Personally witnessing Cliff Lee manhandle the New York Yankees in two different uniforms, at both Yankee Stadiums was far from fun. All I can say is Cliff Lee is that good.
Our first time in 2008 was like a blind date, as Lee wore a Cleveland Indian uniform back than and I was just going to see a regular season game. The Yankees made contact with the ball three times.
The impression Cliff Lee has made on me is that he is the best pitcher in baseball.
Not Halladay, Sabathia, Santana, The Freak, Johnson Greinke, or Jimenez, it’s Lee any-day of the week, no matter the uniform.
In 2010 Lee has faced 336 batters, struck-out 76 and given up just three home-runs. His strikeout to walk ratio is a remarkable 19:1. Understand that only one other pitcher in the history of baseball, Brett Saberhagen ended the season in double digits back in 1901. Lee is well on his way to being the second pitcher to hold that record.
Lee leads the AL in complete games with four, has a 2.39 ERA. Lee has not walked a single batter in his last four starts and has only walked four this entire season.
It is hard to imagine being this good playing for the Seattle Mariners. Each start listening to me, myself and I…..because the Mariners are the definition of unreliable. Lee has racked-up three losses, but he is lucky it is not more. His numbers in defeat are an ERA of 2.70 and allowing nine hits in 30 innings pitched. Not to shabby by any standards.
The Seattle Mariners have openly expressed trading Lee, or renting according to the NY Mets. Other teams rumored to be in the hunt are the Twins, Rangers, Dodgers and supposedly the Phillies and Yankees. The Yankees are surely interested, but what team wouldn’t want Lee. Yankees fans should not hold their breathe as when is the Yankees not in the mix.
Fact remains, Lee is a bye into the post-season for a lot of teams. Get ready to give-up a lot of prospects to get the 31-year old leftie, but Lee is well worth it.
Up next for Lee is my New York Yankees, which makes me shiver just thinking about it. Lee will face Phil Hughes, who has been the most reliable of all the Yankee starters.
This will be a test for the young rightie, who has gotten major runs support from the Yankees bats. It couldn’t be a better timing as Alex Rodriguez seems to be getting hot, after crushing two homers in his last three games.
Best advice for Hughes facing Lee is to go into the game thinking that no runs will score, which is very possible.
Hughes is 24 years-old and is on a innings limit, so Joe Girardi had him miss his last start. He is 10-1 in 13 starts, with 79 strike-outs and a 3.17 ERA in 82 innings pitched.
As much as I trust Phil Hughes, Cliff Lee is phenomenal making this match-up the Yankees vs. Cliff Lee.
The game is Lee’s to win or lose, but the odds are surely in his favor.
PREDICTION: YANKEES OR LEE?
Cliff Lee wins, final score 4-0.
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