Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher Cliff Lee threw out a near-perfect game during their impressive 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lee, 35, pitched the opening eight innings last night and only allowed four hits whilst striking out 10 Dodgers.
The victory gave the Phillies a vital 1-0 lead in the beginning of the four-game series this midweek against what is considered the strongest side in the National League.
The four-time MLB all-star will now handover starting pitcher responsibilities to A.J. Burnett and Cole Hamels for the next two games. Depending on how those two fare and whether any injuries effect the Phillies starting line-up, it is likely Lee will return for the final game of the series.
Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandeberg heaped credit on his pitcher after the game. Speaking to MLB.com, Sandeberg said: “He set the tone, Cliff definitely did that tonight.”
Sandeberg’s opposite number, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, admitted Lee’s changed style of pitching made the difference.
Lee, who made his MLB debut for the Cleveland Indians in September 2002, is a seasoned pitcher approaching the twilight of his career.
The 35-year-old made it to the World Series in 2010 with the Texas Rangers but struggled on the big stage as his side lost out to the San Francisco Giants.
The starting pitcher has recovered from minor injuries over the past four years and again appears confident at the mound.
But Lee had a game to forget on Opening Day against the Rangers when he leaked eight runs in just five innings. The pitcher is now at 3-2 with a solid 3.09 ERA in his last five games and has begun to find consistency.
And Consistency will be the key for the rest of his team as all the sides around them will begin their push for the post-season. This is only the third time the Phillies have won two games in a row in 2014 and a win in the second game of the series would boost their record to an even 10-10.
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