NLCS: Mike Clevinger and Padres Are Overwhelmed in Philadelphia
Mike Clevinger, the Padres’ second baseman who’s been so overmatched in the NL Wild Card races that he’s barely been noticed, has now been the sole reason for the Phillies’ early collapse, scoring a whopping three runs so far in two games. They have yet to score in the second inning of the first game, and they have a 1-0 lead in the first. The last time they scored in the second inning of a game was on Aug. 2, 2000, when they ran into the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs.
“We need to score the only run we need to,” Jimy Williams, the Phillies’ shortstop, said after the game, according to the Associated Press. “We’ve got to score the run that makes the difference.”
Even in a losing effort, Clevinger has not been able to help himself. He has two hits and two walks, a strikeout and a run scored, with two strikeouts and two walks in 17 plate appearances. He has been up and down, with some decent outings and some very poor outings, including a two-strikeout, four-walk meltdown against the Yankees on June 19. He has not only missed the most critical time of the game, but he has also missed most of the scoring opportunities in the fourth inning, when they can only hope he’ll be able to find a way to get the one final score they do not have to be without him.
“I have to say he’s been very overmatched,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Clevinger’s recent outings. “He’s had some moments and some bad moments. He’s definitely had a big problem with staying aggressive. … It’s going to be one of the last things that we need Mike doing.”
The Phillies have lost two straight games and all three games after that. They also have lost the lead in the National League East, and they have lost three games in a row. Now they need Clevinger to turn the game around, but they need