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How Cliff Lee Succeeded Monday Night


Cliff Lee’s struggles have been well documented, as they should be when a pitcher is in year one of a five-year, $125 million deal. Last night, he changed his tune and sung a sweet song, K-ing 10 and doing some other really, really good things.

-He kept the ball down, something he was unable to do in his previous starts. Of his 10 non-strikeout outs, six were on the ground. No Dodgers really gave any ball a serious charge last night either.

-By my estimation, he only missed high out of the zone 10 times in 117 pitches. Last week against the Nationals, he also missed 10 times high, but in just 96 total pitches.

-Lee mixed in his curveball and changeup nicely, throwing his curve for strikes 59% of the time and his changeup 54% of the time.

-His fastballs were accurate. He threw 89 of them on the night and tossed 64 strikes, a 72% clip.

-While his final pitch count was 117 (third highest for him this season) he stayed relatively steady throughout, ranging from 10 in the sixth inning to 21 pitches in both the third and seventh. Lee didn’t allow an inning to snowball, which is what kept him in the game through seven frames.

-Damage control was huge, too. He got an early double play and left a runner stranded at third base in the first inning. Lee also kept infield/junk hits from becoming runs.

(Stats via Brooks Baseball)

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