Lee Struggles In Loss To Braves

After a dazzling 11-strikeout performance in his first start, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee’s second act was a performance he may wish to forget.  Lee allowed all six of the Atlanta Braves’ runs in a 6-3 loss.  Lee allowed ten hits, six earned runs, walked a batter, hit a batter and struck out three batters in 3 1/3 innings of work (his shortest outing since 2009).

Lee often missed the mark last night, as catcher Carlos Ruiz often had to move his glove around the heart of the plate.  Two big innings became Lee’s undoing.  Jason Heyward led off the second inning with a triple; Heyward’s triple was followed by an Alex Gonzalez double and a Freddie Freeman single before recording an out (Tim Hudson strikeout).  Martin Prado then hit an RBI double and Nate McLouth hit an RBI groundout.

The three-run second inning would not be the end of it, for Lee allowed three more runs in the fourth inning.  Lee started the fourth by hitting Freeman.  After again striking out Hudson, Lee allowed back-to-back singles by Prado and McLouth before Chipper Jones ended his night with a three-run double.

With this rough outing, Lee falls to 1-1 with a 7.84 ERA after two starts.  His counterpart – Hudson – pitched 7 2/3 strong innings and collected his second victory of the season (2-0, 1.84 ERA).  Hudson escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth as Ryan Howard grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Chipper Jones collected his 2,500th career hit in the Braves' 6-3 victory over the Phillies

Jones singled to left off Antonio Bastardo in the sixth inning for his 2,500th career hit.  Jones is currently hitting .345 this season.  Jones needs three more RBIs to join Eddie Murray as the only switch-hitters in MLB history to post 2,500 hits and 1,500 RBIs.

After allowing Jones’ 2,500th career hit, Bastardo struck out six consecutive batters.  In 4 2/3 innings of work this season, Bastardo has yet to allow an earned run and has struck out 9 hitters.

Game two’s pitching matchup will feature Roy Oswalt (1-0, 3.00 ERA) and Brandon Beachy (0-0, 1.50 ERA).  In his MLB career, Oswalt is 0-3 in nine games (eight starts) with a 6.21 ERA.

Notes

  • Ryan Howard (.261 career AVG in April) is currently hitting .429
  • Shane Victorino (.296 AVG) currently has three consecutive multi-hit games
  • Ben Francisco (.357 AVG) has hit in six of the Phillies’ seven games
  • Bastardo (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has nine strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work this season

Christopher Wenrich is a senior fantasy baseball contributor for BaseballDigest.com and can be reached at philliesmuse@yahoo.com.  You can follow him on Twitter @DuggerSports.

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