Cliff Lee Had Himself A Ballgame

For any professional hitter, going 3-for-4 with a triple and four runs batted in is a heck of a night. It’s an unforgettable night if you’re a pitcher. Prior to last night’s game against the Marlins, only three Phillies had logged three hits and four RBI in a game this season: Delmon Young, Ryan Howard, and Domonic Brown, all in June. Brown was the only one to also triple. Starter Cliff Lee joined the club last night with an RBI single in the third, a two-run triple in the fifth, and another RBI single in the seventh. The only Phillies pitchers with three hits and four RBI in one game previously were Phil Collins in 1930 and Jack Scott in 1927. Lower the threshold to three RBI and Randy Wolf was the only pitcher with three hits and three RBI dating all the way back to 1977.

On the mound, Lee was just as good. In eight innings, he allowed just two runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out 14. It is the ninth 14-strikeout game of the season, joining Yu Darvish (5), Chris Sale, Jose Fernandez, and Anibal Sanchez. Darvish is the only one to accomplish the feat without walking a batter (twice). Lee’s outing last night was just the 26th 14-strikeout, zero-walk performance in the 2000’s. Halladay struck out 14 twice in 2011 and Lee struck out 16 while walking one that season as well. Only three Phillies have struck out 14 while also issuing no walks: Curt Schilling in 1997, Terry Mulholland in 1993, and Jim Bunning in 1966.

As several people pointed out to me on Twitter last night, Lee’s outing lowered his ERA a couple points to 2.95 and actually puts him somewhere in the NL Cy Young discussion. Certainly not anywhere near Clayton Kershaw, but near the top-five.

To quote Larry David, last night, Lee was pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.

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  1. TomG

    September 17, 2013 08:12 AM

    Re: R. Wise:

    And then the stupid Phillies went and traded him for some dude!

  2. Jonny5

    September 17, 2013 08:29 AM

    Chris S., and because of quibbling over 10-15 K. Carlton and Wise get swapped, Lol….

  3. JM

    September 17, 2013 09:57 AM

    Amazing how many more zero’s those guys would command today….

  4. Frank

    September 17, 2013 10:11 AM

    I know this post is supposed to make me realize how awesome Cliff Lee is, but instead it makes me realize how awesome Yu Darvish is…

  5. Chris S.

    September 17, 2013 10:58 AM

    We need a post to show how awesome Mike Trout is. He has the potential to be in the discussion of best player of all time if he stays healthy for his whole career.

  6. Buzzsaw90

    September 17, 2013 01:16 PM

    Hey let’s not forget Robert Person going 2-fo-3 with a two homers, a walk, 3 runs scored and 7 RBIs.

    iirc, he also struck out with the bases loaded after just hitting one wide of the foul pole. So close to 2 slams and 11 RBIs in 5 innings.

  7. Chris S.

    September 17, 2013 01:48 PM

    He is a local boy any chance when he becomes a free agent in 4 years that he comes to Philadelphia?

  8. hk

    September 17, 2013 01:55 PM

    Chris S.,

    You would think there is a price at which it is worth it to both the Angels and to Trout to agree on a contract that signs away his first year or more of free agency. However, if the Angels are going to do this, they better do it sooner rather than later.

  9. Chris S.

    September 17, 2013 02:54 PM

    Yeah I’m sure there is a number. If I am trout I wouldn’t take anything less than 25 Million for my free agent years. He could become the first player ever to average 30 Million a year and I wouldn’t bat an eye about giving him that kind of contract cause he is very much worth it.

  10. hk

    September 17, 2013 03:17 PM

    Chris S.,

    I agree that it should be a high number, but Trout is only slated to make ~$1M next year, so if he were to suffer a career-ending injury before he even reaches an arbitration hearing after next season, he would not be set for life financially. Therefore, he should be willing to give up some dollars that he might get in free agency after the 2017 season to offset the chance – however small it may be – that his career ends before he cashes in.

  11. bharring

    September 17, 2013 05:15 PM

    So…can we overpay for Yu Darvish now, instead of when he’s too old, please?!

  12. Larry

    September 17, 2013 05:19 PM

    Cliff Lee loves to hit, is a good bunter, and fields his position well. He also has good speed for a pitcher. That fits as a complete package to go along with how well he has pitched since he has been a Phillie. Oddly enough, out of all these comments on this thread, I’ve seen only one other person (HK) even mention Cliff Lee. Is he too boring for you guys? lol

  13. Phanatic20

    September 17, 2013 05:52 PM

    1977? That must be Randy Lerch, not Wolf. That 70’s pitching staff could hit – with Carlton, Christenson, and Lerch.

  14. Phillie697

    September 18, 2013 10:25 AM


    Exactly what’s the point of talking about something that everyone in the room is just going to agree and nod their heads on? He’s not too boring, of course, but talking about him is too boring. I don’t have an inherent need to seek approval from strangers.

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