Cliff Lee authored yet another dominant performance, tossing a two-hitter to extend his scoreless streak to 32 innings, as the Phillies blanked the Red Sox, 5-0, in the opener of an Octoberish series in South Philly.
The man: Lee did not give up a hit until the sixth inning in pitching his third straight shutout. In all, he gave up just a single to Marco Scutaro and a double to Darnell McDonald, in addition to a pair of walks. The dazzling lefty allowed a total of one run in 42 innings this month. And that run came on a bloop single against the Cubs on June 11. If not for that run, Lee would potentially be two starts away from breaking Orel Hershiser's all-time MLB record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings.
The history: The last Phillies pitcher to toss three straight shutouts was Robin Roberts in 1950. The last major league pitcher to do it was Brandon Webb in 2007. Lee also improved his career record in interleague play to 17-3. He has more shutouts in the last two weeks (3) than the Cubs and Yankees have recorded all season (2).
The offense: Domonic Brown took some terrific swings on the night, most notably a two-run homer into the Phils' bullpen. Shane Victorino also reached Josh Beckett for a two-run blast - his ninth of the season, halfway to his career high set last year. The Phils' other run came after Brown doubled to left field and came around to score on Lee's sac fly. The Phillies' hit total (six) was modest, but in fairness they were facing one of the AL's top pitchers. And when Cliff Lee is on the mound these days, well, nothing else seems to matter.