The City of Angels will never be the same
Tom McCarthy’s open:
For the Phillies, when visiting Los Angeles, there’s been a consistent path to victory in recent years. The path has been a strong current that travels up and over the right field fence, delivering clutch wins against their long-time rivals.
Chavez Ravine has been a launching pad for majestic and magical home runs over the years… but mostly for those donning the Dodger blue. Once again, last night, the visitors took that alllll too familiar path to seal the win in the series opener.
If Cliff Lee won the night last night in Tinseltown, Tom McCarthy – yes, T-Mac – came in a close second. Not only did his open foreshadow the evening, but he also helped orchestrate a meme which trolled Chris Wheeler. Double victory. First thing’s first, though.
We’re going to need a name for this game in Illadictionary. I wish I had something more clever, but I don’t. I submit to you, the reader: Cliff Lee Home Run Game.
…it’s all I could think of.
I was determined not to nod off during the late innings last night, the way I had on Monday. Somewhere around the bottom of the sixth, as I felt my eyes getting all Droopy Dog, I sprung from the couch in search of a tasty treat to keep me going. Thankfully, there was a gallon of raspberry sorbet waiting for my dominance.
While I devoured the high-end sherbet straight from the carton in a way that would have made a recently broken up Carrie Bradshaw envious, one Clifton Phifer Lee stepped to the plate. This would be Mr. Bigtime’s moment to shine.
Lee worked the count in his favor, 2-0. Ted Lilly then hung an 81 MPH changeup up and over the plate. Lee hammered it.
You may think this is getting old, but there are truly no other ridiculous analogies for Lee. All I can picture is a proud pony showing off for prospective buyers, doing flips and shit atop a Wawa milk crate. He was a beautiful pony, and I loved him!
As Lee rounded the bases, he told reporters that the first person he thought of was Kyle Kendrick, with whom he had a bet. The motion he made before entering the dugout, Lee explained, was directed at KK, imploring him to hand over the money: [Philly.com]
“It’s just a friendly wager,” a smirking Lee said. “Whatever. I think we’ll keep that between us. We can call it dinner or whatever you want to call it.”
Kendrick denied such an agreement exists.
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Kendrick said. “He’s just being Cliff.”
I’m not sure what the meaning behind the gesture Lee made to Ruiz was, but it’s going to be the new way I cover my mouth when I sneeze. Don’t judge.
Further stats. As we passed along last night…
Lee pseudo-called his shot getting off the bus before the game. He told LA that he was going be the fourth person to ever hit one out of Dodger Stadium. That wasn’t entirely the case, but he did blast one over the fence just a few hours later. We’re going to say that counts.
It gets better.
Lee has as many home runs against left-handed pitchers (1) as Ryan Howard… and, in going deep last night, he now has a higher home runs per at-bat rate than Jayson Werth. Lee’s two home runs in 53 official at-bats is good for a HR to AB ratio of 1:26.5. Werth’s 13 home runs in 407 at-bats? 1:31. $126 million.
Lee also owns the Dodgers. In his last three starts against them, dating back to the 2009 NLCS, he has thrown 24 consecutive scoreless innings. That’s excellent.
As if this entire post wasn’t fantastical enough, Matt Gelb informs us that when listening to trainer Dong Lien’s iPod one day, Roy Oswalt stumbled upon a reggae version Rubber Ducky. The song has now become a mainstay in the Phillies’ clubhouse. Awesome.
Finally, the night didn’t only belong Lee and the ducks. No, there was another man sharing the spotlight on this evening in the City of Angels: Chris Wheeler.
Wheels turned 66 last night, T-Mac and the rest of the broadcast crew made sure he had a very happy birthday. All of the screen grabs are after the jump.
These are best viewed while listening to the Phillies’ clubhouse jam, Rubber Ducky: