Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 6/25/12


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With Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee on the mound for Sunday’s doubleheader the Phillies had to take at least one game. Unfortunately, the Phillies shaky bullpen and struggling Cliff Lee continue to haunt the team as they dropped both games to the Tampa Bay Rays.

This time last June Cliff Lee was finishing up three straight starts of complete game shutouts. He finished that month with a 5-0 record and an ERA of .021. Fast forward to this June for Lee and the Phillies, and it’s funny how things can go from bright and sunny to Mordor in only a year.

Say what you want about the misfortunes of the still winless Cliff Lee, but the man is struggling. Opponents are batting .313 against Lee with runners on. And the result has been a lot of backbreaking earned runs late in ball games. Not unlike Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals, when he blew a 4-0 lead. For whatever reason, the problem keeps reoccurring and Lee cannot seem to get the elusive first win.

You can blame the offense for many games, but at some point Lee has to pick up the slack. He is simply too good to not turn things around. Without a dominant Lee for the rest of the season, this team has a snowballs chance in hell of making the postseason for a 6th straight year. Not with this offense. And certainly not with this minor league bullpen.Seriously, Rosenberg and Diekman pitched for the Phillies last night. That sounds like a law firm, or maybe a Jewish Deli. Not people you would rely on to get you into the playoffs.

Guys like Rollins, Thome, and Mayberry are finally starting to wake up and hit the ball. But for a team built on pitching, they are going only as far the pitching staff can take them. So my message to Cliff Lee is simply to take your game to the level Philadelphia and yourself has come to expect. 

 

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