It was a comforting night for Cliff Lee.
The left-hander had been having a roller coaster season so far, showing signs of being human despite pitching incredibly well. His seven innings of shut out ball were only his second stint of one run or less since the beginning of May as the Phils beat the Dodgers, 3-1, Monday night.
Lee struck out 10 in his seven innings, scattering seven hits and walk throughout. It was his sixth 10-plus strike out game of the season. He had nine in his career prior to the start of the year.
Lee did his job on the hill and the Phils offense gave him a good enough cushion to win.
They did so early in the 3rd. Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard each hit RBI singles. They added one more run in the 8th off a Carlos Ruiz RBI double.
Ryan Madson had a three-run to work with in the top of the 9th, allowing a run on two hits, striking out two to earn his 13th save in as many chances this season.
Lee’s season has been bittersweet. He evened his record up to 5-5 and lowered his ERA to an uncharacteristic 3.62. If you take away his two bad starts he had in his first 13 starts, he as a 2.64 ERA in his 11 other starts. Those other two starts equal a combined 12.64 ERA.
Both Dodger star Matt Kemp and Phillie killer Rod Barajas went 0-for-4 on the night. Kemp is hitting .317 with 16 homers and 48 RBIs on the season. Barajas had hit .452 (19-for-42) with four doubles, eight homers and 19 RBIs in last 13 games against the Phils prior to tonight’s loss.
2B: Valdez (8), Ruiz (8).
WP: Lee (5-5). LP: Lilly (4-5). S: Madson (13).