Nobody but nobody sweeps the Phillies in July. This has been our month, with a 19-7 record overall, punctuated by sweeps of our own over the Mets, the Pirates and the Marlins. We've gone from a team barely above .500 to one of the league's elite. To finish it on the bad end of the broom, wielded by the team we'd be facing in the playoffs if the season ended today, is simply not acceptable.
How fortuitous, then, that we should be sending our new co-ace--our #1A starter, if you will--to the mound tonight. With the Phillies in a comfortable lead over the Marlins in the NL East, it seems unlikely that Cliff will have to pitch any legitimately pressure-packed games in the oncoming weeks--and hell, we'd certainly prefer it that way. But tonight will be a good fake-test of Mr. Cliff Lee's big game ability--if he can give the Phils the rock-solid start they'll need to emerge victorious in a ballpark and against a pitching staff that's been none too friendly to them this series.
Personally, I'm excited. Perhaps one day 40-50 years from now, we will all tell our grandkids about the time we watched Cliff Lee pitch his first game in a Phillies uniform--his first start in a decade-long tenure with the team, one which involved four Cy Young awards, two World Series MVPs, the first no-hitter ever to be thrown at Citizens Bank Park, a record-setting ten-home-run season at the plate, and a bizarre wild pitch that somehow managed to break three fingers and a thumb on David Wright's left hand, prematurely ending his season. Here's hoping it all starts today.
10:15 tonight at ATT Park. I'm ready for the plunge.