It had been six months and 12 days since Cliff Lee last took the mound at Citizens Bank Park, and for the normally ambivalent left-hander, that would normally amount to a lifetime. But that last start has lingered. Lee was staked to a four-run lead in Game 2 of last year's NL division series, but he let it slip away. He warmed up in the bullpen in Game 5 five days later, but he never got a chance at redemption. The season ended early, and his role in the defeat has weighed on him in the months since. "It was on my mind," Lee said earlier this spring. "It was the only chance I had to help the team win, and I gave up a 4-0 lead. It was frustrating." There wasn't a playoff game on the line Friday, and Lee wasn't staked to a hefty lead. But the frustrations remained in his first home start of the season, as the Mets rattled Lee early and cruised to a 5-2 win, snapping the Phillies' two-game win streak. Lee was ambushed from the outset. Ruben Tejada led off the game with a double, and Daniel Murphy repeated the feat three pitches later. Jason Bay added to the first-inning troubles with a long home run to center field, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead before the Phillies even came to bat. New York may have done more damage in the second inning had it not been for a bit of gamesmanship by Jimmy Rollins.
Taste of defeat will linger for Lee
Courier-Post | Apr 14