Things are tilting up. Er, down. Things are tilting very well, thank you very much Mr. Lee.
On the heels of Friday's flat loss to the Braves, and the ensuing injury rumors stirred by parties who shall remain nameless, Cliff Lee zipped 12 strikeouts by the Nationals in an effort being hailed as the best-pitched game of the young season by at least one prominent metric. According to ESPN's GameScore, which uses this formula (50 + 1*Outs + 2*IP after the 4th + 1*K - 2*H - 4*ER - 2*UnearnedRuns - 1*BB) to save us the hassle of experiencing excellence for the duration of a ballgame, Lee's 12-strikeout, three-hitter surpassed Dan Haren's complete-game shutout on April 12 as the season's high water mark.
Lee buried pitch after pitch into Carlos Ruiz's unmoving mit, using a particularly strong fastball to bust the Nats inside, including Jayson Werth. It wasn't until the later frames that he really cracked open the breaking ball.
For the second night in a row, a Phillies ace went the distance while the sleepy offense capitalized on Washington's ragged defenses. Guys like Jerry Hairston Jr. really have no business in the Big Leagues. Thanks to guys like him, the Phils' offense put it on autopilot and touched down at another series win.
Aside from Lee, Ruiz shared in the win, busting up Jordan Zimmermann's perfecto in the sixth with a homer to left, then later scored an insurance run. Zimmermann actually pitched a decent game, and the Nats have some guys in their 'pen who can do some things. But their defense is so dopic, they'll never get anywhere. (Hat tip to Beerleaguer poster, MG, for the GameScore stuff, but he doesn't get credit for 'dopic'. I pulled that from my Pennslyvania Dutch lexicon.)