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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Lee (Cliff)”

Cliff’s Edge

Two disappointing teams that were supposed to be at or near the top of their respective divisions wrapped up their three-game series. Two aces who have underperformed along with their clubs faced off in what most assumed would be a pitchers’ duel. Mike Aviles had other ideas. The shortstop took Cliff Lee’s third pitch of the game, a cut fastball, high over Juan Pierre’s reach into the left field stands. The Red Sox had a prototypical National League scoring scenario play out in the second. With one man down Daniel Nava patiently (and amazingly, given the pitcher he was facing) drew a walk. Marlon Byrd sneaked a single through the left side of the infield and Nava got into scoring position. Neither the bunting and hitting practice Bobby Valentine required nor Josh Beckett’s years in the senior circuit helped the hurler get down a proper bunt. Nava was erased from the equation when Beckett’s bunt went right back to Lee. Beckett ran hard to first and beat out what could have been an inning-ending double play. Aviles swatted a turf-scorching ground ball to left field and Byrd scored. Presenting the argument for the Earl Weaver School of Management in the...

Cliff Hanger

After rookie Domonic Brown clubbed his fifth home run of the year the only suspenseful aspect of the game was not whether the Red Sox would win but whether they would get no-hit. The two-run margin Brown’s second inning four-bagger provided would be more than enough for the Phillies to reach their 50th victory. Appropriately enough, Shane Victorino, who hails from the 50th state, was on the basepaths when Brown deposited his home run ball into the bullpen. He added onto the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run longball of his own. Cliff Lee not only pitched nine scoreless innings but lofted a fly ball deep to left to plate Brown in the fifth. The southpaw hurler hit the ball harder and farther than any Boston batter hit him. Kevin Youkilis broke up the perfect game by leading off the second with a four-pitch base on balls and Marco Scutaro ended the no-hitter with a line drive single to left to start the sixth. Beckett failed to bunt Scutaro over and when he was instructed to swing away he grounded into a double play. The Red Sox needed the bat and ball Jimmy Rollins used to...

Not So Easy Lee

Darnell McDonald devours left-handed pitching. The splits say it all: .288 versus .262 batting average, a less striking difference in on-base percentage (.333 compared to .328), but a huge gap in slugging (an impressive .507 compared to .361). So it was not too surprising for the platoon player to come through in the first with a one-out double off the wall. Julio Borbon bobbled David Ortiz’s fly ball to center, allowing McDonald to cross home for the first run of the game. Kevin Youkilis followed the designated hitter with a nifty single to left, and as they had done to many a Cy Young award-winning pitcher such as Cliff Lee before backed their opposition into a corner early. Adrian Beltre grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, hobbling along the first base line, and the local nine did not have another baserunner until the fifth inning. John Lackey nearly matched Lee inning for inning until the sixth. Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, and Nelson Cruz sprayed Texas Leaguers about the field and Vladimir Guerrero refrained from swinging at anything in sight for a base on balls and the visitors inched ahead for a 2-1 lead. Lackey rebounded in the seventh against the...

Wooden

Game 19: April 27, 2009 Red Sox3W: Manny Delcarmen (1-0)S: Jonathan Papelbon (5)13-6, 11 game winning streak Indians1L: Kerry Wood (0-1)7-13, 1 game losing streak Highlights: May Tim Wakefield never retire. He wasn’t part of the decision, but his seven scoreless innings of work with one hit, four walks, and five strikeouts was only surpassed by Cliff Lee’s demonstration that his Cy Young performance was not a fluke. Lee allowed five hits but no runs or walks and struck out five batters over eight innings. Cliff Lee and Tim Wakefield made such quick work of the batters that Kerry Wood and Jonathan Papelbon decided that they would let the hitters get their hacks in.Until Wood entered the game the visitors didn’t have an extra base hit. He fed Dustin Pedroia a steady diet of fastballs and tried to get the second baseman to swing at a slider down and away with the count full, but Pedroia didn’t bite. With Pedroia on first thanks to the free pass David Ortiz somehow singled to the one part of center Grady Sizemore can’t cover. Kevin Youkilis flied out to right and for the first time since April 22 he didn’t reach base.With his...


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