Thursday, July 5, 2012

Could Lee’s first win be the sign the Phillies season is turning?

I know, it’s just one game, but yesterday’s 9-2 win over the Mets, a victory credited to Cliff Lee, his first in 13 starts this season, had plenty of hopeful signs.  The first was Chase Utley , displaying his vaunted drive to win by putting the team on his shoulders and hitting the tying home run.  Carlos Ruiz continued his season long brilliance by putting the Phillies in the lead, hitting his second back to back home run combo with Utley , who has been back in the lineup less than a week.  Cliff Lee, who had pitched competently in this game through six innings, then took it to another level, as Mets catcher Mike Nickeas said "Once they took the lead, we saw a different side of him," .  The Phillies kept pouring it on, scoring three runs in each of the last three innings, a killer instinct that had been missing much of the season. My favorite example was slow-footed Ty Wigginton hustling home from second on Hunter Pence's single off shortstop Ruben Tejada's glove in the eighth, the kind of aggressive baserunning that can force the other team into errors.   Hopefully, this is the start of a return to the type of baseball we’ve been privileged to see in Philadelphia over the last few seasons, and the impending return of Howard and Halladay from the disabled list can only help if this season is to be resurrected. The Phillies must start now, to paraphrase the great Yogi Berra, “it’s gotten late early around here”.

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