Lee On A Roll

From Elias: Cliff Lee has pitched at least six innings and not issued more than one walk in each of his last 14 starts, including Monday, when he walked one batter in eight innings against the Mets. That ties Lee for the longest single-season streak of that kind in modern (since 1900) major-league history. Christy Mathewson (1908) and Greg Maddux (1997) also made 14 straight starts in which they went six or more innings and didn’t walk more than one batter.


Cliff is a boss. Who gets opening day next year? Hamels, because of the investment? Cliff, because he carry a team for long stretches? Or Doc, the future HOFer?

Big deal! An arcane stat does nothing to raise the ball club out of the standings cellar. And it certainly does not make up for serving up homers by the bucketful. Some of these ersatz ‘ACES’ need that moniker stripped from them until they actually re-earn that title. Lee might have been an ACE in the past. But it all comes down to what have you done for us lately; not much.

Lee has always been a streaky pitcher. When he’s on, he might be the best pitcher in baseball (see June and August of last season, and what he is doing now). I just wish it happened more consistently because it is a joy to watch.

Push is quickly approaching shove. It is time for Halladay, Hamels and Lee to step up and dominate some games regardless of what the offense gives them as long as it is one run. Apparently all of this “precision pitching” doesn’t cut it.

Let’s be real, no matter how well the Big Three pitch at this point the team’s best finish is third place, with a winning record, and ahead of the miserable Mets and Marlins. Overall, I believe the game is a lot harder than they make it look on most days, and with the top players–even diminished versions of their previous selves–missing so much time, a whole raft of problems not seen during 2011 worked to undermine the basic team dynamic, for example, asking a combination of peripheral and bench guys, not to mention some minor leaguers, to carry the team. Bullpen construction is one of the most difficult things for a GM to do, and when the offense let down Lee, and Halladay stopped pitching eight innings, then a major weakness was exposed. Whatever. I look around my own office, where if we removed some of the big producers for months at a time, expecting fill-ins to pick up the slack, we would have an off year too. Those left standing would have a harder time of it. At any rate, Hamels and Lee will be fine, Rollins and Utley too, but the transition of Halladay from a great pitcher to a good one, as well as Howard’s comeback, will largely guide the off-season and define this team in 2013. But 2012 is toast. … I wouldn’t bet against Doc at least approaching his old form, so I would probably still open 2013 with him.

They’re being 1-hit right now by some guy named Matt Harvey. They really need to find a bat or two over the offseason or all the pitching in the world can’t help them…

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