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« Cliff's Cutter | Main | Phil Hughes at Home »

Cliff Lee's Game One

On October 6, Cliff Lee pitched 7 great innings against the Tampa Bay Rays earning the Texas Rangers a win in Game 1 of the ALDS.  He struck out 10, walked 1, and yielded one run on a HR to Ben Zobrist.  He held Rays batters to a .185/.185/.333 line and a .261 wOBA (when factoring in SB/CS weights).

Cliff Lee's Pitch Frequency to Lefties in Game OneCliff Lee's Pitch Frequency to Righties in Game One

 While the numbers indicate that Lee dominated Rays hitters, Tampa Bay did have a few chances to put more runs on the board.  In the first inning, the Rays had the bases loaded with one out before Lee struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning unscathed.  In fact, Lee managed to strike out 5 batters in the 7 PAs in which he faced runners in scoring position.

Rays batters also squared up Lee's fastball fairly well, scattering five line drives throughout the game.  Fortunately for Lee, 4 of those 5 line drives were caught for outs.  In 2010, Lee had a LD% of 16.5%, slightly below his career rate of 19%.  In Game One, those 5 line drives resulted in a LD rate of 24.5%.  Small sample size, of course, but Lee certainly benefited from a slightly lower than average BAbip (.250) in the first game of the series.  Should the Rays hitters manage to cut down on their strike outs in Game 5, a correction in BAbip may result in increased scoring opportunities against Lee.

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