Cliff Lee all smiles, building up for season

Philadelphia Phillies v Toronto Blue Jays Throw stats out when Cliff Lee is pitching in Florida. He’s working out the kinks for the regular season.

It doesn’t matter that Cliff Lee was roughed up a bit by the Blue Jays Saturday afternoon. Lee was touched for five hits and three earned runs in three innings.

But Lee had a cat that ate the canary sort of grin after running sprints during the middle of the Phillies’ 11-6 loss to the Blue Jays. He knows how good he looks on the mound. All is fine with Lee.

“I feel good,” Lee said. “I messed up in the zone a few times. With the wind blowing the way it is, you have to keep the ball down. It’s just an element that you have to deal with. Last time out [last Monday against Detroit] I gave up less [runs and hits] but I felt good. I’m building up for the season.”

Lee, who pounded the plate, looked solid and 32 of his 45 pitches were strikes.

“I’m impressed with him,” Michael Young said. “But I was impressed with him when he was a teammate [with the Texas Rangers]. I love that he just goes after hitters. The guy has no fear.

“Few guys attack like Cliff Lee. He keeps you on your toes out there. You know the next ball might be coming to you. He has total faith in his stuff and so do I. He’s one of the reasons I was excited to come to Philadelphia. I remember what he brought to the Rangers when we went to the World Series with him in [2010]. You just don’t see many guys out there that are like Cliff Lee.”

Ryan Howard continues to swing a hot bat. The ‘Big Piece’ hit his second homer of the Grapefruit League season blasting a R.A. Dickey knuckleball over the left center field wall.

“I’m seeing the ball well,” Howard said. “I’m just going up there and doing it.”

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