In a game that was ripe for the taking, the Phillies fell in ugly fashion to the Brewers, 8-4.
Cliff Lee, who started his career in pinstripes 5-0, with a ridiculous three earned runs in those starts, got rattled early, surrendering four first inning runs. After Lee’s torrid start with the Phils, he has been inconsistent, losing two while watching his ERA with the Phillies balloon two over four. In tonight’s contest, Lee allowed seven runs, all earned. He has now allowed four or more runs, four times in his last six starts. An alarming trend for the Phillies as they now head toward the final week of the season with their pitching staff less than intact.
Overall Lee finished giving up nine hits, including two long balls in six innings pitched. For the season, Lee is now 14-12 with a 3.19 ERA. While it may not be time yet to panic, questions can certainly be raised about which Cliff Lee will show up to the ballpark that particular evening. Not good news for a starting rotation that has injury concerns in its back end.
The offense for the Phillies couldn’t quite pull it together despite scoring four runs in the game. The Phillies couldn’t muster a single base-runner off of Brewers starter Manny Parra until the fourth inning when Jimmy Rollins reached base on a Milwaukee error. After a Shane Victorino walk and a Chase Utley ground-out, Ryan Howard single in two, cutting the four run Brewers lead in half.
The Brewers came back out in the bottom half of the fifth with three runs courtesy of a Prince Fielder bomb. With the three run shot, Fielder again eclipsed Howard for the R.B.I. lead in the National League.
The five run lead was just too much for the Phillies to overcome.
With a Braves win and a Marlins loss, The Braves move to within six games of the Phillies with just nine games left to play. The Marlins elimination number now falls to two.