Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Doc perfect in AS Game, Lee has a hiccup

The Phillies' representatives at this year's Mid-Summer Classic were on the verge of doing something special last night.

Roy Halladay had the honor of starting on the mound for the National League. He responded by pitching two perfect innings with one strikeout and a lot of weak ground-balls. He threw 19 pitches, 14 for strikes.

Teammate Cliff Lee followed Halladay to the hill, and pitched a perfect third inning. The Phils had retired the American League's starting lineup in order to start the game. In a bit of a surprising move, Lee came back out for the fourth. After retiring the first two batters, Adrian Gonzalez stood between the Phils' aces and a 12 up, 12 down contribution to the National League squad.

But Lee missed his spot with a fastball, and Gonzalez broke a scoreless tie by blasting a solo shot to right-center field.

Lee settled down and should have been out of the inning, when he forced Miguel Bautista to hit a weak pop-up down the right-field line. Prince Fielder dropped the ball though, and Bautista was awarded a single. Josh Hamilton followed with a broken bat blooper that dropped into center field and ended Lee's night.

Adrian Beltre followed by lacing a single to left off Nationals' reliever Tyler Clippard, who would get the win in the National League's 5-1 victory, but Hunter Pence threw a rocket right on the money to Brian McCann and Bautista was out by 15 feet.

Lee pitched 1.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits.

Prince Fielder jacked a three-run shot in the following inning, and seven pitchers followed for the National League to keep the AL off the board and hold on for a second straight National League victory.

The Phillies' schedule resumes on Friday with Vance Worley (4-1 2.20) toeing the rubber against knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey (4-7 3.61).

Cole Hamels (11-4 2.32) takes the ball on Saturday against Jon Niese (8-7 3.88).

Roy Halladay said he hopes to take the mound for Sunday's finale against Mike Pelfrey (5-8 4.55), but no decision has been made.

The Phillies won't have to worry about K-Rod closing out any games in the series. It's being reported that the Mets have traded their closer to the Brewers for players to be named later. That's good news for the Phillies this weekend, but potentially bad news later in the season as the Brewers should be one of the NL's last teams standing.

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