Oct 18, 2009, 11:31 PM EDT
Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino homered and Ryan Howard extended his streak of postseason games with an RBI to a record seven, but Sunday night was all about Cliff Lee. The left-hander pitched eight shutout innings and struck out 10 in the Phillies’ 11-0 victory.
This one was over quickly, as the Phillies scored four times on Howard’s triple and Werth’s homer in the first and added two more in the second. The Dodgers never collected an extra-base hit in the contest. They never had multiple runners on base at the same time. In short, it was a dominant performance for Lee, who even singled and scored on Victorino’s homer in the eighth.
Lee improved to 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in three postseason starts. He’d likely be 3-0 if not for Dexter Fowler’s leap in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS. He appeared all set to go for the shutout tonight, but after he ran the bases in the eighth and the Phillies added three more runs, the team took the prudent course and lifted him from the rout.
It’s been a spectacular run for the left-hander, who wasn’t good enough to make the Indians’ postseason roster two years ago. Even though he was healthy enough to pitch, the Indians opted to pick Aaron Laffey over him in 2007 after he went 4-8 with a 6.29 ERA in 16 starts and four relief appearances that season.
Now Lee stands as the ace of the postseason to date, and the Dodgers won’t be very optimistic if they head back to L.A. down 3-2 knowing they’ll be facing him and Pedro Martinez again. The Phillies, on the other hand, have a chance to take the series without being forced to turn back to Lee. They’ll throw Joe Blanton in Monday’s Game 4. The Dodgers will turn to former Phillie Randy Wolf, their Game 1 starter in the NLDS.
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