Wins have always been overrated in terms of baseball statistics, but typically if a pitcher is good enough and consistent over time the wins will come. However, that has not been the case for one of the best pitchers in a baseball, Philadelphia Phillies’ ace Cliff Lee.
The trend continued on Tuesday night as Lee picked up his third defeat of the season in a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers in which he went 7 2/3 innings allowing just two runs and striking out 10.
It’s June 6 and the former Cy Young Award Winner is still without a win. Granted he did miss a few starts in late April after a brief stint on the DL, but Lee still has made 10 starts without the benefit of earning a victory.
He has recorded a quality start in all but two outings, boasts a 2.92 ERA and 66/11 K:BB walk rate in 64 2/3 innings yet is 0-3 on the season.
"I’m not really frustrated," he told reporters after the game. "I’m not. All I can do is throw pitches. I don’t set goals, that I’ve got to have this many wins or whatever. I just want to put up as many zeros as I can, get deep in the game, throw strikes, don’t walk guys, give the team a chance to win. That’s all I can do and that’s what I’m going to continue to try to do."
As the Philadelphia Daily News’ Rich Hoffman points out, “Lee’s hard luck is starting to tease recent baseball history. Lee now has nine straight winless starts in which he has lasted at least six innings, struck out at least four batters and given up no more than five runs. It has been 7 years since a pitcher had a longer streak of winless excellence with those stats: Milwaukee’s Doug Davis in 2005.”
The problem is not with Lee though, rather focuses around the Phillies’ makeshift lineup. Playing much of the season without many of the team’s offensive juggernauts the Phillies have sputtered on the scoreboard. As bad as it seems, Philadelphia still is third in the NL in batting average and sixth in runs scored. They are simply not crossing the plate when Lee takes the hill.
Fantasy Baseball, MLB