Phils take statement game from Sox

By TIMOTHY PARKER
Staff Writer — tparker@highhopesblog.com
_______
 

Cliff Lee extended his scoreless streak to 32 innings Tuesday night. (Courtesy Philly.com)

There was only problem with the Phillies 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night at Citizen’s Bank Park .

It wasn’t October yet!

Cliff Lee continued his June domination in the series opener of the highly hyped and anticipated 3-game set with Boston. It was, of course, not the World Series, but if it had been, the Phillies would be one win closer to another championship.

To say that Lee was incredible, would be an underwhelming understatement.

He went the distance for his third straight complete game and his third straight shutout. In fact, he was the first Phillie to throw three straight shutouts since Robin Roberts since 1950. Yes, 1950! Futhermore, Lee has not allowed a run in 32 straight innings. Lee’s June effort overall was more than sensational. In the month he went 5-0 and only allowed 1 run – for the whole month!

It was clear that Lee was ripe and right on from the start. He began the game with a five pitch first inning. It was clear that the Red Sox super offense would be facing their newfound Kryptonite.

Lee, who only walked 2 batters on the night, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. It was broken up with a leadoff single by Marc Scutaro. Lee struck out five on the night and even provided offense support (for himself). He nearly had a home run, when he drove a Josh Beckett pitch to left field that went to the warning track and caught by Michael McDonald, but was good enough to score Dominic Brown in the 5th inning. That made it 3 – 0 Phillies.

Though, Brown got in on the party much earlier. The rookie took Josh Beckett deep to centerfield in the second inning, and delivered a 2 run homer. Of course, that was all that Lee needed.

Josh Beckett had the best ERA in the majors prior to Tuesday night’s game. The must not have gotten the memo. They made an offensive statement in addition to Lee’s gem. Chase Utley bunting, Jimmy Rollins stealing bases, all attempt o score and back up what is the best pitching rotation in baseball. The long ball helped too. Shane Victorino added another 2 run homer in the 6th.

This was a win that made a declaration that the Phillies were beyond a pitching juggernaut. It was championship building win in a playoff atmosphere. The Philllies became the first team to 50 wins, and they are now 20 games above .500.

Three of their starting pitchers now have at least 9 wins while their offense is still shapeless in form. That’s a scary thought for the National League, and as the Boston Red Sox learned, it’s a scary thought for all of Major League Baseball.

Yes, the series opening win did prove a lot, but and the end of the night, it was only 1 win – in June.

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