Lee’s Dominant Month
Cliff Lee has been unhittable this month.
Glad you asked. Lee went 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA in June. According to Elias Sports Bureau, since earned runs were first recorded on official scores – 1912 in the NL and 1913 in the AL – only six other starting pitchers went 5-0 or better with an ERA that low in a calendar month:
- Guy Bush in August 1926 (6-0, 0.19 ERA)
- Fernando Valenzuela in April 1981 (5-0, 0.20)
- Nolan Ryan in May 1984 (5-0, 0.20)
- Mike Witt in August 1986 (5-0, 0.21)
- Orel Hershiser in September 1988 (5-0, 0.00)
- Cory Lidle in August 2002 (5-0, 0.20).
Lee has thrown a shutout while allowing six or fewer hits in each of his last three starts. The last pitcher to have a three-start streak like that was Toronto’s Roger Clemens in August 1998.
More from Elias: The matchup between Josh Beckett and Lee was the first since 1985 matching one pitcher leading his league in ERA against another who threw a shutout in each of his two previous starts. That last happened on Sept. 11, 1985, when Dwight Gooden faced John Tudor at Shea Stadium.