Phillies Profile – Cliff Lee

In Philadelphia Phillies on March 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

Over the next 28 days Philly Pressbox ( (@phillypressbox) will be doing a review and analysis of each Phillies player, Manager Charlie Manuel and the coaching staff leading up to Opening Day 2012.  On Day 4 we preview Cliff Lee.

Cliff Lee – Cliff is in his second stint with the Phillies after being obtained at the trade deadline in 2009 and leading the Phils to the World Series before losing to the Yankees. He brought with him stellar statistics from the American League Cleveland Indians. Lee posted a 83-48 career record for the Indians, 4.01 ERA which included a 22-3, 2.54 ERA in 2008 in which he won the Cy Young Award. Once arriving in Philadelphia, Cliff finished with a 7-4 regular season record with a 3.39 ERA. In the playoffs Cliff showed his real value. He pitched two games in the NLCS and the Phillies won both of them. He threw a complete game in a Game 1, 5-1 victory. He came back and pitched 8 innings in the Game 5, 5-4 win. He continued his fine work in the NLDS throwing 8 innings in Game 3 and beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-0. Cliff continued his brilliance by winning two World Series games, Game 1, a 6-1 complete game and Game 5, 8-6. Lee threw 8 more innings.

Cliff was traded to the Seattle Mariners after the 2009 season and later moved on to the Texas Rangers before  returning  to the Phillies for the 2011 season and continued his dominate pitching. He finished the season with a 17-8 record and a 2.40 ERA while leading the league with 6 shutouts and finishing 3rd in the Cy Young Award voting. The season was going great for Lee until Game 2 of the NLDS when he was given a 4-0 lead after 3 innings but couldn’t hold it. He gave up 5 runs on 12 hits in 6 innings. The Phils offense didn’t help much getting only 1 hit against 6 Cardinal relievers after getting 5 hits off starter Cris Carpenter in the first 3 innings. Had Lee held on to win that game the Phils would’ve taken a 2-0 lead in the series by winning both of their home games. They did win Game 3 but lost Games 4 and 5. Lee did not pitch again in the series.

Cliff is a quality starter that’s as good as any #2 in baseball. His career record is 119-69 with a 3.65 ERA while average 221 innings pitched per season while making 3 All Star teams including in 2011 for the Phillies.

Personal Analysis:

We look for Lee to continue his dominance and add another 17-20 wins while continuing to eat up innings by pitching late into games. As mentioned earlier Cliff would be near the top of the list of #1 starters in baseball so the Phillies have a real luxury in having Lee as their #2. Just as he did last season Cliff could make a run for the Cy Young Award again in 2012.

Tomorrow we will preview Cole Hamels.

Philly Pressbox would like to welcome our Sponsor, .

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