A Cy Young Award winner on the mound + seven strong innings + 16 strikeouts = win, yes? Not this time.
Cliff Lee set a career-high and 2011 MLB-high with 16 strikeouts tonight in seven innings of work. Lee’s 16 strikeouts also tie Curt Schilling and Steve Carlton for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game by a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher. Lee walked one and allowed three earned runs. Lee’s record falls to 2-3 on the season with a solid 3.69 ERA. Lee struck out 10 or more hitters in four of his seven starts this season.
Led by veteran pitcher Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Braves defeated the Phillies 5-0 and won their sixth consecutive game. Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins pitched the first no-hitter of the 2011 season; Lowe appeared to be heading towards a no-hitter as well.
After six innings of no-hit pitching, Lowe surrendered back-to-back hits in the seventh. Shane Victorino led off the seventh inning with a single and was followed by Placido Polanco’s double. Lowe – apparently in pain in the foot/knee/leg area – was hobbling. Lowe may have earlier injured himself while running the bases.
After allowing back-to-back hits, Lowe was relieved by left-hander Eric O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty struck out the side (Ryan Howard, Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez) to end the inning and preserve the 3-0 lead.
The hits by Victorino and Polanco would end up as the Phillies’ only hits tonight. The Phillies were a collective 2-for-29 with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Saturday’s matchup will feature Kyle Kendrick (1-2, 2.08 ERA) starting against righty Julio Teheran (MLB debut). According to Baseball America’s 2011 rankings, Teheran is the number five prospect in baseball. In five starts with the Gwinnett Braves (AAA), Teheran went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
- RHP Roy Oswalt was placed on the DL (retroactive to April 27) and is eligible to return next Thursday
- LHP Cliff Lee joins LHP Steve Carlton and RHP Curt Schilling as the only Phillies to strike out 16 in a game
- Outfielder Shane Victorino is now on a nine-game hitting streak
- With Oswalt on DL, the Phillies called up RHP Scott Mathieson