Cliff Lee had his first rough outing in a Phillies uniform last night against the Braves. Allowing 6 runs on 10 hits over only 5 innings, it does appear that Lee is not Superman after all. But no one expects him to be; every pitcher is bound to have a rough outing now and again.
The concerning part of the game was not Lee’s pitching, but the continued lack of offense from the Phillies bats. The slump has gone on way too long and is beginning to raise eyebrows. The Phillies left the bases loaded twice without score, the worst of which came in the 7th inning, when with no outs, both Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth struck out and then Raul Ibanez flied out to left. Leaving the bases loaded with no outs is simply unacceptable, especially for a team who prides themselves on their big offense.
Where has that offense gone? Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins were the only two Phillies who seemed interested in participating last night; Utley smashed a solo home run the first inning and ended up hitting 3 for 4 in the game. Rollins went 2 for 4 but no one was able to score him. And Howard, who looked unbeatable the game before, appeared to be swinging at grains of rice last night. Put out an APB on the Phillies bats, quick! Clearly, we have been robbed. The criminal who has perpetrated this heinous act must be caught and locked up for good! The Phillies simply cannot perform without that offense!
I will put my investigative skills to use tonight as I wander through Citizens Bank Park searching for the perpetrator. Once I find him, I promise to show no mercy! And if that doesn’t work, I guess I may have to jump onto the field and smack some sense into these guys once and for all! Wish me luck…