Philly Sports Live

Hard to BeLeeve

Cliff Lee made his return to the Phillies’ lineup Monday night, making his first start since May. It was an audition of sorts, with the trade deadline fast approaching and many scouts in attendance. In less than six innings pitched, Lee struggled to hold multiple leads.

After the Giants took a 1-0 lead, the Phillies answered back with two runs in the second on a bases loaded single by Jimmy Rollins.

Lee would allow the Giants to retake the lead the very next inning when pitcher Ryan Vogelsong and former Phil Hunter Pence reached with back to back singles. With the runners advanced to second and third, catcher Buster Posey singled them home on a soft liner to center.

The Phillies managed to load the bases with nobody out in the fourth inning, with Ryan Howard at the dish. Howard then connected on a fly-bunt. I call it a fly-bunt because there are no other words to describe it. Howard gave a half-cocked swing that sent the ball into shallow left field for a two run single. The Phillies led 4-3 at that point, but did not score again in the inning with runners at the corners and no outs.

Lee would not make it out of the sixth inning. He allowed a lead-off single to Mike Morse, and then gave up a two run home run to Adam Duvall to straight away center-field.

The Giants now led 5-4, and Lee would record two outs before allowing a double to pinch hitter Joaquin Arias. Pence followed that with a single to drive in Arias, making it 6-4 San Francisco.

Lee was gone, lasting 5.2 innings and allowing six earned runs on 12 hits and a walk. Not exactly the return he, nor the Phillies were hoping for.

With the trade deadline just 10 days away, Lee will have only one more start before the Phillies could potentially deal him. Tonight did not help their chances in that, or any regard.

Tonight the offense could not be faulted. Though all of their hits were singles, they managed to give Lee the lead twice. They did leave 10 men on base with wasted chances to add more runs. Still, they managed 14 hits against San Francisco pitching. Even without a single extra base-hit, hits are hits. And when a team like this puts up four runs, the starter must do his part.

An already dismal season was given another kick in the gut tonight with Lee’s performance. With this team’s glory days in the rear-view mirror, seeing Lee get hit around was a painful reminder of how far they have fallen.

10 days remain until the trade deadline. How many until the general manager is called on the carpet?

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