Cliff Lee!

Coming off his DL stint for an abdominal strain, Cliff Lee did not disappoint in his first start for the Ms. In fact he didn’t even allow a run. He threw 98 pitches in 7 innings, recording 8 strikeouts, ZERO walks, and just three hits (all singles).

Lee was in control just about his entire start. He got ahead in the count often–throwing 19 first-pitch strikes to the 25 batters he faced–and worked just one three-ball count. His success has always come from his control. Since 2008, Lee has walked just 4.1% of the batters he’s faced, better than half the league average of 8.6%. His groundball rate has also improved after a nightmarish 2007 campaign, leading to less dingers and more double plays.

Playing in front of possibly the best defense in baseball, in one of the better pitchers’ parks, Cliff Lee could potentially join Felix Hernandez in the Cy Young discussion come September.

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