Friday, May 6, 2011

Cliff Lee strikes out 16, still takes loss for Phillies

Reason #540 why wins and losses mean very little for pitchers: Cliff Lee struck out 16 batters yet still took the loss in a 5-0 Braves victory over the Phillies. Yeah, that seems fair.

While Lee had a rough start to his outing, giving up 3 runs in the 3rd inning, he was nothing but dominant after that, striking out 11 batters in innings 4 through 7. In other words, of the 12 outs Lee needed to get in those 4 innings, he got strike outs for 11 of them. Lee's 16 strikeouts were not only the highest in the majors this season but they were also one short of the Phillies team record of 17, which is held by Art Mahaffey.

Lee was dominant but Derek Lowe was better for the Braves, no-hitting the Phillies for 6 innings before allowing a pair of hits that chased him out of the game. The Phillies offense then had their chance to make a comeback but failed, striking out three straight times with two runners in scoring position in the 7th.

This just in: Cliff Lee is good. The Phillies starting pitchers have so far held up their end of the bargain, giving the team quality innings and special outings on a regular basis. The fact that Lee has a record of 2-3 is much more indicative of an inconsistent Phillies offense than anything he is doing. I have a feeling the "great pitching but inconsistent hitting" theme could be an ongoing narrative to the Phillies season.

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