FLASHBACK: We cut to December 2010. Cliff
and Kristen Lee is on the phone with his agent, discussing a return to Philadelphia.
Suddenly, FLASH. A DeLorean with plastic doo-dads bolted onto the frame, appears in the driveway of Lee's Arkansas home. A tiny 40 year old teenager, and a crazy pervert mad scientist emerge from within.
And so on.
I really don't think this is what Cliff Lee expected when he signed that big contract with the Phillies. On the evening of the twice-a-century Transit of Venus, where the planet named for the Roman Goddess of Love obscured a teeny portion of the sun's face as seen from Earth, Lee and the Phillies endured something all-too-common for the team this season. The lefty was masterful for seven innings, striking out 12 Dodgers but couldn't walk the very fine margin for error provided by the offense, surrendering a two run, two out double on his 122nd pitch of the evening, as the Dodgers defeated the Phillies by a score of 2-1. The Phillies' fourth straight defeat sent the Phillies back below .500.
The Phillies scored their sole run in the first after a JImmy Rollins double and a Hunter Pence RBI single. After that Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley kept the Phillies off the board. Clearly. See: Box score.
Lee entered the eighth inning on a roll, before allowing a leadoff double to Matt Treanor, who was thrown out at third on a failed sacrifice bunt from Tony Gwynn, Jr. The second out of the inning also came at third base, with Hunter Pence throwing Gwynn out on a brilliant throw from right field after a Bobby Abreu pinch single. After Dee Gordon grounded a single to right, Lee served up a hanging curve to Ellan Herrera, who smacked the ball off the left field wall just out of the reach of a turned-around Juan Pierre, easily scoring both Abreu and Gordon for a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers bullpen, including known serial murderer Kenley Jansen, pitched two scoreless innings to close it out.
(UPDATE: I was remiss in not acknowledging the always excellent Wet Luzinski for the title to this recap.)