NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 4, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Through roughly three months and six innings, it looked like Cliff Lee would never win another game.
In 2011, Lee went 17-8 with the Phillies.
In 2012, Lee went 0-6 in his first 14 starts with the Phillies.
Early on, it just seemed like he was snakebit. Or bitten. In his first 10 starts, Lee went 0-3 with a 2.92 ERA.
But in his next four, he went 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA. Worse, his usual control deserted him during that stretch, as he walked 20 hitters in 24⅓ innings.
Wednesday afternoon against the Mets, Lee rediscovered his control but for much of the game it looked like that first victory of the season would elude him once more. He pitched eight innings, and struck out nine Mets while walking only one. But thanks to Scott Hairston's solo home run, David Wright's RBI single, and Chris Young's six shutout innings, Lee and the Phillies trailed 2-0 after six frames.
And then everything changed. In the top of the seventh, the Phillies took a 3-2 lead on Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz's back-to-back home runs, and then won going away with three more runs in both the eighth and ninth innings. The final score was 9-2, with Lee boosting his record to 1-6 and lowering his ERA to 3.98.