Regardless of how Roy Halladay(notes) fares in front of him, Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee(notes) wants to go the distance each time he gets the ball. Lee won’t have to follow a complete game this turn in the rotation.
Looking to build off his first complete game of the season, Lee gets the ball Wednesday when the Phillies try to avoid losing three straight at home to the Milwaukee Brewers.
After Halladay went nine innings in a 3-2 win at Washington the night before, Lee (2-1, 4.19 ERA) struck out a season-high 12 and tossed a three-hitter in Thursday’s 4-0 victory over the Nationals. It was the first time the Phillies (10-6) had back-to-back complete games since May 11-12, 1999. More importantly for Lee, it came just five days after he lasted 3 1-3 innings - his shortest start since Sept. 4, 2009 - in a 6-3 loss at Atlanta.
“I want to throw nine innings every time I take the mound,” Lee told the Phillies’ official website. “That’s that. I hope Roy does it every day before me, too, but that’s what I’m going to try to do. Just because he threw a complete game, it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do that, too.’ I’m going to try to do that every time regardless.”
Lee doesn’t wanted to repeat Halladay’s performance this time through. The reigning NL Cy Young winner surrendered season highs of six runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings of Tuesday’s 9-0 loss to Milwaukee (9-8).
“I felt good. There were times early when there were a couple pitches that cost me that weren’t where I wanted them,” Halladay said.
It was the Phillies’ most lopsided home loss since falling 12-3 to Florida on Aug. 9, 2009.
In his only career start against the Brewers, Lee surrendered seven runs and nine hits over six innings in an 8-4 loss in Milwaukee on Sept. 25, 2009.
The left-hander is looking to bounce back from his roughest outing of the season, Friday’s 4-3, 10-inning loss at Washington. Narveson, who walked none in 13 scoreless innings in his first two starts, issued three free passes - including two with the bases loaded - during a three-run second inning.
“I lost a little focus. You’re trying so hard to get that first strike,” he told the Brewers’ official website. “Sometimes you aim it instead of throwing it.”
Narveson walked three in 5 2-3 innings and allowed four runs in his only start against the Phillies, a 10-6 home loss May 15.
He’ll face a Philadelphia team that had a season-worst two hits Tuesday and has scored nine times while dropping three of four at home.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun(notes) has had no such problems at the plate, going 5 for 7 with a homer and three RBIs in the series. The three-time All-Star is batting .586 (17 for 29) with four homers and nine RBIs in his last eight games in Philadelphia.
Milwaukee has won three in a row in this matchup after losing the previous six.