This streak began on a cool October night in Philadelphia nearly eight months ago.

Cliff Lee was on the mound, staked to a four-run lead in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. The Cardinals were at his mercy.

And then, it ended.

The run of dominance that had been Lee's stellar 2011 season was overshadowed by a four-run inning, the Phillies commanding lead in the game and the series evaporated, the feeling of inevitability for the runaway favorites in the series was gone.

In the 238 days since, little has seemed to go according to plan.

The Phillies remain mired in last place in the division, and Lee, still among the best pitchers in the league, hasn't won a game. But all of that history, those frustrating defeats and that blown lead in the NLDS wouldn't be on Lee's mind Friday, his manager assured.

"I don't think he'll be thinking about that," Charlie Manuel said. "I think he'll be thinking about trying to do good and make pitches."