There has been talk of dynasty in this town for quite some time, but that talk was premature. One World Series does not a dynasty make.
For all of the hoopla made about this 2011 version of the Philadelphia Phillies and their four aces, the team was leaking oil coming into the playoffs. The line up exposed, the starting pitching nowhere near as dominate as their pedigrees suggested and the bullpen? Please.
The St. Louis Cardinals, the hottest team in baseball, dismantled Cliff Lee tonight. It wasn't until the fourth inning that they got a run across but from the first batter on they manhandled him. He was lucky to get out the first and second without giving up runs and then came the fourth.
The fourth inning of game two, the inning Phillies fans will look back on as their 2011 Chico Ruiz moment.
The Phillies never recovered. The bats went cold as they often do lately in big moments. Ryan Howard the hero of game one reverted to his normal self striking out when the going got tough. This "awful" Cardinals bullpen that has been so maligned, destroyed the Phillies. They never really threatened after the third inning.
The Cardinals are just a better team.
All of this could have been avoided, quite easily mind you, had the Phillies tried in the two games against the Cardinals after they clinched the division. Instead they played with a "hangover" and the Cardinals kept accumulating wins.
It also could have been avoided had the Phillies saved their eight game vacation for the very end of the year. Instead of coasting through a sweep at the hands of the Nationals and dropping two of three to the Mets, they could've fine tuned the lineup against those teams, who were already eliminated and then rested everyone against the Braves, allowing the Braves, the only National League team leaking more oil than the Phillies, into the postseason and avoiding the Cardinals who are better at almost every position than the Phils.
These playoffs are an anomaly. Good hitting beats pitching this year and the Cardinals, unlike the Phillies, have hitting that comes through in tight spots.
Sadly, for the Phillies and their fans, tonight was the final game at Citizen Bank Park. The Cardinals, and their Gas House Gorilla like line up, have this one sealed up heading home.
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