Cliff Lee Pitched So the Phillies Won, Obviously

Cliff Lee Pitched So the Phillies Won, Obviously

As we told you prior to this evening's game, the world is not ending -- we repeat: NOT ending, Phillies fans. Because Cliff Lee pitched tonight. And he was fantastic once again.

Lee was on top of his game for the second time this season, pounding the strike zone early and often. The Mets were on top of his aggressiveness early, stringing together eight hits off of him overall, but Lee was able to mostly avoid any serious damage.

A Lee offering to John Buck was his only real bad mistake of the night. Buck put one into the seats in right field in the fourth inning. That was Lee's only earned run of the evening. A very inexcusable throwing error from Jimmy Rollins to the previous batter cost him another.

The offense came through early in this one as well, allowing Lee to really stay in attack mode. The Phillies opened up for four runs in the second inning after John Mayberry knocked in Michael Young and Dom Brown who both reached on singles. Cliff Lee then helped his own cause, knocking in JMJ to make it 3-0. Ben Revere then knocked in Lee to make it a cool 4-0.

The third inning saw three solo shots from Ryan Howard (oppo), Young, and Mayberry Jr.

A 7-0 lead at that point would pretty much be the ball game.

One other interesting note: After legging out a triple earlier in the game, Young found himself just a double shy of the rare cycle. He had a chance in the seventh inning, but grounded out to short.

Lee's final line: 8.2 IP, 3 runs, 2 earned, 8 hits, 6 Ks, 0 BBs. Fans kind of booed when Charlie decided to pull Lee with two outs in the ninth after allowing two batters to reach on singles in favor of Mike Adams. It was more funny than anything else.

Adams got the job done with just three pitches and the Phillies got their third victory of the season.

more on the game later... what'd you see tonight that you liked?

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Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

USA Today Images

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68


Seniors Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins combined for 44 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and No. 1 Villanova held off Providence, 78-68, in a Big East game at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
Villanova extended a four-point halftime lead to as much as 20 points before hot-shooting Providence closed to within nine with five minutes left. Villanova then went on a 13-3 run to put the game out of reach.
Hart had 25 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Wildcats, and Jenkins added 19 points, four boards and four assists. Both shot over 50 percent.
Sophomore Mikal Bridges scored 15 points, matching his Big East career high, and also had three rebounds and three assists, and Jalen Brunson contributed 13 points to go with three rebounds and four assists.
Providence stayed in the game by shooting 13 for 26 from three against the No. 3 three-point shooting defense in Division 1.
What it means
Villanova improved to 19-1 overall and 7-1 and in first place in the Big East. The Wildcats have won five in a row since losing at Butler on Jan. 4.
Providence fell to 13-8 and 3-5 in the conference and 1-6 on the road. The Friars have lost six of eight since an 11-2 start.
Villanova is now 47-34 all-time at the Wells Fargo Center but 14-2 in its last 16 games at the South Philly arena.
Stat of the day
Providence shot better from three (50 percent) than two (44 percent). The Friars made 13 threes and just nine two-pointers.

Turning point
Providence trailed by just four at halftime at 35-31, but Bridges opened the second half with a steal and fast-break reverse layup and a jumper from the top of the key to start an 8-0 run that gave Villanova a 12-point lead. The Friars never got any close than eight points the rest of the game.
By the numbers
• Providence’s 50 percent shooting from three is the highest against ‘Nova since North Carolina shot 65 percent in the national championship game on April 4 in Houston.

• Villanova’s bench scored just two points.

• Providence’s 13 threes are the most by a Big East team against Villanova since Doug McDermott and Creighton had 21 in a 28-point win three years ago this week.

• Rodney Bullock led Providence with 17 points (3 for 5 from three), Jalen Lindsey added 14 (4 for 7 from three) and Isaiah Jackson came off the bench to score 12 (3 for 3 from three).

• Darryl Reynolds' last two double-digit rebound games have both been against Providence.
What's next
Villanova travels to Milwaukee for a Tuesday night game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big East with a game later Saturday at Creighton.
Villanova has won nine straight games against Marquette, since the Golden Eagles — then ranked No. 17 — came back from 18 points down to win 82-78 at the Wells Fargo Center in January 2012.