Any hopes the Atlanta Braves had on making the NL East a race were probably extinguished tonight by the left arm of Cliff Lee. The Phillies ace continued his red hot run with his sixth complete game shutout of the season, allowing five hits and striking out six. It's Lee's 16th win of the season and swells the Phils lead in the NL East to 8.5 and 10 in the loss column.
While this is Lee's sixth CG shutout of the year, it's the ninth game that he started in which the Phils shut out their opponent. Prior to this season, Lee had thrown just five career shut outs. His six are the most by a Phillies pitcher since 1982 (Steve Carlton).
As good as Lee was, the Phillies bats were just as impressive. They touched up Derek Lowe early as Hunter Pence singled with the bases loaded for the first two of his three RBIs on the night. In all Lowe was charged with five earned runs over five innings. Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz both had a pair of RBIs and Ryan Howard hit his team leading 31st home run of the season.
Vance Worley takes on Tim Hudson in game two tomorrow night.