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Cliff Lee is doing just fine, thanks

Apr 22, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT

cliff lee getty Getty Images

On Opening Day, Cliff Lee gave up eight runs on 11 hits in five innings. That’s not a Cliff Lee anyone is used to seeing. I actually got asked on a radio show if Cliff Lee is on the decline. After one start! Well, Cliff Lee has answered that question. Here is his line for his last four:

30 IP, 33 H, 37K, 1 BB, 1.20 ERA

That’s a lot of hits, of course, but when you strike out dudes like crazy and don’t walk anyone you can get away with that. And having watched all of his start last Wednesday and part of his start last night, it’s clear that Lee’s command and control is no different than it’s always been. Which is to say spectacular. There is no one in the game who is able to put the ball where he wants to put it like Cliff Lee can.

Last night he tied the Dodgers up in knots. He struck out ten in eight shutout innings. He struck out 13 Braves in that game last Wednesday and, even if he took the loss thanks to no run support, he was dominant.

Some things change. Some things don’t. Cliff Lee looking amazing is one of those things that doesn’t.

  1. arb927 - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Wow I’m speechless… This might be the first good thing Craig has ever said about the phillies!!

    • tbird05 - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Look closely and you will find “thanks to no run support.” This is an obvious slight against the phils. Damnit Craig!!!! Way to ruin it AGAIN!!!!

  2. brandotho - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    .400 BABIP against, and he’s giving up line drives at the same rate as usual (tho more groundballs, less flyballs so far). Why worry?

  3. gothapotamus90210 - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Homeboy is an artist. He’s surgical with that sh-t.

    • Pat Richardson - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      Annie Oakley with a Winchester. Kobayashi with a plate of Nathan’s Famous. Cliff Lee with a fastball. Craig with a Phillies AARP joke.

    • southpaw2k - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      If he’s surgical, wouldn’t that make him a doctor and not an artist?

  4. southpaw2k - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    The question becomes does Ruben Amaro use Cliff Lee as trade bait come July. There’s bound to be a team or two who could use a bonafide ace to make a playoff push. Amaro could net at least a couple great prospects to rebuild the franchise.

    Oh wait – I forgot. This is Ruben Amaro we’re talking about. Never mind, carry on.

    • biasedhomer - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Amaro loves players like Cliff Lee, aging and expensive.

      But I think the Phillies could still be in the wild card hunt around the deadline, so they won’t be sellers.

      • brandotho - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Or at least they’ll still think they’ll be in the wild card hunt around the deadline

    • schmedley69 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      Maybe the Phillies are that team that needs a bonafide ace to make a playoff push?

      Cliff Lee was traded 3 times when he was 5-years younger and much cheaper, and not a one of those prospects that he was traded for has panned out. The N.L. East is very weak, and the Phillies could very well make a run this year. If things go South and they are out of it near the deadline, then maybe it’s time to move on, but more that likely, the Phillies arr going to be in the hunt.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        I applaud the optimism, but I can’t see how the Phillies are going to be in the hunt this year or next. I think they’d be smart to trade him.

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        18th street

        You are correct. The Phillies are not going to be in contention this season or next season.

        Fans have to be realistic. I’ve been a life long Cubs fan (since the mid 1970’s). The Cubs are NOT going to be contenders this season or next season either.

        Yes, the Phillies have more talent on their roster than the Cubs, but the Phillies will not hang with the Braves and the Nationals.

        Cliff is a great pitcher and has been a great pitcher, but with his age and the status of the team, he will not will not be pitching in anymore big games for them in his career.

  5. zengreaser - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    The NL East is a much tighter division than I originally expected to be. Granted, it’s only the first month of the season, but the Harvey-less Mets have surprised me, as have the Marlins. On paper, the Braves & Nats are the most talented, but I do to trust either of them to dominate the division. With Cole back this week, Ryan Howard being a force once again at the plate, Chase continuing to be Chase, I think they could make a play for the division title. If they can solidify the bullpen through a trade or 2, look out. The Phillies have traditionally been a team that starts slow & turns it on as the season progresses.

    • zengreaser - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      *Do not trust either of Nats or Braves to dominate the division.

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