2011 National League Divisional Series, Game #2: The Phils early lead is squandered as they drop one to the Cards, 5-4, evening the divisional series at one game each.

An early four-run lead is squandered by Cliff Lee, before the Phils lose to the Cards, 5-4, evening the divisional series at 1-1 as the two teams head for St. Louis.

The Phils jumped to an early lead in the first as, with the bases loaded, via a double by Jimmy Rollins, then walks to Chase Utley and Hunter Pence, sending Rollins to third, and Utley up to second base, and with nobody out, Ryan Howard hits a two-run single up the middle, scoring Rollins and Utley, giving the Phils a 2-0 lead, and sending Pence over to third. Two batters later, with runners still on the corners, and now with one man out, Raul Ibanez hits an RBI single, knocking in Pence, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead, while sending Howard up to second base. The Phils added to their lead in the second as, with two men on, and with two men on, Pence hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins, who had earlier doubled, his second double and his second hit of the ballgame, then stole third as Utley walked, giving the Phils a 4-0 lead, while sending Utley, who had walked for the second time in the game, would stop at second base. Normally, this would be enough for Cliff Lee, especially after pitching out of jams in the first two innings, but it was not to be in this game, as things came unglued in the fourth inning. The Cards got on the scoreboard as, with two men on, via a walk to Lance Berkman, whom Lee had buried in the count 0-2 before walking him, and a single by Yadier Molina, sending Berkman up to second base, and with one man out, Ryan Theriot hits an RBI double, scoring Berkman, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Molina on to third base. The Cards then cut the Phils’ lead down to 3-2 as Jon Jay hits an RBI single, scoring Molina, while sending Theriot on to third base, before going on to second base on the late throw to home plate. Two batters later, after Lee strikes out, swinging, pinch hitter Nick Punto, the Cards made it a 4-3 Phils’ lead as Rafael Furcal hits an RBI single, knocking in Theriot, before left fielder Raul Ibanez throws out Jay at home plate, as catcher Carlos Ruiz hangs onto his one-bounce throw, inspite of Jay trying to bowl him over to make him drop the ball, for the moment keeping it a 4-3 Phils’ lead. The Cards then tied the game up at four-all in the sixth as, with a runner on second, and with two men on, Jay hits an RBI single, his second hit of the ballgame, knocking in Theriot, who had just doubled, his second hit and double of the game. The Cards then took the lead in the seventh as, with a man on third, and with one man out, Albert Pujols hits an RBI single, scoring Allen Craig, who had just tripled, on a ball that Shane Victorino did not go after properly, giving the Cards a 5-4 lead. That would be the final score as Jason Motte collected his first save of the series as he threw a 1-2-3 ninth, for a four-out save.

Cliff Lee (0-1, 7.50) took the lost as he pitched six innings, plus three batters, giving up five runs on twelve hits and two walks, while striking out nine. Brad Lidge pitched an inning, giving up a walk. Antonio Bastardo, Vance Worley and Ryan Madson combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Madson) and a walk (Bastardo), while striking out three batters (Bastardo (1), Madson (2)) between them. Chris Carpenter received a no-decision as he pitched only three innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out two. Ferndando Salas pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out two. Octavio Dotel (1-0, 0.00) gets the win as he pitched an inning and a third, striking out two. Marc Rzepeczynski, Mitchell Boggs and Arthur Rhodes all collected their first hold of the series as they combined for one and one-thirds scoreless innings, with Rzepczynski facing one more batter, as they gave together up a hit (Rzepeczynski), while striking  out one (Rhodes) between them. Jason Motte collected his first save of the series as he pitched an inning and a one-third, striking out a batter.

The Phils had six hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with three hits, a single and two doubles, just missing a home run on both of his doubles as they both hit the top of the fence. Hunter Pence (RBI), Ryan Howard (RBI) and Raul Ibanez (RBI), had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles, as the offense was held to only one hit (Rollins’ single), after scoring their fourth run in the second inning.

The Phils (1-1) will continue their divisional series with the Cards (1-1), as the series move to St. Louis. The game will be played at Busch Stadium and will start at 5 pm EDT (4 pm CDT). The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79), who will be trying to put the Phils back into the lead in the series. The Cards will counter with Jamie Garcia (13-7, 3.56), who will be trying to continue his mastery of the Phils, while hoping that he can continue doing well at home. The Phils will be out to get back into the lead, while trying to finally knock Garcia out of the box. Come onuys, you’d gottten to both Lohse  and Carpenter, you can get to Garcia. Just show some more patient at the plate.

GO PHILS!!!

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