For the second straight outing Cliff Lee looked more than a wee bit mortal as the Phils continued to not knock the cover off the ball in losing to the Astros 7-0. This was the second time in their last four games the vaunted offense was shut out.
Lee gave up six runs in three innings and though the Astros were not teeing off on him quite as lustily as the Braves did last week, they did slice and dice him pretty good. Now, suddenly, the picture at the top of the rotation has gotten a little bit more confusing. Cole Hamels, putative ace until the acquisition of Lee, has pitched two straight strong games while Lee has been raked hard. Charlie Manuel would probably settle for something more in the middle from his top two guys. Compounding the concerns, J.A. Happ has lost two straight starts though in his case both loses came suddenly, in a single inning, when he grooved a few pitches that left the yard.
Of far greater concern is the collapse of the offense. No one is hitting consistently and many are not hitting period. The Phils have roughly 30 games to turn it around before the post-season and they'd better start soon.