The Mets have scored one run in their last 22 innings versus the Phillies’ rotation, a funk Cliff Lee(notes) hopes to keep them in as Philadelphia tries to finish a three-game sweep Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park.
New York (11-16) scored six runs off Cole Hamels(notes) in a 7-1 win April 5, then rocked Joe Blanton(notes) for seven despite losing 10-7 the next day, but the Phillies’ star-studded staff has bounced back against the Mets.
The Phillies (18-8) didn’t provide much offensive support Saturday, but it was enough for Halladay. He gave up a run in the fourth inning, but Philadelphia scored twice in the seventh and won 2-1 to set a team record for April victories.
“We’ve done it a little bit of both ways, at times with the bats and at times with the pitching,” Halladay told the Phillies’ official website. “I think we feel good about where we’re at right now, but at the same time, we feel like there’s room for improvement.”
Lee (2-2, 4.18 ERA) will try to keep the dominance against New York going, but he hasn’t been at his best his last two times out. The left-hander gave up three runs over six innings of a 4-3 win over Milwaukee on April 20, then allowed four runs over seven innings - three on a pair of homers - in a 4-0 loss at Arizona on Monday.
Lee, though, tied a season high with 12 strikeouts in the latest outing.
“I felt as great as I felt out there all year,” Lee said. “About every hit they got resulted in a run. It’s not too often that that happens. But I’ve got to do a better job keeping the ball in the ballpark. Period.”
Lee’s lone start against the Mets came Aug. 24, 2009, in his first stint with Philadelphia. He gave up two unearned runs and struck out five over seven innings of a 6-2 victory.
Chris Young (1-0, 2.65) held the Phillies to a run over 5 1-3 innings while striking out seven to beat Hamels 7-1 on April 5.
The right-hander gave up one hit over seven innings in his next start against Washington before landing on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis, and his return left plenty of room for improvement. Three of the four hits Young surrendered in 4 2-3 innings against the Nationals on Tuesday were homers, and he left without a decision in a 6-4 win.
“(My) shoulder felt good, felt really good,” Young told the team’s official website. “It wasn’t as pretty as I’d like, but we won the game. That’s the bottom line.”
Young has gone 2-1 with a 5.31 ERA in four starts at Philadelphia.
Raul Ibanez(notes) has had the most success of the Phillies regulars against Young, going 9 for 29 (.310), but the left fielder may not be a regular much longer. Ibanez, who didn’t play Saturday with left-hander starting, is in an 0-for-30 slump.