High Hopes Muted
First, Doc came here to pitch in the postseason, raising hopes in 2010. Last December, Cliff returned, raising high hopes higher than ever in Phillies history. Expectations were a strong starting rotation, the best in club history, would lead to a return trip to the World Series.
A year ago, the Phillies led the majors in wins for the first time. This year, a second straight time with a club-record 102 wins. Each year the postseason ended with the enemy celebrating on our turf, not a pleasant sight or feeling.
Doc was masterful on Friday night. Two batters into the game and he was behind, 1-0. That one run pinned a loss on him. It was the seventh time the Phillies have been shut out in the postseason.
During the season, the pitching rotation lived up to its billing. The offense was consistent in one area, the area of inconsistency. Piling up crooked numbers quickly could happen but more often, the lumber slumbered.
Three hits and no runs was the offense on Friday night. After scoring 11 runs in Game 1 (10 in three innings), the offense went into a deep hibernation very early in the off-season. Bears wait until December.
Give the Cardinals credit. They had better at-bats, played better defense and pitched better. Of the four Phillies starters, only Doc lasted longer than six innings. Cliff had a 4-0 lead in Game 2 and couldn’t hold it, a rarity. In a short series, that is hard to overcome.
In the last five regular-season meetings between the two teams, St. Louis won four. In a five-game series that counted even more, they won three.
Sorry, Harry, but High Hopes has been muted.
(Going forward, will blog every Tuesday and Thursday, unless developments occur that warrant more blogs. Last month, Phillies Insider ranked 15th. Thanks for checking in and hope you do so during the off-season. Cheers.)