LOS ANGELES -- Cliff Lee pitched brilliantly Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, but like almost every other start this season it didn't result in a win.
He should be used to it by now.
"It is what it is," he said after allowing just two hits and one run in eight innings in a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers in 12 innings. "I can only control what I can control. I felt like I pitched a good game."
Lee allowed one walk and struck out four, pounding the strike zone and throwing just 89 pitches. He has allowed five earned runs in 22 innings in his last three starts for a 2.05 ERA.
That is encouraging. If the Phillies keep the band together (i.e. not trade Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino and others before the July 31 Trade Deadline) and take a run at their sixth consecutive postseason berth, they will need a strong finish from Lee, who won just one game in the first half of the season.
But the Trade Deadline loomed in the background Wednesday. The Texas Rangers had a top scout in attendance. There have been some quiet rumblings the Phillies could trade Lee before the Deadline, although it would be difficult based on the $87.5 million remaining on his contract after this season. But trading Lee would free up money for the Phillies to sign Hamels to an extension, although the entire process seems like a difficult one.
Naturally, the laid-back Lee isn't concerned with the Deadline.
"It's something that's out of my control," Lee said. "There's no sense in consuming any time with it. It's something that Ruben [Amaro Jr.] and those guys are involved in. We'll let them do their job."
Lee's only run came in the second inning when Juan Rivera hit a home run off the top of the left-field fence and bounced into the stands. John Mayberry Jr. had a chance to catch the ball, but he hit the wall and threw up his glove at the last second.
"I think if I would have jumped I would have probably had it," Mayberry said. "I haven't looked at the replay. But I know if I had just a couple more feet I would have been under it. I misjudged kind of how much space I had. I felt the warning track and obviously if I would have been able to get up to the wall I might have had a better chance of pulling it in."