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Cliff Lee earns rare win as Phillies finish sweep of Nationals

Aug 26, 2012, 5:56 PM EDT

Cliff Lee AP

Cliff Lee bested Jordan Zimmermann on Sunday, pitching seven innings of one-run ball to earn his third win as the Phillies topped the Nationals 4-1.

The Phillies held the Nationals to just five runs over three games in pulling off a home sweep to improve to 61-67. It’s the first time they’ve been within six games of .500 since June 28.

The Nationals had their chance to get to Lee in the seventh, only to be undone on the basepaths. With Jayson Werth on second, Adam LaRoche hit a long fly to right that bounced off the top of the railing and came back into play. Both thought it was a homer, but it was ruled the ball remained in play. LaRoche ended up being tagged out between second and third, while Werth only advanced to third base.

Werth did come around to score on a Tyler Moore double, but the Nats might have had a chance for a big inning there.

With Jonathan Papelbon unavailable after pitching three straight days, Josh Lindblom got five outs for his first career save. Lindblom had a 7.88 ERA in 10 appearances since arriving from the Dodgers in exchange for Shane Victorino.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    I guess that Lee is over his bout of amnesia and has remembered how to win a game.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      Spoken like someone who has not followed Lee this year.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM

        What are his win/loss stats this season and in how many starts?

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:49 PM

        A) very cheesey to thumb up your own comment
        B) are you sticking with “forgetting how to win”? If so, you clearly have not followed Lee

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM

        Look sourpuss! Lee just won his third game in 23 starts, thanks in part to his RBI double. Obviously, if he is going to win this season, he has to contribute at the plate.

      • sneschalmers - Aug 26, 2012 at 10:17 PM

        Not including this start, Lee has a 3.78 ERA this season with 151 Ks v. 25 BBs. That’s pretty good. It’s not Lee’s fault the Phillies offense has been injured/mediocre for most of the season.

        Your sentence supports this point: “Lee just won his third game in 23 starts, thanks in part to his RBI double. Obviously, if he is going to win this season, he has to contribute at the plate.” Exactly. The rest of the offense is so old and inconsistent that a pitcher as good as Lee needs to contribute at the plate to have a chance of getting wins this season.

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        @proudly – you can say it as often as you like, but if you think Lee’s losses are a result of “forgetting how to win”, then you have not been following him in 2012.

        I could mimic you and insist the Blue Jays play in Manitoba, but that does not change the facts

  2. kvanhorn87 - Aug 26, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Even if you think it is a homerun, how do you not score if you were on second? Even jogging the base paths that play took long enough to make it home from first, let alone second. Epic failure of a series from Werth.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      Totally agree – on the replays you can’t see Werth, but once that hits the top of the wall, you should be at 3rd before the ball hits the ground. What was he doing, admiring LaRoche’s stride?

      Whatever…all in all, have to say I am depressed that all the Phillies are are spoilers……sigh……

      • natslady - Aug 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        Yeah, Davey let both of them have it. Said, Rochie, what were you doing? He said, I was going for third base. Davey: well, you weren’t going very fast. That was after he went for Werth, said his vets let him down.

      • natslady - Aug 26, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        Meanwhile Harper was breaking helmets in the tunnel because he got double-switched out. (He actually had a good series, 3 for 11 w/ two doubles and a nice catch in CF). Team is short-handed by two (Morse and Desi) so Davey didn’t have much choice.

        “I thought he had three pretty good at-bats against (left-hander Cliff Lee),” Johnson said. “But I’ve got two bench players. I’ve got to double switch. I told (bench coach Randy Knorr), I said ‘Tell the kid I have one player left and I’m double switching with him so he doesn’t kill himself down there.’
        “(Knorr) didn’t get to him right away. He was destroying helmets in the runway. So I said ‘Randy, will you get to him? Please get to him.’ But I really had no choice. I didn’t care if it was Babe Ruth. I had one player left and I have to have as many batters to stay in the game as possible.”

      • ramblingphilliesfan - Aug 26, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        Only 9 back with a month and change to play. Baseball’s a funny game. Never know…haha. 2013 looks bright at the very least.

  3. flynnie321 - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Reports are that Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson were in a shouting match after the game, with Davey yelling, “You come down and manage the team!’

    • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 26, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      Wow, I thought that was a joke – now I see it happened for real.

      Not a fan of Davey’s, but then again have no dislike for him either. He is a mellow amiable guy – and Christ, I think the team has done well this year. What the hell does Rizzo have an issue with???

      That has to be most gutless chicksh*t thing I have seen in 30 years!

      • cowboysoldiertx - Aug 26, 2012 at 9:12 PM

        People lose their tempers sometimes. It happens. No doubt they will kiss and make up!

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        “No doubt they will kiss and make up!”

        Dear God, I hope it is just a hand shake

  4. kvanhorn87 - Aug 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    The young team and second rate manager are unraveling two days in a row. Natitude! Luckily for Nats fans their lead is insurmountable.

  5. phillyphann83 - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    We’re only 9 back, this day last year St. Louis was 10.5 back. How’d it workout for them? Its not over yet.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Yes true BUT

      1) St Louis was ABOVE .500 not below it at the time.

      2) St Louis only needed to worry about Atlanta and San Francisco, Philadelphia has more teams in front of them, hence they need more teams to play really bad for a month.

      3) And St Louis only got in because the Giants were fading away anyway and a collapse of monumental proportions by Atlanta. Philadelphia would require of a collapse of monumental proportions by St. Louis, Dodgers (or Giants), Arizona AND Pittsburgh.

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        Have to dsiagree on AZ, that would not have to be a monumental collapse on their part. And Pittsburgh….ahhhh, any down tick on there part can not be called monumental. But otherwise, spot on

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        You’re right. I was probably engaging in some hyperbole there at the end, but the point does remain that you need several contending teams to play varying degrees of bad baseball within the same time frame. It’s a tad unlikely to happen.

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        Yea, and a lot more then a tad at that…..sigh…..

        August use to be the time you would crunch in your head “If the Phillies go 9-20 the rest of the way, Team X would still have to go 26-3 and to knock them out of the Playoffs”

  6. Phillies Homer - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Just to piggyback on some of the other “Phillies are still in it” comments:
    Phillies have upcoming series against the Rockies, Marlins (2), Mets (2), Astros. If they can sweep these teams and win the series against the Braves (2), Reds, Nats… they can conceivably go 27-4 the rest of the way.
    Granted, going 27-4 is a stretch in itself, but it got me excited… until I looked at the Cardinals remaining month of baseball: 18 games against the Mets, Brewers, Padres, Astros, and Cubs. So, even if the Phillies were able to go 27-4, needing the Cardinals to go 17-15 the rest of the way seems more of the unlikely scenario!
    Oh well… winning this late in the season is getting me excited for next year!

    • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      “they can conceivably go 27-4 the rest of the way.”

      Thats the beauty of your screenname. You can say whatever you like – you gave full disclosure up front!

      Yes, close out strong and head into 2013!

      • Phillies Homer - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        Yea… I do believe once people see my screenname they don’t both reading my post! If I posted more I’d think about changing it. Since you took your screename, maybe I’ll change mine to NorthWilmingtonPhilliesFan!

        But, I felt like my response was something a “non-homer” could agree to. It’s not inconceivable to think they shouldn’t be able to sweep those teams. And taking 2-3 from the remaining series is also doable. But, I did mention it’d be far-fetched to think the Phillies could go 27-4.

        Although, all that to say, like FC and myself alluded to above… the most unlikely scenario of a Phillies playoff push is more of the fact that the teams ahead of them are not going to bottom out, especially the Cardinals with their cake schedule.

        Anywho, I think we are all in agreeance that them continuing to win makes next year’s outlook much better!

  7. Francisco (FC) - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Settle down people, just be happy the Phils are playing like the way they were supposed to.

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