In what was perhaps the wackiest game of the season to date, Derek Lowe took a no-hitter into the seventh, Cliff Lee struck out 16 and the Braves shut out the Phillies for a 5-0 win.
Lowe walked one and struck out four while giving up two hits over six shutout innings. He induced eight ground balls to six fly balls while throwing 97 pitches, 60 for strikes. He wasn't particularly efficient with strike throwing, and the six fly balls were more than you'd like to see from Lowe, but he held the Phillies hitless through six innings.
The no-hitter was broken up by a single from Shane Victorino to lead off the seventh.
The Braves scored three runs on five pitches in the third inning. Alex Gonzalez doubled and Chipper Jones singled him home, worth .109 WPA. Brian McCann doubled home Chipper from first base, worth .116 WPA. Dan Uggla doubled home McCann for a three-run lead, worth .087 WPA.
Lowe retired 14 straight at one point, and Lee was on his way to 16 strikeouts following the three-run third, so nothing happened until the seventh. With Lowe in obvious pain, he gave up a leadoff single to Victorino. Placido Polanco followed with a ground-rule double to put two in scoring position, worth .138 WPA. But with Eric O'Flaherty in relief, Ryan Howard struck out, worth -.079, Ben Francisco struck out, worth -.091, and Raul Ibanez struck out, worth -.068.
The Braves added two insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Gonzalez and Martin Prado.
Lee's 16 strikeouts are a career high. He only had four outs on balls in play over seven innings. The only Braves hitter without multiple strikeouts was McCann.
Lowe has a blister on his heel, and he should be fine for his next start.
Stat of the Day:
Cliff Lee threw five innings worth of strikeouts.
The Game Changer:
Placido Polanco doubles with no outs in the seventh, putting two in scoring position, worth .138 WPA.
(ATL) Eric O'Flaherty: .238
(ATL) Derek Lowe: .113
(PHI) Placido Polanco: .112
(PHI) Raul Ibanez: -.114
(PHI) Ryan Howard: -.113
(PHI) Ben Francisco: -.090