Though he walked his first batter of this postseason, Cliff Lee pitched one of the best games of the playoffs last night against the Yankees. He struck out 13, walked the one, and surrendered just 2 hits in 8 innings of work. In fact, I would argue that it beat out Roy Halladay’s no-hitter against Reds, and here’s why.
1) The Yankees are a much better scoring team than the Reds (especially in their own park). The Bombers scored 473 runs at home, while the Reds scored just 399, both in hitters’ parks. New York led the entire league in runs scored, and recorded the highest OBP, third highest Slugging%, and best wOBA. While the Reds have a formidable offense, it’s not quite Yankees caliber.
2) Lee struck out 13 Yankees of the 24 outs total outs recorded on his watch. That means that only 11 balls went into play; he made more outs than his entire defense combined. Halladay struck out 8 of the 27 outs the Phillies made, less than 1/3 of the total, forcing his defense to make 19 outs. Halladay’s GB/FB rate of 12/7 was again outdone by Lee’s 8/3.
3) Cliff Lee is the Man. And I refuse to field arguments on this point.