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Dominated: Red Sox Come Up Empty As Cliff Lee Throws Third Straight Shutout

He smiles as he kills you. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
He smiles as he kills you. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Cliff Lee vs. Josh Beckett should be a pitchers' duel of the highest order. Tuesday, however, only one man showed up to the fight.

Unfortunately, it was Cliff Lee.

The Philadelphia ace--or one of them, at least--had the Red Sox' number all night. The Red Sox were blanked, but not because of stranded baserunners. There were a few hard-hit balls that never found the outfield. Ryan Howard grabbed a couple liners hit right at him--including one off the bat of Josh Beckett--and Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins were both on their toes all night. But that wasn't exactly the norm. 

Even when the Sox did get on, they could barely even keep Lee over the minimum. A pair of double play balls from Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis eliminated two of the four baserunners they had on the night, leaving Cliff Lee to face only 29 batters all night.

Josh Beckett...was not so amazing. Unable to control his fastball after 12 days off with illness, Beckett wasn't walking many batters, but he was falling behind plenty, and could never really put opposing batters away. The worst damage, however, came when he let the fastball trail back over the plate. It was a letter-high fastball over the middle that Dominic Brown sent over the wall in center field to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the second, and a flat 4-seamer that Shane Victorino smashed in the sixth.

To make it worse, an opposing pitcher once again managed to do something positive at the plate, hitting a sacrifice fly to left that almost got out of the park itself.

It's been a tough few days for the Red Sox now, and it's not going to get much easier with John Lackey on the mound tomorrow. Here's hoping for a miracle.