Lee-thal Weapon Shoots Down Red Sox, 5-0

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, June 28, 2011 10:58 PM | Comments: 16
2011 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Lee was dominant, but look at the numbers below if you want to be wowed. (PHOTO: CSNPhilly.com)

Here is a rundown of the incredible night Cliff Lee had, from first pitch to the last words spoken in the clubhouse.

Cliff Lee by inning:

1st inning: Five pitches, really? The Red Sox are notorious for working counts, but they came out of the gate with what seemed to be a plan to swing early in the count. It didn’t work as Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez were set down in the blink of an eye.

2nd inning: The Sawx worked counts to the tune of 13 pitches, but still without any luck. Kevin Youkilis drew a leadoff walk, which seemed like an unintentional-intentional walk. Lee then struck out two for another fast frame.

3rd inning: Now they’re working it! Boston managed to see 14 pitches that inning, mostly due to Marco Scutaro’s lengthy at-bat. Ryan Howard made a great stab on a late-swinging line drive off the bat of Josh Beckett. Hardest hit ball of the night to that point.

4th inning: Pedroia began the inning with a lazy fly out to Dom Brown. Gonzalez then worked a full count before popping up to Chase Utley. Lee looked to have him struck out on a nasty curveball on the inside corner, but it was called a ball by Derryl Cousins. No worries there against the guy I called the best player in baseball on Tuesday. Youkilis then K’d on a perfectly placed inside fastball, giving Lee 27 consecutive scoreless innings.

5th inning: Make that a career high 27 1/3 scoreless as Darnell McDonald pops out to start the inning. Then Jason Varitek lazily grounded out to Placido Polando and Mike Cameron hit maybe the hardest ball up until this point, flying out to Brown about 2 steps in front of the track in right field. Still no hits. Pitch count: 59, 38 strikes.

6th inning: And there it ends. Marco Scutaro singles to center to end the no-hit bid. Beckett promptly grounds into a 6-3 double play right after the first hit. Lee would then get Ellsbury to ground out softly to Howard. I’d say Lee is locked in, but it’s like he’s on another planet at this point. The Red Sox are the most feared offense in baseball and they are having trouble putting a charge into anything. This is one of the most dominating stretches of pitching I’ve ever seen.

7th inning: “The Laser Show,” Pedroia walks to lead off. The victor of the third showdown between Adrian Gonzalez and Cliff Lee is again Lee. He gets A-Gone to be gone with a fly out to center. Gonzalez has crushed him in his career, but that ends here. Lee then ends the inning on a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Kevin Youkilis. 30 scoreless innings and counting. This guy is insane.

8th inning: It’s the Red Sox first threat of the game. Hitting .104, Darnell McDonald lines a double down the left field line. Holding the Sox for seven full innings without reaching second base is exceptional. Jimmy Rollins follows that up with an exceptional 6-3 putout, grabbing a wicked short hop off the bat of Varitek. Made it look simple. Lee then buckles Mike Cameron’s knees on a wicked curve to retire him. Scutaro ends the inning on a weak grounder. The beat goes on. Really cool being here to watch Cliff Lee pitch every five days.

9th inning: Finished. Pinch-hitter Drew Sutton (who?) sit down. Jacoby Ellsbury sharp ground out, thanks for playing. Dustin Pedroia, good night. Complete game shutout, once again. He’s good. 112 pitches, 71 strikes, one baffled Boston lineup.

They did it:

-Domonic Brown homered for the 5th time this season, making everyone forget about his failing to run out a ground ball a few nights ago. He had a very patient swing against Josh Beckett and crushed it into the lower bullpen. Beautiful swing.

-Shane Victorino continues his hot hitting. He launched a two-run shot to right field, his 9th this season.

-Cliff Lee’s deep sacrifice fly easily scored Dom Brown in the fifth inning. The guy can do it all, and he takes pride in that.

-The Phillies as a team became the first franchise in the league to surpass 2 million fans through the turnstiles. Quite an incredible feat. I will say, however, that I was upset by the face that so many people left early before Lee was poised to finish yet another strikeout. You’re witnessing history, folks!

-The Phillies moved to 50-30 on the season. Let that sink in.

Cliff did it:

-Only two players in Phillies history have thrown 3 straight complete game shutouts, Robin Roberts and Grover Alexander. Alexander threw 4 straight in 1911.

-It was his 4th shutout this season, he also blanked the Nats in April. That makes nine for his career.

-From Jayson Stark: This is Lee’s 5th start vs an AL team since last October. Totals: 40 IP, 20 H, 2 R, 48 K.

-His ERA for the month: 0.21. Can’t June be just a little longer?

-In June, he lowered his ERA from 3.94 to 2.66.

-Lee is up to a career best 32 inning scoreless streak. The Phillies record is 41 2/3.

-He’s the sixth pitcher to post a scoreless streak of 30 or more innings in franchise history.  This is now the fifth longest in team history (RP’s included).

-Lee is now one of just three active players to hold a streak of 32 or more innings without a run, joining Zack Greinke (34.0) and Brandon Webb (41.0).

They said it:

-“We played a complete game today and we have my last few starts. That’s the key to winning. You gotta pitch well, you gotta play defense, and you gotta score runs, and your bullpen’s gotta pitch well. That’s the key to winning.” – Cliff Lee

-When asked if the historical part of the game means anything to Lee: “Not right now. I mean, later when I’m done with my career, that’s something I can be proud of. At this point, it’s good, but it’s not time to pat myself on the back for anything right now.”

-Lee when asked about whether this game had some added zing to it: “June is a long ways away from the playoffs. It definitely got really loud there at the end in the ninth inning…that’s fun to play in front of, but it’s definitely not the postseason.”

-Dom Brown on the atmosphere: “I mean it was a lot more electric out there, with the fans and everything like that.”

-Brown on what Charlie Manuel has said about his hitting: “Charlie’s right, I’m getting in great counts, I’m just not capitalizing on those hitters counts…I’ve been working the count since I’ve been here, and been doing an excellent job doing that…I’m trying hit the ball out of the ballpark instead of, you know, just hitting it hard somewhere.”

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1674 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Great performance by Lee. Nice win over the Sox. Shane has been good so far this year hope he keeps it up. Nice way for Brown to redeem himself. Keep it in perspective for him only HR an a Double. He set the table Beckett became frustrated soon after.

  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Cliff Lee almost beat out an infield hit, drove in the third run, and is pitching like a man on a mission. Dude’s a rock star, that’s all there is to it.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Tomorrow we face a struggling pitcher. Lets hope that the Phils dont make him look like Cy Young like they tend do with these type of pitchers. Although Lackey is a good veteran pitcher that just cant seem to find his grove this year.

  • Posts: 521 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    It’s such a treat to watch a masterful pitching performance by Lee. He completely befuddled a potent lineup that the Bosox presents. It’s remarkable in this day and age to see a pitcher not only go 9 innings and tossed a shutout but to do it THREE times in a row in one month! I hope that today’s young generation of fans are not blase or indifferent about this tremendous feat and are truly appreciative to see history in the making before their very own eyes.

    You have to go back to the golden era where ptich counts didn’t matter and complete game pitched by a starter were the rule rather than the exception. And in that time (1988), Orel Hershiser of the LA Dodgers broke Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings set in 1968 (also with the Dodgers) with his own 59 straight scoreless innings and it remains a record. Those numbers are mind boggling. BTW, those 1960′s Dodgers having Drysdale AND the great Sandy Koufax in the same rotation were something to behold .

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Bruce, this one might be better. It’s something to behold, you’re absolutely right. At times, I actually feel bad complaining about the offense when it’s so much fun to watch these guys pitch. Give it up to Ruben again.

  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Let me start off by saying I have never seen anything like what Lee has been doing. I think the Freak had a streak or 2 the year before last but for an entire month? I have been watching baseball for a long time guys, this stuff is what you tell your grand kids about.

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Boston Globe reporting that Adrian Gonzalez will play RF tomorrow so that David Ortiz can get in the lineup.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Dont matter Worley will mow them down Pat.

  • Posts: 26 jeff y

    Avatar of jeff y

    C.L. is the man!!

  • Posts: 0 Bob Myers

    Part of the thrill of baseball is the unique way baseball demonstrates complete athletic domination. It’s so different than the other sports, and it’s a rarer find in baseball with it being a sport where 70% failure is treated like great success with .300 averages being All Star material.

    Lee carries off domination when he’s on. Hamels does it, Halladay does it in a more surgically precise way. It’s just a lot of fun to watch this aspect, and if the bats would wake up, we’d start putting together some major winning streaks.

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Great game all around. Phils will continue to dominate the season but not with offense but with (saying it with me!) pitching and fielding! We don’t need no stinkin offense!

  • Posts: 0 Wance Vorley

    I know a certain pitcher that would love the phillies to score 5 runs tonight !!!

    • Posts: 32 kittykat

      Avatar of kittykat

      I would KILL for 5 runs and some half way decent defensive play behind me!!!!!!!!! I don’t think I’m ever going to get that elusive 10th win.

      Cole Hamels LHP

  • Posts: 0 lukemade

    created a 1986 topps cliff lee baseball card inspired after last nights dominance…imagining lee in the age of hershiser in the quest for his scoreless innings streak….http://philly4aces.net/tagged/cliff_lee

  • Posts: 903 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I to admire what Cliff Lee does on the mound and even at the plate. Actually sac bunt by your 8 hitter to get a guy on third with less than two outs for the pitcher, and Lee delivers.
    And I will say with all my Brown bashing on here, I noticed, at least I think his hands were lower and closer to his body. Any one else notice that? So I may start changing my tune if he is learning to be coach able and has started to listen, and get results. Also his front foot does not come up off the ground as much as it did in the begining of his career. Also they seemed to hit the ball hard a lot last night even some of the outs. Hope they keep it up for tonight, I think 5 runs may do it. Good game 50 wins, Lee dominant what more can you ask for?

  • Posts: 0 MC

    He is performing truly elite! Go phillies! Here is a pretty good article I found on Cliff…

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