29 Jul

remember the time

On this date in 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies — defending World Series champs — swung a big trade with Cleveland for left-hander Cliff Lee, the former Meridian Community College star and 2008 Cy Young Award winner. Lee went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA down the stretch for the Phillies and 4-0 in the postseason, but the team lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series. Lee was traded to Seattle in the off-season. On July 29, 2010, the Phillies, again eyeing a postseason run, traded with Houston for Roy Oswalt, the former Holmes CC standout who had won an ERA title in 2006. Oswalt went 7-1 with a 1.74 for the Phils and 1-1 in the postseason as the team lost to San Francisco in the National League Championship Series. After the 2010 season, Philadelphia brought Lee back as a free agent. The Phils entered the 2011 season with a fantastic rotation — famously hailed as the “legion of arms” on the cover of Sports Illustrated — of Lee, Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton. The team won 102 games — Lee won 17, Oswalt nine — and the NL East title but fell in the division series to St. Louis. Lee and Oswalt both lost their starts. Oswalt left after the 2011 season and was soon out of the game. Lee pitched three more years in Philly with only modest success. Neither would appear in another postseason game, and the Phillies didn’t make the postseason again until last year. P.S. Props to Millsaps College coach Jim Page and former Mississippi State and big league pitcher Paul Maholm for their formal induction today into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, a very deserving honor for each.

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