Tonight, Cliff Lee Will Aim to Bridge the Madison Bumgarner Gap

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Say what???

Yesterday, reader Vince astutely pointed out that one Lee (Clifton Phifer) will try to bridge the so-called Madison Bumgarner Gap tonight. You may be thinking it is some sort of weird ailment that only the Giants pitcher’s closest friends know about, but it is not. It is not.

The MBG, as they call it, was proposed by lunatic CSN Bay Area writer Ray Ratto, who said the Phillies signed Lee this past December to compete with the Giants’ rotation from top to bottom (fair enough), or, more specifically, to offset Madison Bumgarner…

The Philadelphia Phillies just signed Cliff Lee at the crypto-home-town-discount price of $120 million (well, OK, Philly was his hometown for a little while), for one reason and one reason only.

To close the Madison Bumgarner Gap.

The Phillies got beat in the National League Championship Series by The Battling You-Know-Whos because their hitters got outpitched by a team that didn’t really hit all that much. So what does Ruben Amaro go out and do with Dave Montgomery’s money?

Fix the problem.


Well, problem fixed. I’d argue that the acquistion of Hunter Pence is more likely to close any imagined gap between the Phillies and Giants, however. Plus, all this talk about gaps and San Fran is making me uncomfortable, so let’s just see what happens on the field tonight, eh? 

So far this season, Bumgarner is 6-10 with a 3.80 ERA. Lee is 10-7 with a 3.14 ERA. I’d say bridge construction is coming along nicely.

Cliff Lee vs. Madison Bumgarner, 10:15 P.M. EST. Keep closing that gap, Cliff.

UPDATE: Hunter Pence was on 610 today. The audio is after the jump. He calls Howard an absolute beast.

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11 Responses

  1. “Keep closing that gap, Cliff.”
    What gap? Hahahahah
    I predict more big wood and blasted balls from the Bif Piece too. I have no doubt that while Pence’s talent stands on its own merits, having HP3 bat behind Howard takes a lot of pressure off the Big Piece right now, and thus he’s been on a hot streak lately. I can’t wait until Sunday when the Phillies get a chance at redemption against Tim Notsickcum. (And Matt Candy-Cain on Sat).

  2. This is the biggest joke of all. We are trying to close a gap? PLEASE.
    Let’s have a short recap of the best test in baseball: the full season. Why is this the best test? Baseball is a game where the best teams only win 60-70% of the time. The best teams lose series to the worst teams. That’s just the way this game is. It’s not like football, hockey, or basketball. You NEED to play 162 games in order to distill which teams are best.
    Scenario 1: The Phillies had the best record in baseball last year. The Giants squeaked into the playoffs thanks to a Padres squad that lost 10 straight games towards the end of the season. The Giants finished 5 games behind the Phillies.
    Scenario 2: The Phillies have the best record in baseball. The Braves, who are second in the NL East, have the second-best record in the NL and fourth best record in baseball. THE BRAVES ARE 8 GAMES BEHIND THE PHILLIES. The Giants are leaders of their division, but 1.5 games behind even the Braves. That means they are 9.5 games behind the Phillies.
    With the moves they have made, the Phillies seek to WIDEN the gap between the Giants and themselves. The Phillies are a better team. Bias aside, when you look at everything and break it all down, that is the conclusion you come to. The Phillies have a top-2 pitching staff with an above league-average offense by runs/game (and that’s when the offense has some of its impact players on the DL). The Giants have a top-2 pitching staff with the second-worst offense by runs/game in the NL.
    Ultimately, the Phillies signed Cliff Lee because they could. He wanted to come here and we wanted him. He has been a great insurance policy against Oswalt and his back issues. And I love that they signed Lee. I’ve loved every minute of it.

  3. I’d say Worley > Bumgardener so hell no Lee wasn’t for the ‘gap’. The Giants got lucky last year by being hot at the right time, it won’t happen again.

  4. The Phils have been late starters the last few seasons. August rolls around and Ryan Howard gets hot every year and the rest of the team responds and we get rolling!! The difference this year is that we are 30 games over .500……..this could get ugly. I would say the Giants have a better bullpen, that is it. They have a very good starting staff, I’d say a close 3rd behind the Braves. Bumgarner and Sanchez came back down to earth this year. I believe Cain and Timmy are the only studs in their rotation. Their lineup is full of a bunch of average hitters. Pablo and the recently added Beltran are the only two quality hitters in their lineup with Posey out. And Carlos has dry rubber bands for hamstrings. I doubt he is going to stay healthy thru the rest of the year.

  5. The Giants’ pitching (1 and 2 and bullpen) absolutely shutdown the Phillies last week, erasing a stellar start by Cole Hamels. The regular season is meaningless if they cannot beat the playoff team in front of them (just ask the ’10, ’76, ’77, ’78 teams). Despite all of the hype the Phillies are getting right now, and got last year, they were beat rather convincingly 2 series’ in a row by the Giants. Until the Phillies prove they can beat them, or untilthey are eliminated, you have to say that the SF Giants are the WS favorites.

  6. No Sean, “Good game! Let’s go eat, shag some Bay Area strange, and then go to sleep.”
    Hey, did Pence ever reveal later on what he and the other guys actually ate (besides feasting on Victory) after that game where he said his now famous quote? (I asked in the other entry but somehow all the comments for that entry were deleted. Strange.) Enquiring minds want to know.
    Like I said earlier, though. What gap? If anything, Lee shutting out those juiced-up rodeo clowns—with two starters taking the night off, no less—proves that those Gigantic midget-dicks have a Clifton Phifer Lee gap problem. “Ray Rotto” = “CSN Bay Area Chief Rittard.”

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