"It's something I can't control," said Lee, who has allowed only five earned runs in 22 innings in his first three starts of July after posting a 6.12 ERA in five June starts. "All I can do is make pitches and try to give the team a chance to win and try to get as deep into the game as I can. That's it. That's really all I can control, and that's where my focus is going to stay."
Lee is well-acquainted with life as a July trade target, and Wednesday a report surfaced on CBS Sports' website that said the Rangers would consider dealing for him if they could not work out a trade for Cole Hamels or the Brewers' Zack Greinke. The likelihood of that happening is remote: Lee has a strong no-trade clause that reportedly allows him to block deals to 21 of 30 teams, while the 3 years remaining on his contract are an extra deterrent.
Nevertheless, the report underscores the uncertainty about the Phillies' present and future as they try to climb out of a 41-52 hole.
"It's something that's out of my control, so there's no sense in spending any time with it," Lee said. "It's something that Ruben [Amaro Jr., the general manager] and those guys are involved in and make those decisions, and we'll let them do their job."
The Phillies are off today, then host a three-game series against the Giants this weekend?…?Second baseman Chase Utley started three straight games for the first time since returning from the disabled list last month. He went 1-for-4 with a pair of walks in Wednesday's loss and is now hitting .226 on the season?…?The Phillies suffered a walkoff loss for the ninth time. They are 2-8 in extra-inning games?…?Centerfielder Shane Victorino had a pair of steals to reach 20 for the fifth time in six seasons?…?Rightfielder Hunter Pence tallied his National League-leading 21st go-ahead RBI of the season?…?Righthander Justin De Fratus, who could factor into the bullpen mix before the end of the season, was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list after recovering from an elbow injury and assigned to Triple A Lehigh Valley.
Contact David Murphy at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @HighCheese. For more Phillies coverage and opinion, read his blog at www.philly.com/HighCheese.