News bulletin: Cliff Lee is good. Really good. Really, really good. In summary, Cliff Lee is good.
The pitching: Lee (15-7) continued his incredible month of August by pitching 8 2/3 terrific innings to lead the Phils to their third straight win over the Reds, 3-0. Lee allowed only six hits in improving to 5-0 with a 0.45 ERA in five starts this month. He struck out seven and came one out away from his major league-leading sixth shutout of the season. To put that into perspective, only three other pitchers in the major leagues have more than two shutouts. And only two other National League pitchers have more than one shutout. But alas, Lee wasn't able to complete the blanking. He gave up a two-out double to Joey Votto in the ninth, followed by a walk - his only one of the game - and a hit batter. That prompted Charlie Manuel to summon Ryan Madson, who coaxed Yonder Alonso, the potential winning run, into a foul popup to end the ballgame. The win was the Phillies' 40th road victory of the season and their 19th shutout of the year.
The offense: Hunter Pence’s sixth-inning homer highlighted the offense for the Phillies on this night. The center-field blast was Pence’s seventh with the Phillies and 18th overall on the season. The team also scored runs on groundouts in the first and seventh inning. Carlos Ruiz finished 3-for-4 on the night.
Next up: The Phils and Reds conclude their four-game set Thursday afternoon with Vance Worley (9-1, 2.65) strapping on the goggles to face Mike Leake (11-8, 4.04).