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Lee vs. Willis: Sure, You Can Hit, But Can You Pitch?

Aug 31, 2011, 4:54 PM EDT

Cliff Lee has been a dominant pitcher for the Phillies this season. He’s also been used as a pinch runner and has swung a pretty damn good bat. These are seemingly all reasons why he’s been so beloved by fans in Philadelphia.

As Matt Gelb of the Inqurer points out, Cliff may have met his pitcher-hitting match tonight in Cincinnati when one of the best active hitting pitchers in Dontrelle Willis takes the mound for the Reds. Per Gelb’s post, “[Willis] has nine career home runs and one this season in 21 at-bats. He
also has a triple and two doubles in those 21 at-bats. This season,
he’s hitting .429 (9 for 21) with a ridiculous .762 slugging percentage.
He’s a career .243 hitter.”

Willis (0-3, 4.10) may have the slight edge over Lee (14-7, 2.71) with a bat in his hands, but their numbers on the hill are a straight no-contest.

The Phillies are coming off two nice wins following their bizarre extended break this past weekend. A win tonight with Lee on the hill will ensure yet another series victory and setup Vance Worley for the four-game sweep tomorrow afternoon.

Charlie has gone back to John Mayberry Jr. this evening despite Raul Ibanez’s hot night at the plate on Tuesday. Charlie likes to do what Charlie likes to do. There’s a method somewhere in his madness. It’s just hard to figure out usually.

The lineup:

2nite’s 7:10 lineup at Cincy: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Pence RF, Mayberry LF, Ruiz C, Valdez SS, Lee P. CSN, WPHT.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

First pitch set for 7:05.