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 …