For the first time this season, Cliff Lee attempts to build a winning streak. In the process, he’ll attempt to double his win total for the season to two.
Granted, Lee’s record is not indicative of the way he has pitched. He hasn’t been the stud stopper you’d expect from an ace as he hasn’t been able to avoid the bad inning that plagues the Kyle Kendricks of the league. Neither has he been Joe Blanton. His 3.98 ERA this season is the highest he’s had since 2007 when he posted a 6.29.
Injuries could very well have had a part in his season. He pitched 10 scoreless innings in San Francisco then went on the DL. He wasn’t the same since then until last week in New York when he gave up two earned runs and struck out nine in eight innings of work. In the previous 10 starts since coming off of the DL, he had given up two or less earned runs just twice. That is not the Lee we have come to love over time.
Can Lee put together a streak of star-level starts for the first time since mid May? Can the bullpen and offense put and keep him in a position to get a win against the Rockies? For the Phillies second half fledgling playoff hopes, the answers better be in the affirmative.