It all unraveled pretty quickly today. Cliff Lee’s consecutive scoreless innings streak fell by the waste side in the bottom of the third inning, but he had the Phillies in position to win the game entering the bottom of the eighth inning. His pitch count was manageable (I believe he was at 89 pitches to start the inning) and he looked like he was settling in to win his tenth game of the year. Three home runs later, Cliff was lifted from the game one the wrong end of a 7-4 score. Eric Thames, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion all hit long homers off of the ace left handed. I can live with Thames and Bautista, but Edwin Encarnacion? Seriously?
The Phillies jumped on Blue Jays starter Jo Jo Reyes in the second inning, scoring four runs and collecting five hits. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that with Lee on the mound and the offense totaling four runs that this one would stand up. The offense couldn’t muster anything else against Reyes and they squandered an opportunity with a runner in scoring position in the top of the eighth. Shane Victorino was on second after another ground rule double (god damn astroturf) and was summarily picked off by Octavio Dotel. Raul Ibanez followed with a double that would have easily scored the speedy center fielder. I heard Mitch William say of Shane, “He won’t build you a rocket, but he’ll be the first one one board.” Spot on Mitch.
The Phillies took the series and actually achieved a winning record versus the American League this season. They travel to more familiar territory tomorrow as they go to Florida to take on Ricky Nolasco and the Florida Marlins. The Phils turn to Vance Worley and hope that he can continue to pitch like he did versus the Red Sox.
Go to hell Jose Bautista.