Cliff Lee is an Animal

In his first game back with the Philadelphia Phillies in front of the 138th consecutive sellout at Citizen's Bank Park, it was apparent how much Cliff Lee was missed.

The lefty fanned 11 batters in his team's 9-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday, allowing three runs on four hits behind a 14-hit Philadelphia barrage. He struck out three of the first five batters he faced, and didn't allow a hit until Angel Sanchez came up with a single to lead off the fourth inning.

Lee, who now has ten career double-digit strikeout games, returned to Philly after a one-year absence where he played for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. Realizing the mistake they had made, the Phillies came in hard during the Cliff Lee Auction this winter, handing him a five-year, $120 million contract.

Lee received a long standing ovation during pre-game introductions and another as he struck out swinging in the second inning. He had this to say about his reunion with the City of Brotherly Love:

"I can hear the noise, hear the volume. It felt good to know fans are excited to see me back. You try not to focus on it too much and get hitters out, but I gave myself a minute to notice it. These fans have a knack for getting louder than everyone else. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s alcohol-induced what. They definitely have a knack for getting loud and supporting their team."

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

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