It will be easy for the fans, writers, and everyone else to put the blame for the Philadelphia Phillies’ Game 2 loss on Cliff Lee blowing a four-run lead, and he certainly deserves a lot of the blame, but the Phillies’ lineup also deserves their share.
Sure, they did a great job jumping on Chris Carpenter early and knocking him out of the game, but it seemed like once they got that four-run lead, they thought their night was over.
The St. Louis Cardinals were forced to turn to their bullpen, which is by far the biggest weakness of the team, and the Phillies’ lineup did exactly nothing against that group. How is it they can hit Carpenter like he’s a scrub out of the bullpen, but treat actual scrubs out of the bullpen like they’re an ace?
But this has been the story of the season.
Usually the starting pitcher, whomever it may be, can bail out the offense when they go on a seven-inning stretch with two hits, but they picked a night when Lee would look human, and what was looking like a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series is now tied at one game a piece with numerous bad possibilities for this team.
The Phillies are the clear-cut favorite because of their pitching, but teams cannot win without production from the lineup. Four runs should usually be enough for this team, but once Lee squandered the lead it was up to the bats to bail him out as Lee had done for them several times throughout the year.
Instead, everyone folded and Lee and the bullpen was left to flail around like fish out of water.
If this lineup does not pick things up and produce consistently over nine innings, they will be surprised at sotme point this postseason. The Cardinals are certainly good enough to catch a spark at any time and overtake the Phils if they don’t put some runs on the board, and even if they get past St. Louis, the prospect of playing the Milwaukee Brewers is not exactly exciting.
With that said, there’s no need to truly panic yet. The Phils are two wins away from getting out of this series, and are clearly the better team. However, as the Eagles showed us a few hours before the Phillies’ first pitch, losing to an inferior team can happen at any time and for a variety of reasons.