As mentioned in my previous post, December 13, 2010 was on of the craziest nights of Phillies Offseason history. As we all know, On December 13th, Cliff Lee decided to come back to Philadelphia and pitch in, what is regarded on paper, one of the best pitching staffs in history consisting of Cy Young Award Winners Roy Halladay(2003,2010) and Cliff Lee (2008); 2008 NLCS and WS MVP, Cole Hamels, Multiple Cy Young Award Top 5 finisher, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton, who on another team could be a 1 or a 2. Well since that day, Philadelphia has been energized with visions of an incredible season.
On Opening Day, Roy Halladay and the Phillies offense didn't disappoint as they sent what remained of the sellout crowd home with a walk off win in the bottom of 9th. But now it was time for Cliff Lee to take the mound. The crowd in attendance last night was pumped for Cliff Lee. I was in attendance in 2009, when Cliff made his first home debut with the Phightins, and again last night for his return back to Philadelphia. As before every game, the starting lineups where announced, and as it was time to announce: "Batting 9th and Pitching, Number 33, Cliff Lee" the sellout crowd rose to their feet and welcomed back Cliff with one of the loudest standing ovations I have ever seen in Philadelphia. It was so loud in the stadium, you couldn't ever hear Cliff get announced. The place was nuts!
Well, Cliff didn't disappoint. He carried a no hitter through 3 and had the crowd energized through his 7 innings. Cliff gave up 3 runs, 4 hits but fanned 11 in his first win of 2011 season. It was excited throughout the game, even as the temperatures dropped, nothing would put a damper on the return of Cliff Lee!