While his long-term future in Philadelphia might seem uncertain, Cliff Lee is likely to remain in a Phillies uniform for the remainder of this season.
Looking to build on one of his best starts of 2012, Lee tries to help the Phillies to a second consecutive victory and home series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
In the midst of his own frustrating season, rumors swirled that Lee (2-6, 3.73 ERA) could be dealt prior to the non-waiver trade deadline. When that did not happen, Philadelphia reportedly placed the left-hander on waivers, a common move for teams following the deadline. It was later reported the Los Angeles Dodgers made a claim for Lee.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to comment on the latter but told the team's official website: "It's irrelevant. He's not going anywhere."
There's always a chance Lee could be moved during the offseason if the Phillies (48-59) decide not to keep Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels together.
"Obviously, nobody is happy with the way this year has gone, but this is where I want to be," Lee said.
After a rough first three months that included a stint an the disabled list with a strained oblique, Lee is 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in his last five starts. He gave up six runs and four homers in seven innings of a 7-6 win over Milwaukee on July 24, but rebounded to scatter five hits in seven innings of an 8-0 win at Washington on Tuesday.
"He's still got it," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's just a matter of him getting it going consistently again. He hasn't lost anything. It's just that things haven't gone good for him this year, and at times, he's kind of made it tough on himself."
Though Lee is 0-4 with a 4.53 ERA in seven home starts this season, he's 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA against the Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park.
Halladay, meanwhile, allowed three hits over seven innings and catcher Erik Kratz homered to help the Phillies snap Arizona's four-game winning streak with a 4-0 victory Saturday.
Likely to see more time behind the plate time with All-Star Carlos Ruiz on the disabled list, Kratz has batted .364 (8 for 22) with three home runs and seven RBIs in nine games since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Slugger Ryan Howard was 1 for 19 with 10 strikeouts in his previous six games before recording two hits Saturday.
Stephen Drew had two of the four hits for the Diamondbacks (55-52), who lost for the fourth time in 15 games.
"You just turn the page and come back (Sunday)," losing pitcher Joe Saunder said.
With a hit Saturday, Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is 12 for 28 (.429) in his last seven road games. He's 1 for 2 with a homer against Lee.
Arizona's Trevor Cahill (9-9, 3.75) takes the ball looking to build on his last outing when he allowed one run in six innings of a 7-2 win at Los Angeles on Monday. The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 road starts.
Cahill gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 home loss to the Phillies on April 25. In his first career appearance against Philadelphia with Oakland on June 25, 2011, Cahill allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings of 4-1 victory at Citizens Bank Park.
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Cliff Lee