If you like great pitching in a baseball game, tonight's game between the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves did not disappoint. Two of the National League's better pitchers faced off in what turned out to be a 1-0 Atlanta Braves win Friday night from Atlanta. There were just five hits between the two teams, and Cliff Lee logged an 8-inning complete game in a losing effort. While the Phillies had absolutely nothing on the line tonight, the Braves are battling for the best record in the National League and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Kris Medlen did not even allow a hit until the sixth inning, a Cesar Hernandez single, one of just two hits given up by Medlen on the night. Medlen pitched 8 scoreless innings, allowed just the two hits and two walks to go with 7 strikeouts. Cliff Lee's line looked a bit better than Medlen's, but the difference tonight is that Lee allowed a run, despite a stellar outing.
In 8 innings, Lee allowed just 3 hits, 1 run, walked none, and struck out 13. In his last five starts, Lee has logged double-digit strikeouts in each of his games. However, Lee could not quite keep Atlanta off the board. Entering the eighth inning, he had allowed just two hits and no runs, until Chris Johnson stepped to the plate and blasted a solo home run – all the offense Atlanta would need to pick up the win. Lee takes the loss tonight, wrapping up 2013 with a 14-8 record.
Medlen picked up the win tonight, his 15th of the year. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel shut down the Phillies in the ninth inning to pick up his major-league best 50th save of the season. The loss doesn't mean much to the Phillies, but it was a hard-fought effort by the team's best pitcher this year. Being Cliff Lee's last start of the season, and with his recent success, his stock value will certainly increase heading into an offseason with a lot of question marks for the Phillies.
Just two games remain in the 2013 season for each team. While the Braves try to wrap up the National League's best record, the Phillies will limp into the offseason with 74 wins at best. A long offseason awaits, where the team may be parting with some household favorites. That has yet to be determined to sure, but all signs point to an interesting offseason.
For now, the Phillies and Braves play tomorrow night at 7:10. The Phillies have not yet announced a starter for the game, while the Braves will send out lefty Mike Minor.
Since the Phillies' last game of the season is this Sunday, September 29th, look out for a new special beginning Monday September 30th here at Phillies 101. We will be going through each player on the Phillies roster as it will stand at the end of the season and analyzing and grading their 2013 performances, as well as speculating their role on (or off) the team in 2014. Again, this begins Monday September 30th, and will last right into November. There will be days, especially in early October, where we will sprinkle in other articles, possibly analyzing the Phillies' 2013 performance against division rivals and other teams. Stay tuned for more information…we'll do what we can to keep the offseason interesting!
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