Cliff Lee needed only five pitches to retire the Red Sox in order in the first inning on Tuesday night. The rest of the evening wasn't quite as easy for the Phillies lefty -- but not by much.
Cliff's final line: 9 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts. And the win.
When names like Robin Roberts and Grover Cleveland Alexander get thrown around, you know a Phillies starter is doing something special.
Lee threw his third straight complete game shutout as the Phillies beat the Red Sox 5-0 at Citizens Bank Park. Clifton Phifer's scoreless innings streak has now reached 32.0 innings and is still going -- a career long for him. That's also good for third best ever among Phillies starters behind only Roberts (32.2) and Alexander (30 and 41.2), according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.
The three straight complete game shutouts for Lee was the first time a Phillies pitcher has done that since Robin Roberts in 1950 and the first time it's been done in the majors since Brandon Webb did it in 2007 for the Diamondbacks. No other pitchers have pitched three consecutive complete game shutouts since 2001.
Oh, and Lee delivered with his bat too. Because he can. After Dom Brown got the good guys on the board in the second with a 2-run line shot into the Phillies bullpen, Lee added a sac-fly in the fifth to make it 3-0 Phils. Shane Victorino also killed a baseball for a 2-run shot in the sixth.
The Red Sox were touted as the team with the high powered offense coming into this series, but they hadn't faced Clifton Phifer Lee yet in 2011. Lee was brilliant on the night and raised his record *in the month of June* to 5-0.
Cliff Lee pitches for the Phillies. I don't know what else to say.