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Originally published August 22, 2009 at 2:57 PM | Page modified August 23, 2009 at 5:57 PM

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Cliff Lee starring with Phillies

If Phillies fans were initially disappointed they didn't land Roy Halladay at the trade deadline, Cliff Lee is rapidly making them change their minds.

Seattle Times staff reporter

If Phillies fans were initially disappointed they didn't land Roy Halladay at the trade deadline, Cliff Lee is rapidly making them change their minds.

In his first four starts for the Phillies, Lee is 4-0 with a 0.82 earned-run average. He has allowed 18 hits and six walks in 33 innings.

Over that same span, Halladay has had four starts for the Blue Jays. He's 2-2 with a 3.30 ERA, allowing 35 hits and three walks in 30 innings.

Little did the Phillies know, however, they were also getting an impact bat in the deal. Lee is hitting .385 (5 for 13) with a pair of doubles since coming to Philadelphia.

Moyer spells relief

When Lee came over and Pedro Martinez also joined the team, Jamie Moyer was the odd man out of the Phillies' rotation. They moved him to the bullpen, one of the justifications being that he didn't go far enough in his starts.

So Tuesday night, Martinez made his second start for Philadelphia, but the Phillies were forced to remove him after a 66-minute rain delay in the middle of the third.

When the game resumed, they called on Moyer, who hadn't pitched in nine days. So what does he do? Pitch six shutout innings, allowing just two hits in a 5-1 win over Arizona.

Moyer pitched longer in that relief outing than he did in 18 of his 22 starts.

Notes and quotes

• The Nationals on Friday had a modest little news conference/unveiling for Stephen Strasburg. The shindig, attended by hundreds of media and fans, included fireworks set off from the ballpark roof.

When broadcaster Bob Carpenter, the emcee, asked Strasburg, "What do you think they'll do when you throw your first shutout?" Strasburg replied, "I don't know. Maybe a flyby of Air Force One?"

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Here's another good quote, this one from Nationals president Stan Kasten, on the negotiations with Scott Boras that produced a deal for Strasburg Monday at 11:58:43 p.m. as the midnight deadline neared.

"People thought it would take until the last minute," Kasten said. "We didn't even need that last minute."

• The Mariners didn't pay much to get Bill Hall from Milwaukee, but they were willing to pick up more of his salary than an unnamed National League team to whom the Brewers were also talking seriously.

"The National League club didn't feel it could match the financial relief that we were going to get from the Mariners," assistant GM Gord Ash told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

According to reports, the Brewers are on the hook for the remainder of Hall's $6.8 million salary this year, and $7.15 million of the $8.4 million he's owed next year. The Mariners are stuck with the $500,000 buyout of his 2011 option for $9.25 million. That adds up to a $1.75 million obligation for the Mariners in exchange for getting Hall through next season.

The Mariners also gave up minor-league pitcher Ruben Flores to get Hall. Ash admitted the Brewers weren't in position to drive a hard bargain.

"Not to dismiss his ability but this was more about securing financial relief than it was acquiring personnel," Ash told the Journal-Sentinel.

• Remember when Kenny Williams, the White Sox general manager, was ticketed for jaywalking in Seattle recently? Cubs manager Lou Piniella was stopped by a cop in San Diego on Tuesday for the same offense but was able to talk his way out of a ticket.

Piniella was asked if Chicago baseball personalities were being profiled by police.

"They might be," he said. "Kenny can afford it more than me."

Adrian Beltre's testicular injury, which resulted from his not wearing a cup, was much discussed around baseball. Many players were stunned to hear he went cupless.

"I tell you what, I don't take the team picture without wearing a cup," Cardinals third baseman Mark DeRosa told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But third-base coach Jose Oquendo told the newspaper he never wore a cup during his 12-year major-league career. Oquendo was an infielder — but he insisted he didn't wear a cup even when he made a cameo appearance as a catcher in 1988.

"I would guess about half the Latin guys don't wear one," he said. "You don't wear one growing up and you get here ... it doesn't feel comfortable," Oquendo said. "I never gave it much thought. You just make sure you catch it."

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

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