Cliff Lee skips Braves, dominates minor leaguers

Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Cliff Lee took the ball Monday and threw 80 pitches to minor leaguers from the Pittsburgh Pirates system. Predictably, he dazzled. Two hours away, Phillies pitchers were bashed by the Atlanta Braves in a nationally televised Grapefruit League game.

Does Lee even care where he is pitching at this point in spring training?

"Not really," Lee said.

The Phillies held Lee from Monday's game against Atlanta because the lefthander is likely to face the Braves in his first meaningful start of 2013. The setting was unimportant to Lee so long as he was facing batters Monday.

He would have opposed Atlanta if asked to do so.

"There's pros and cons," Lee said. "I could be able to see their weaknesses but at the same time they could make adjustments to me. It can go both ways. You never know."

Lee fanned nine Pirates farmhands in six scoreless innings. He does not know when he will pitch again or how many more spring starts he will make. "I just knew what I had to do today," he said. Lee was pleased with what he did.

"I didn't walk anyone," Lee said. "They didn't score. I like both of those."

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