The Padres came from behind Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning in extra innings by a final score of 4-3. Facing a dominant Cliff Lee, the Padres had no answers early as the Phillies appeared to be in control. Cliff Lee struck out 7, and gave up 2 earned runs off of 8 hits and a walk, throwing a mix of 53.6% 2-seam fastballs, 18.8% change-ups, 17.9% cutters, and 8% curveballs. The Padres hitters were able to break through late, leading off the 9th with two hits against Lee and chasing him out of the game. The Phillies brought in their closer Jonathan Papelbon against Kyle Blanks, who responded by plating both runners with single to shallow center. Blanks then advanced to third off of 2 outs, and scored on a passed ball, tying the game. The next inning, Blanks came up to bat again in the bottom of the tenth and the bases loaded. Blanks launched a hard hit shot down the third base line, which would have been a likely double except for the walk off situation, and was then dog piled by his teammates at 1st. Glorious. Klye Blanks went 4-5 for the game, scoring 1 run and knocking 3 RBIs.
Padres Starter Eric Stults also performed well for the game, going 7 innings and striking 4, giving up 2 earned runs off of 7 hits and no walks, earning a no decision, but a team win. Stults used five pitches today, throwing a mix of 36.9% 4-seam fastballs, 25.3% change-ups, 22.3% sliders, 7.8% 2-seam fastballs, 7.8% curveballs. Stults pitched well enough to win, and has continued to pitch well over this stretch of games.
This was the first time that I watched Cliff Lee pitch this season, and I have to say I was impressed. I can tell he is a very competitive person on the field. As the Phillies have struggled this season to contend, one wonders if they are looking to trade pieces, and one wonders if Cliff Lee is on the block? Cliff Lee is owed a large sum of money which adds a wrinkle into trade scenarios. The biggest hole this season for the Padres has been at starting pitcher, and slotting in a legit #1 starter would instantly convert the Padres into strong contenders for the NL West. Do the Padres, have the payroll, the prospects, and the guts to go for it?