Monday, May 12, 2008

Forget the Cardinals or the Orioles or the Marlins or the Rays or Joe Saunders or Chase Utley or Edison Volquez or Chipper Jones. The story of this baseball season so far is Cliff Lee.

Cliff Lee, 29 years old, out of Benton, Arkansas, has pitched in the majors since 2002 (although he only through 10 innings that year), the same year he was acquired by Cleveland in the massive Bartolo Colon trade, alongside Grazy Sizemore and Brandon Phillips. Going into the season, his probably unjustified but still impressive fourth place finish in Cy Young voting just three years ago had largely been forgotten due to lackluster 2006 followed by a downright awful 2007, in which he finished with a 6.29 ERA, a 1.521 WHIP, 66 Ks, 36 BBs, and 17 HRs given up. Lee had to compete with Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers just to win a starting role in the Tribe's '08 rotation.

Honestly, this performance is stunning. Lee just doubled his walk total for the season to four when he issued two free passes to the jays yesterday in 9 scoreless innings of work. Sick stuff.

Anyway, I'll be rooting for him to keep it up for the entire season. It's hard for me to root against lefties.

For an interesting tale about someone running into Cliff Lee on the subway:

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