Posts Tagged ‘Cliff Lee’

Colon-Yanks Diamond in the Rough

September 10, 2011

Bartolo Colon of the New York Yankees was hired as an afterthought, a part of the Yanks’ “Plan B” when Cliff Lee did the unthinkable last off-season and signed with the Phillies. Colon was once one of the best starting pitchers in baseball before age and injury took their toll, and after last season everyone but New York determined that he was finished.

At 38 years old, and coming off a controversial stem cell treatment in the Dominican Republic, the Yanks took a chance. Colon has been a gem for the Yanks all season, a true diamond in the rough. Last night he tossed seven innings without giving up an earned run against the playoff caliber Angles.   Although he is 8-9 this year, his era is 3.55 in 152 innings and he has been a reliable number 2 or 3 starter for the Yankees. Check out his 2011 numbers here:

Wins (Blue), Innings Pitched (Orange) & Hits (Green)

So the question moving forward is how much does Colon have left?  The Yankees wanted to skip a start or two of his to keep him fresh the post-season, but inclement weather in the last two weeks has prevented that.  Right now Colon projects as the second starter in the playoff rotation.  He is also a strong candidate for comeback player of the year.

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Cliff Lee: Cy Young Favorite?

September 7, 2011

Since pitching his Major League record tying sixth shutout of the season on Monday night, Philadelphia pitcher Cliff Lee has gone from a NL Cy Young hopefully to a full-fledged favorite. Lee’s 2011 numbers are fantastic but he does not lead the National League in any major pitching categories, besides shutouts. The Lefty’s 2.47 ERA is third, his 1.07 WHIP is third, his 5.10 Strikeout to Walk ratio is second and his 16 wins and 21 Quality starts are both tied for third amongst NL starting pitchers.

So what has propelled Lee to the top of the NL CY Young discussion? His amazing months of June and August. Check out Lee’s numbers by the month.

ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

In June and August Lee won all ten of his starts and had an unbelievable .33 ERA. While Lee’s rough months of May (2-3, 3.78 ERA) and July (1-2, 4.91 ERA) provide evidence for his detractors, his ability to consistently bounce back from adversity gives further credence to Lee’s claim for the top pitching honor.

Lee has only allowed two Earned Runs since August 1st. If he continues this nearly unprecedented dominance over the last three weeks of the season will he pass perennial front runners, Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw, and collect his second Cy Young Award?

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The Yanks are Well-Stocked at Catcher

September 6, 2011

Catcher is not currently a position of worry for the Yanks, with Russell Martin being an All-Star this year and Francisco Cervelli a more than capable back-up who plays great defense and gets clutch hits.  Martin has handled a difficult position with class and dignity, as he was signed to replace fan favorite and member of the Yanks ‘Core Four’ Jorge Posada.  He is a main reason why the Yankees are sitting in first with the best record in the American League despite a questionable starting rotation after C.C. Sabathia. Check out his 2011 numbers here:

Home Rune (Blue), RBI (Orange), Errors (Green)

Yet in New York, the future is always now.  Here are three up and coming Yankee catchers who all have a chance to be legitimate stars in the near future.  One of them is contributing in a big way already.

Perhaps the Yankees should be grateful that Seattle did not trade Cliff Lee to them last year after all.  The centerpiece of that aborted trade was Jesus Montero, the top position player prospect in the Yankees organization.  Montero was called up Sept. 1 as part of the expansion of MLB rosters to 40 players.  He is batting .385 with two Home Runs, and has become the Yankees DH against LHP.  The question to ask moving forward is if he will be on the post-season roster at the ripe old age of 21.

Austine Romine and Gary Sanchez are two other promising young catchers in the Yankees system.  Romine is 22 and was just promoted to AAA Scranton after completing the season at AA Trenton.  Expect him to be a Major Leaguer for some team in the future.  Sanchez is only 18 but was one of the most highly coveted players in the Dominican Republic when he signed with the Yankees.  He is a longer term prospect, but some scouts feel he has the most talent of this entire group.

So, do any of these kids have what it takes to replace All-Star Russell Martin or back-up Cervelli?  Time will tell…

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Keys to the Game: Braves Vs. Phillies, September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011

Cliff Lee (15-7, 2.59 ERA) seeks his seventh straight victory tonight, when the Philadelphia Phillies host the NL Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves. Lee has pitched 20 and 2/3 straight shutout innings and has a 1.14 ERA and a 5.0 Strikeout to Walk ratio in his last six starts. Atlanta will counter with Derek Lowe (9-12, 4.52 ERA), who has been quite mercurial over his last six starts going 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA and 2.38 Strikeout to Walk ratio. Check out each hurler’s numbers in their last six starts.

ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

Even though the teams have split the season series 6-6, the Phillies have outscored the Braves 49 to 37.  Philadelphia’s staring lineup tonight has hit 104 total bases against Atlanta compared to 88 total bases the tonight’s Braves’ starting lineup has hit against Philadelphia.  Compare the numbers of tonight’s Braves’ and Phillies‘ starting lineups against each other.

ATL: RBIs (Blue), Runs Scored (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)

PHI: RBIs (Blue), Runs Scored (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)

Philadelphia is 0-3 against the Braves when Lee is starting this season.  Will Atlanta snap Lee’s winning streak, or can the Phillies’ bats finally give Lee enough run support to collect his first win against their divisional rival?

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Let the All-Star Match-up Begin!

July 12, 2011

Monday morning the lineup for tonight’s All-Star match up was set. Let’s take a look at how the starting pitchers match-up. Pitching for the National League is Roy Halladay of the Phillies. Halladay has a strong 11-2 record and has not lost a game in two months. The National League is hoping that his streak continues. Starting for the American League is Angels’ right-hander Jered Weaver who has an 11-4 record. Regardless of the performance of these two starters, both the National League and American League have strong pitching. The National League have Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Cliff Lee of the Phillies, to name a few. On the other side, the American League has Alexi Ogando and C.J. Wilson, both of the Rangers. So which team do you predict will win?

Philadelphia leads the majors in ERA going into the all star break but only has 2 pitching representatives vs San Francisco’s 4. See how the two teams match up in pitching.

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That’s One For The History Books!

July 6, 2011

Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher, Cliff Lee, dominated the month of June! Not only did he dominate it, he made it a month of historic significance. In the 42 innings Lee pitched during the month, he gave up only one run. All five games he started in ended in wins for the Phillies. Now here’s the best part: Offensively, Lee knocked in more runs (two) than he allowed. Lee is only the third pitcher in history (with an ERA of 0.21 or better in a calendar month) to drive in more runs than he let in.

With June behind Lee, he decided to lay an egg against Toronto where he gave up 10 hits and 6 run pushing him in the list of top ERA pitchers. Still a top 10 pitcher in the National League he is in good company with fellow team mates.

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