The Phillies sweep the Mets, although it was anything but weird. Of course, Brad Lidge gets into trouble in the ninth – two runners on with nobody out. The Mets put on the double steal; a line drive to second base, Eric Bruntlett makes the catch, tags the sliding runner from first and steps on second base to end the game. An unassisted triple play completed by Chase Utley’s reserve second basemen. Utley had the day off. The final game, yesterday, Chase Utley makes two errors in the first inning. Both of those errors led to runs, Cliff Lee’s only runs of the game. Cliff Lee pitched another stellar game, giving up no earned runs and only 6 hits through 7 innings. The Phillies extended their lead in the NL East to 7 games and now hold the second best run differential in all of baseball.
While the triple play was amazing, even better that it ended the game and gave the Phillies a big win, it doesn’t hide the fact that Brad Lidge is still struggling to get outs and be consistent. A closer for a prominent and well playing team should not let the first two runners on base and not record a single out. He got lucky that Bruntlett was lucky and in the right place. Lidge pitched well yesterday, but still doesn’t make up for his inconsistent play. He needs to get it together for the stretch run and apparent playoff games. Chase Utley’s errors were really only a blip on the radar. Maybe his one day off affected his game? Although, one has to be concerned that Utley did commit the two errors in the same inning and that they led to runs. I think this will be quickly forgotten. Finally, how great an acquisition was Cliff Lee? The dude has been nothing but dominant. He really solidified this pitching staff and made the Roy Halladay rumors and requests all worth nothing. Let’s hope he keeps it up. In fact, he is one of the more interesting pitchers to watch. He has great command not only of the mound, but the entire game. He lands pitches in crucial spots and never waivers in his consistency. His motions and wind-up are always the same and when they vary it is because the situation demands. I think the Cliff Lee trade has been worth it, so far, and it should continue to reap benefits for the Phillies.