Wha’ Happened?

Forget about Jerry Meals‘ strike zone. Forget about the Phillies’ offense the final seven innings (although they mustered just one hit).

Cliff Lee had a four-run lead in the second inning and couldn’t hold it.

“I take full responsibility,” he said.

Lee went 7-1 with a 0.93 ERA in his last 10 regular-season starts before hitting the wall last night against the Cardinals. He also went 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in the first eight postseason starts before going 0-3 with a 7.13 ERA in his last three. I certainly can sense the agitation and frustration in Phillies land, but the Phillies have been here before. They split the first two games of the NLDS at home against Colorado in 2009, but went to Coors Field and won Games 3 and 4. They can do the same with Cole Hamels pitching in Game 3 Tuesday and Roy Oswalt pitching Game 4 Wednesday. Of course, they’ll have to do something in Game 3 they’ve never done before: Hit Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia. He is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies.

Maybe Lee was due to get hit. Maybe the Phillies are due to hit Garcia.

Until I land in St. Louis tomorrow afternoon …


Lee was 94-1 when presented with a four run lead. Well,now he’s 94-2. Terrific timing, that. He didn’t have it and he should never have started the 7th inning.

But the offense also got complacent and took the lead for granted. Can’t sleep on a lead, no matter who is pitchng. They made the worst bullpen still alive in the postseason look like world beaters. One hit in six innings against THAT bullpen? Please.

Hindsight is a wonderful analytical tool, isn’t it?

Who said hindsight? Sorry I couldn’t blog from section 134 while it was happening, but I was at the game and I couldn’t believe that Lee came back out in the 7th. Even in the innings they didn’t score he was struggling. He had one 1-2-3 inning all night. I don’t know why Charlie would expect anything different in the 7th. Granted, Victorino should have caught that ball, but it was still the hardest hit ball by either team all night. And then he STILL leaves him in for two more batters. He’s lucky Lidge bailed him out to keep them in the game.

I was stunned at how Lee seemed to lack command at times. I also didn’t understand why he came out in the 7th. This loss is getting me a bit nervous.

Also why didn’t Charlie let Halladay pitch the complete game on Sat. ? If he started to struggle against a batter or two then pull him.

How was the Phillies offense complacent? It spotted Lee a 4 run lead and he blew it. Case closed.

Lee didn’t do his job, but it doesn’t mean the offense didn’t get complacent.

Lee was working toward this game since he re-signed with the Phils last December. He certainly didn’t look like an ‘ace’ to me. Especially when the team gives him a 4 to zip lead to work with. If he couldn’t get up for this game, what’s the rest of the post season gonna be like? The same choke? It never fails to amaze me how these high paid ballplayers can actually accept their paychecks when they play so poorly. Or am I expecting too much from a starting pitcher labeled an ACE? I never heard Lee downplay it…never heard him argue that he wasn’t. Well then, when the big games roll around, perform like it!!!

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