NO REALLY GUYS, EVERYTHING IS FINE. IT'S OK THAT I LOST AGAIN. (/choked sob) WHATEVER JUST LEAVE ME ALONE I HAVE TO TRIM MY STUBBLE! (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
What can you really say about another Cliff Lee loss like this?
For what feels like the 832nd time this season, Lee pitched well but was on the losing end of a close game. He gave up two runs (just one earned, though the other run resulted from his own error), nine hits, and no walks in eight innings. He also racked up 11 strikeouts, the 23rd double digit strikeout game of his career, and his 15th with the Phillies. He got himself both into and out of a few jams today, most notably in the third when with bases loaded and no outs, he escaped with just one run.
The Phillies were handcuffed by Braves pitching for the second day in a row. Yesterday they notched just three hits, and today they didn't improve on that -- they could scratch out only two against Tim Hudson, Eric O'Flaherty, and Craig Kimbrel. The Phillies' only run came in the sixth inning, when Chase Utley hit a sac fly to score Jimmy Rollins. I don't think I would have cheered so loudly on Thursday if I'd known that the Phillies were scoring nearly all of their runs for the rest of the season in that one game. I wish they'd saved a few for yesterday and today. I BET CLIFF LEE WISHES THAT, TOO.
Today's game wasn't the cleanest ever played, either. In the fourth, Tim Hudson hit a flier to right center that went over John Mayberry's head. It bonked off the wall in the opposite direction that Mayberry was looking, and he lost it on the ground, glancing around comically for a moment before realizing the ball was to his right and behind him. He threw it to third, but it actually hit Hudson on the way there. Not a good looking play, that. He also missed a ball on a diving catch when it clanked off part of his glove. The ball just seemed to find Mayberry today, daring him to make more bad plays. Even the umpires got in on the fun! In the bottom of the third, Kevin Frandsen was called out when a ball was bunted off the ground and bounced back and hit his body when he was out of the batters box, except not really, so thanks Scott Barry, you walking pile of human excrement.
The highlight of today's game was clearly Gregg Murphy's interview with Grace, a 99-year-old Phillies fan. She was sharp as a tack and awesome as hell. Her favorite player is Ryan Howard, and she nearly swooned when she told the story of how he once gave her a hug. Who could resist hugging Grace?! Really now. Grace will turn 100 on Valentine's Day 2013, and I'd like to be her best friend.
Things that are less awesome than Grace: pretty much everything, including this putrid Fangraph. Look away, it's hideous.