After watching the Philadelphia Eagles blow their game on Sunday afternoon, I for one was hoping the Phillies game would be less frustrating and have a better outcome. *sigh*
The game began with Rafeal Furcal leading off the with a triple. And right away I was thinking, “here we go again” BUT Cliff Lee and the Phillies kept Furcal stranded and went on to dominate the bottom of the first by scoring three runs off of Chris Carpenter. And that all started with a lead-off double by Jimmy Rollins, who in my opinion has really stepped it up. Chase Utley then walked, then Hunter Pence did as well. With bases loaded and no outs, Ryan Howard hit a 2 RBI-single. Raul Ibanez brought Pence home with a single and the Phillies reversed roles with the Cardinals from Saturday night, by having a 3-run lead in the first.
And in the second, Rollins hit his second double of the game and ended up stealing third before Utley was walked. Pence came up and hit Rollins home. Phillies were up 4-0.
At that point, Lee had been doing well. Even with an occasional hit or walk, he had struck out five and kept the Cards scoreless. That is until the fourth inning when Lee uncharacteristically imploded. A lead-off walk to Lance Berkman then a single by Yadier Molina, was capped off by a Ryan Theriot double, scoring Berkman. Then John Jay and Furcal each had an RBI-single, giving the Cards three runs. The Phillies were still up but by only one.
St. Louis reliever Fernando Salas replaced Carpenter in the fourth and retired all three Phillies batters. Lee had a quick fifth with two strikeouts and a pop out. But Salas had the same result in the bottom of the fourth.
With two outs in the sixth, Theriot struck again with his second double then Jay hit him home. The score was tied 4-4.
Octavio Dotel relieved Salas in the sixth and he too retired the Phillies in order.
Lee continued to be un-Lee like when Allen Craig tripled in the seventh, then Albert Pujols hit an RBI-single. The Cards went up 5-4 and Lee’s outing was done! In six innings of work, Lee gave up five runs on 12 hits, walked two, and struck out nine. Relievers Brad Lidge, Antonio Bastardo, and Vance Worley collectively held the Cards hitless and scoreless. Ryan Madson allowed just one hit, but though it helped defensively, the Phillies offense neglected to even it up. Therefore, they lost 5-4 to the Cards and the series is now tied at 1-1.
When asked after the game what happened, Lee stated that he had a four run lead and should have done better. “I take full responsibility,” Lee said.
The series now shifts to St. Louis for Game 3 on Tuesday night.