Results tagged ‘ run support ’

Oh, Clifton

Cliff Lee, Jason HeywardCliff Lee cannot catch a break.

Take a look at some of the facts and figures to come from last night’s 1-0 loss to the Braves:

  • Lee allowed 11 hits, one run, one walk and struck out 13 in a complete game.
  • He threw a career-high 128 pitches in the 29th complete game of his career.
  • It is the ninth time since he rejoined the Phillies in 2011 that he has struck out 12 or more batters in a game. Lee is 2-5 with a 2.12 ERA in those starts, as the Phils have suffered four shutout losses and scored just 23 runs.
  • Lee is the first pitcher in 100 years to lose twice, despite allowing one run and striking out 13 or more batters in a complete game. (It has happened just 18 times since 1914.) The last time it happened in baseball? In Lee’s last start against the Braves on Sept. 27, 2013.
  • From Elias: Evan Gattis hit a 0-2 pitch from Lee for a solo home run for the game’s only run. Last year on Sept. 27, Chris Johnson hit a 0-2 pitch for a solo home run in a 1-0 victory. There has not been another game over the past three seasons (2012 to date) that ended 1-0 on an 0-2 homer.
  • Opponents are hitting .429 (6-for-14) with two doubles, one home run, three RBIs and five strikeouts against Lee this season, when they put the ball in play on a 0-2 count. To put that into perspective, hitters from 2011-13 hit a paltry .137 (55-for-401) with six doubles, eight home runs, 19 RBIs and 219 strikeouts against Lee in 0-2 counts.
  • Lee’s 3.82 run support average since he rejoined the Phillies in 2011 is the fifth-lowest out of 84 qualifying pitchers in baseball. The only ones with worse run support? Jeff Samardzija (3.38), Tim Lincecum (3.67), Justin Masterson (3.75) and Bud Norris (3.80).
  • From Elias: Lee has allowed 15 home runs on 0-2 pitches over the last 10 seasons, tying Mark Buehrle for the highest total in the major leagues in that time frame.
  • From Elias: Gattis was only the second player since 1900 to go 4-for-4 with a home run in a 1-0 win. The other was Hall-of-Famer Rogers Hornsby in a Cubs victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field in 1929.
  • From Elias: Julio Teheran and Lee each pitched complete games of nine innings. The last game in which both starters tossed complete games of at least nine innings was Aug. 27, 2012, when the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez and Twins’ Liam Hendricks did it at Target Field. Seattle won, 1-0.

It’s Been A While

A couple things happened last night at Citizens Bank Park:

  • Cliff Lee picked up his first win since April 14.
  • Ryan Howard snapped his 0-for-23 slump with a home run in the second inning.

I know a pitcher’s Win-Loss record is not truly indicative of his performance (Adam Eaton went 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 2007, while Cole Hamels went 12-11 with a 3.09 ERA in 2010), but try telling that to the pitcher. Sure, he understands there is only so much he can control. But it is frustrating not to get W’s when he pitches well consistently. Lee has received 3.11 runs of support per nine innings this season, which ranks 94th out of 115 qualifying pitchers in baseball. But from April 15 through last night, he has the worst run support in baseball (1.52 runs per nine innings). Lee has a 3.38 ERA this season, but remove his awful start in Atlanta on April 8 (six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings) and he has a 2.70 ERA. Lee improved to 3-4 last night. He easily could be 5-2 or certainly 4-3. He knows he has pitched well. You know he has pitched well. But he certainly wouldn’t mind his record reflecting that.

Howard went 2-for-4 last night. Chase Utley could be back in the lineup as early as Monday, so now would be a good time for Howard to get hot.

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