies were hoping for continued success from veteran south paw Cliff Lee. Lee has been the “stop-the-bleeding” guy for the better part of the 2013 season. This time, however, Lee would be called upon to put together a nice 2-game winning steak for the Phils.

The rain was coming down on a busy evening at the South Philly Sports Complex. The Rolling Stones were defying age itself across the street while a veteran of his own art, Cliff Lee, was looking for his ninth win of the season for the Phillies. The game started 70 minutes after the scheduled 7:05pm first pitch as the Wells Fargo Center was rocking to “Paint it Black.” Cliff Lee started the ball game as we all knew he would. Denard Span lead off for Washington and grounded out on an 0-2 pitch. Anthony Rendon would strike out swinging followed by a ground ball that snuck into left for a base hit off the bat of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Then, the boos filled the ballpark as Dan Baker announced “Now Batting for Washington Right Fielder Jayson Werth.” Werth would hit into a FC to end the first for Lee.

When the Phillies came to the plate in the home half of the first, I thought it was back to the dreaded Philadelphia Anemic offense. Ben Revere lead off the inning by flying out to center. Michael Young was next. Young had fans in the stands with a sign reading ” We drove all the way from Texas to see Michael Young!” Young lined out to the pitcher in his first AB and J-Roll would ground out to end the inning.

Those fans who traveled from Texas just to see Michael Young play definitely got there money’s worth. Coming into Tuesday night, Young was sitting on 998 career RBIs. The Phillies veteran third baseman would pick up career RBI number 999 on one of his 3 doubles. That’s right, Michael Young hit 3 doubles and scored 2 runs! That’s the first time hes done that since 2006 when he played for the Rangers in a game against Tampa Bay.

Ben Revere began a sixth-inning rally doing something a lead off hitter is supposed to do once in a while- a bunt single. Michael Young stepped to the plate and easily drove home the speedy Ben Revere on his 3rd double of the night. Jimmy Rollins would follow with a base hit of his own to move Michael Young to third. The “Big Piece” now had an RBI opportunity with runners on the corners. Ross Detwiler didn’t allow Ryan Howard to swing the bat, though, as he hit him to load the bases. The next batter was Domonic Brown. Brown worked Detwiler by fouling off several pitches, none-the-less, Brown would eventually strike out. Delmon Young would follow suite with a K of his own. Now, there are 2 outs with the bases loaded for Kevin Frandsen. Frandsen has been clutch ever since joining the Phillies last season. Frandsen continued his production by ripping a 2-out single to left scoring Michael Young and Jimmy Rollins making it a 4-1 Phillies advantage.

Cliff Lee would continue to be dominant pitching 8 innings, allowing only 5 hits, 2 earned runs, walking none while striking out 9. What more could you ask from Cliff Lee who has been, by far, the ace of the 2013 Phillies.

The Phillies are now (18-9) against the National League East. That’s the best record out of any other team in the NL East against the NL East. With the win, they tie the Nationals in the Win column, move into a second place tie with the Nationals and are 7.0 games behind the 1st place Atlanta Braves.

- For all your Phillies needs and updates, follow me on Twitter @saintseamus.

Worth Noting:
* 2B Chase Utley was sent to Double-A Reading on a rehab assignment Wednesday.
* Carlos Ruiz returned to lineup last night going 1-3 with a single.

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Seamus Doyle