Because good Phillies news can never be accompanied without some bad… the Phillies beat the Marlins 6-5 last night in Miami. Also, Cliff Lee is a little broken.
Lee to DL. Strained flexor tendon. At least three weeks, probably.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) May 21, 2014
Frankly, that news could have been a lot worse.
It appears Lee is not going to require any kind of season-ending Tommy John surgery or anything like that. Instead, as Gelb notes, he'll likely be out a few weeks.
As for the game itself, for the third straight game, the offense led the way, scoring six runs on seven hits, including a go-ahead two-run home run in the 5th by Jimmy Rollins (who now has more career hits than Joe freaking DiMaggio!) that gave the Phils a 4-3 lead. Ryan Howard got the Phils on board early with a 1st inning RBI double, followed by an RBI groundout by Marlon Byrd that made it 2-0. A John Mayberry bases loaded single in the 6th, pushing the Phils' lead to 6-3.
A.J. Burnett was not sharp for the third game in a row, but he hung in there on a night when both sides had issues with the home plate umpire's strike zone. In fact, it was so bad, Miami manager Mike Redmond got tossed, which led to this bit of fun.
One note about the home plate ump, though.
Will Little is a minor-league fill-in umpire. Neither side quite pleased with his strike zone. Ugly. Real ugly.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) May 21, 2014
Hey Will, the strike zone is the same up here as it is down there, big fella.
Burnett was pulled for a pinch hitter after lasting just five innings, giving up three runs on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts. He was angry at the time, but the move paid off big when Mayberry hit his two-run single that pushed the Phils' cushion to three runs.
They would need those extra runs.
Jake Diekman pitched two brilliant innings of relief, and even managed to get Giancarlo Stanton to foul out to first base despite the fact he had no business pitching to him in the first place. Hey, hate the process, love the result, you know? Diekman seems to have really turned a corner this month.
Jake Diekman in May: 10.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 14 K. Think he's found it.— Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidman) May 21, 2014
Mike Adams then came in and tried give it all back, allowing the first three base runners to get on, pulling the Marlins to within 6-4 in the 8th. He then struck out the next two batters and got a ground out with runners on 1st and 3rd to keep the lead at two.
Jonathan Papelbon made things interesting in the 9th, giving up a hard-luck run to make it 6-5, but got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to fly out to center to finish things out for his 12th save of the season.
One other fun note, our good friend Randy Wolf pitched the 7th for Miami. It was good to see Randy again, and it made me wonder if he ever found that girl he was looking for on the New York subway. I'm probably the only dude who remembers his lonely, creepy search for love, and I've always wondered how it turned out.
With the win, the Phils now have a bona fide winning streak of three games and move to 20-22, four games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
And, Cliff Lee isn't dead after all, which is really the best news of all.