Against a considerably tougher lineup than the one he dominated in San Francisco Friday night, Cliff Lee brought the goods Thursday afternoon in his home Phillies debut: seven innings, six hits, one run, one walk, nine strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins and--wait for it--Paul Bako held up the offensive end as the Phils finished their three-game set against the Rockies with a 3-1 win.
Lee did lead the American League in hits allowed, so perhaps it shouldn't have been that surprising when the Rockies greeted him with a Dexter Fowler double and Seth Smith infield single to start the game. Todd Helton's sacrifice fly scored Fowler to give Colorado a 1-0 lead, but that was pretty much it: only one more Rockies baserunner (Aaron Cook, who reached on a Lee error) made it even as far as second base. Showing a more effective changeup than he had in his first Phillies start, Lee got swinging strikes all day, fanning Troy Tulowitzki twice and Chris Ianetta three times.
Rollins quickly got the Phillies tied up with a leadoff double in the bottom of the first, advancing to third on Shane Victorino's groundout and scoring on a deep sac fly off the bat of Chase Utley. The game remained deadlocked until the fifth, when Bako drove a Cook pitch out to deep right center as broadcaster Gary Matthews, like the rest of us except for the being on TV part, stammered in disbelief. Rollins followed two hitters later with a triple, and scored on a Victorino grounder that second baseman Cliff Barmes fired up the third base line, out of Ianetta's reach.