11:40 PM: The Phillies and Giants are currently through 5 innings in San Francisco, and Cliff Lee’s debut couldn’t be going any better. Lee hasn’t given up a hit yet and has walked one. When he loses the no-no you can blame it on me and this post. Lee greeted his first batter with a good morning, good afternoon, and good night strike out. He then induced two groundballs back to the mound, and he was off and running. His cutter has been awesome, and he just pounds the strike zone relentlessly. He also had a nice opposite-field single, so it’s all gone great for him tonight.
Ben Francisco has also had a very nice night. He’s hit the ball hard all three times up, but has only had one hit, a double, to show for it. Despite the new guys’ efforts, the Phils lead just 1-0 on a solo homer by Jayson Werth.
11:50 PM: Just as I thought, it didn’t take long for this post to put an end to the no-hitter. Juan Uribe blooped a double down the right-field line, but Lee left him stranded there, thanks in part to painting a cutter on the inside corner against a righty for about the fourth time in the game. I like how the Giants have these fat guys on their team. Pablo Sandoval is probably the fattest third-baseman you’ll ever see, and Uribe is about the fattest middle infielder.
11:54 PM: In the 7th inning of a 1-run game and a runner on 1st, Bruce Bochy is electing NOT to bring in a lefty to face Utley, Howard, and Ibanez. I’m very happy about this.
11:57 PM: After a walk to Utley, Bochy apparently remembered that he’s supposed to be managing this game and he’s bringing in the left-handed Jeremy Affeldt. Francisco hit the ball hard again in his at-bat this inning, but he keeps hitting it right at the fielders.
12:09 AM: Well, it seems like Bochy just doesn’t have much confidence in his bullpen, and it’s not hard to see why based on this inning. Affeldt hit Howard to load the bases, then walked Ibanez to make it 2-0. Then Bochy, apparently impressed by how Affeldt handled the two lefties, left him in to face Werth, and Werth singled to put the Phils up 4-0.
12:25 AM: After the long top of the 7th, Lee looked out of whack to start the bottom half of the inning. He threw 7 straight balls before settling down and getting 3 straight outs. This guy’s pretty awesome.
12:29 AM: Lee leads off the 8th with a double off the wall! Like I said, this guy’s pretty awesome. He moved to third on a Rollins single, then Francisco brought him home with a sac fly. 5-0 Phils.
12:39 AM: Aaron Rowand leads off the 8th with a double for his 1,000th career hit. Congrats to Aaron, who’s one of the good guys in the game. Edgar Renteria then laid down a bunt, and Lee made a very athletic play to get him at first. Lee is really doing it all tonight. Rowand then scored on a sac fly. 5-1 Phils.
12:58 AM: Cliff Lee goes the distance in his debut, as the Phils win 5-1. Phillie fans, you have a new workhorse in the rotation. Lee’s line: 9 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 6 K’s. He also added two hits and scored a run. Not too shabby. The Cliff Lee era is off to a good start!