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Cliff Lee loses to Twins, falls to 2-5 with 4.50 ERA for Rangers

Aug 27, 2010, 11:07 AM EDT

Francisco Liriano held up his end of the bargain in last night’s marquee pitching matchup, taking a shutout into the seventh inning in Texas, but Cliff Lee turned in his third straight ugly start and dropped to 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 total outings since being traded to the Rangers.
Lee continues to post a ridiculously good strikeout-to-walk ratio, racking up 67 strikeouts compared to just six walks in 76 post-trade innings, but he’s served up nine homers after allowing just five in 104 innings before the move and has been knocked around for 23 runs in his last 24.2 innings.
There’s some bad luck at play here, because someone with a 67/6 K/BB ratio in 76 innings simply shouldn’t have a 4.50 ERA unless they’re giving up tons and tons of long balls, but that doesn’t change how disappointing Lee has been for the Rangers so far. Last night’s struggles were particularly interesting, because the Twins were among the teams in the mix for Lee and now probably feel pretty good about not emptying the farm system for him.
Texas is 3-7 in games started by Lee, although it looks like they’ll still cruise into the playoffs and the success of the trade will ultimately hinge on what happens in October. If he leads them deep into the postseason few people will remember that Lee had a losing record down the stretch. Lee went 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his final seven starts for the Phillies last season before going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in the playoffs.

  1. Kobbybahn - Aug 27, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    While it’s certainly not the only factor in Lee’s decline, but not mentioning how batter friendly his new home ballpark is is unfair. Some decline in his numbers was certainly to be expected.

  2. matt - Aug 27, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I mentioned this before about lee. He did the same thing when the phillies traded for him. He was great at first, got hit for about 4 or 5 starts in a row, then he settled in and the rest is history. Dont worry Rangers fans. Come October, you have at least 2 wins in the bag with Lee on the mound. Ask the Yankees how he embarassed them last year.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 27, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Agree with Matt 100%. Lee started out awesome with the Phillies last year, then struggled down the stretch. Once playoff time came, he was lights out. If the Rangers are unhappy, though, I would be glad if the Phillies would take him off their hands…he’d certainly be an improvement over Joltin Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick. Of course, you have to actually SCORE RUNS to win baseball games the last time I checked so he might not help as much as I think. ;)

  4. Jonny5 - Aug 27, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    Well CBP was hitter friendly as well. Like matt mentions, Lee was a force to be reconed with in the playoffs.

  5. John_Michael - Aug 27, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Choose the best description:
    Here’s a guy that just doesn’t know how to win.
    Lee can’t pitch in warm weather climates.
    Texas doesn’t score runs for Lee because he’s a clubhouse cancer.
    He’s already thinking about free agency.
    ‘Roids.

  6. fungo - Aug 27, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    @Kobbybahn which is why he gave up 2 HR to Josh Bell, his first career HR, at Camden Yards, and 4 all game.
    His ERA in Arlington in 2010 is 3.66. His ERA in August is 6.20, and 8.39 in his last 4 starts. I think the heat is what’s getting to him.

  7. Jonny5 - Aug 27, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Ohhhh, too funny Chris. Not! you’ve hit my sore spot with this team, and it drives me nuts. I’ve been saying for too long “you have to score more than 2 runs to win games”. I bet Charlie is nuts over it too. Anyway, just to return the favor. 7 back with 17 to go……….. I know, it’s history, but it’s just too delicious to forget.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 27, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Everybody is crying about how the Phillies should be in first place, but what nobody is doing is turning it around in a “glass half-full” kinda way…we just lost 4 games at home to the stinking Astros and we only lost a half-game in the division standings.

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