Friday, July 11, 2008

In appreciation of Cliff Lee

In a season best forgotten, Cliff Lee is having a campaign to cherish.

The Tribe lefty ace - officially now as well as on the stat sheet - provided Indians fans with yet another cool breeze tonight in what has been a hot, muggy night of a season.

What a difference a year makes.

A year ago Lee was laboring through the worst season of his career, having suffered an oblique injury early in the season and struggling to find his way the rest of the year.

Indians fans were ready to run Lee out of town - with yours truly volunteering to deliver the eviction notice personally.

He was eventually dispatched to Buffalo and then called back up by the Tribe to watch the pennant race from the bullpen bench in September.

During the winter he was the fans' No. 1 target to be traded.

Tonight - after shutting out the Tampa Bay Rays for six innings - the Tribe's new ace is packing his bags for New York and a likely start in this year's All Star Game.

He ends the official first-half of the year with a 12-2 record on a club that is 14 games under .500. He has nearly one-third of the team's 39 wins. He is tied for the league lead in wins and is second in the AL in ERA. He's allowed only 129 baserunners in 125 innings. He's walked only 20 and K'd 106.

In short he has put up phenomenal numbers

But, the numbers tell only part of the story.

Only when you watch Lee on the mound do you get a true feeling for just how dominating he's been, how he attacks the strike zone and is ready to fire the next pitch just as soon as the ball comes back from the catcher.

The man who looked so lost just one year ago is throwing with attitude and a cool confidence that has brought him to new heights.

It sometimes is easy to let the good things get lost in the disappointment of a season like this one.

Cliff Lee is having a season to remember and we shouldn't forget that.


the moose said...

well said about cliff lee - it is a great lesson inpatience and never give up. I dont remembre him complaining publicly at all last year. I hate to see the indians sticking it to the rays rather it be the sox (both of them), tigers, or yankees. but a win is a win. maybe the rays are choking a little. our dynamic duo of peralta and francisco carry the team - lee might have more winsif not for the bullpen. I can't remember one bad outing for lee unless you call 3 runs a bad outing.

it would be nice to win 4 in a row before the all star break. Hope cliff does get the start next tuesday - who's making the decision - francona - he will probably pick dice K. Bye the way how did jason varitek make the all star team

bobbydb19 said...

Now this is the Cleveland Indians, I love to watch. So I will take Ron's advice and continue watching for the nice plays, future stars and possible wins.

Speaking of future stars, I am taking my two boys and heading west tomorrow. Not to Cleveland, but a 90 minute ride to Reading to see Matt Laporta (he of the game winning HR in the 9th last night) and the Aeros play the Reading Phillies. I was hoping that even Fausto may start, but I don't think he his up to AA yet rehabbing. $8 seats, $1 hot dog day, Chase Utley Bobblehead Day and the kids get to run the bases after the game. Other than the cost of gas to get out there, pretty good deal in my opinion, plus I get to see Laporta in action and maybe have the kids get his autograph. What guy would not give an autograph to kids in Indians hats?

Have a great week-end and as always: Go Tribe!

the moose said...

3 in a row !!! - 6 losses in a row for tampa- wonder if the yanks and red sox are sending gifts to the indians clubhouse

might go to lake county on monday and watch fausto pitch - it is $1 night

Ron Vallo said...

bobby: enjoy the game. what a great idea. too bad we've already got other plans at our house.

moose:seems this team does pretty well when the pressure is off. enjoy your game as well and send us a scouting report on Fausto

the moose said...

I see loporte didnt play saturday night in reading isnt that the way it always goes make trip and the guy doesnt play - AKA - Jeter in NY for Ron - loporte for bobby

Ron Vallo said...

No Jeter snubbed my daughter Katy by not playing when we were there, not me. I could give a rat's ass.

I think Bobby wrote his comment Saturday, meaning he's actually going today - Sunday. So if Saturday was a day off - and why a 22-year-old needs a day off after three days with his new team I'll never know - but that means he should be playing today.

Ryan said...

Even when Lee struggled this spring and barely beat out Sowers for the 5th spot, I still expected him to come out and have a great season...Not ASG worthy, but I'm not complaining.

bobbydb19 said...

Actually LaPorta played in Futures game. I realized that after I bought tickets. Oh well. Still had fun, but Aeros lost. I am the bad luck. There is no doubt. The Indians won, so at least it was not all lost. My kids got a couple autographs: Espino (catcher) and someone (#37) not listed on the roster. There were a few people there is Tribe gear.

the moose said...

well well well who would have thunk it - maybe this team can play a little baseball at least they played with some enthusiasm over the past 4 games and I am sure the yankees and red sox are happy.

well here we are at the all star break and it certainly isnt where we all thought the tribewould be

first comment about the CC trade = the cubs said they dropped out of the CC derby cause they couldn't meet the tribes offer

would you have taken the 4 guys the A's got - gallagher and the 2 OF instead of laporte, etc and the infamous player to be named later ?? I might have - harden certainly is a bigger risk than CC health wise but he signed through 2009.

now the mid season grades

A's - sizemore and lee
B's - carroll (better than I thought), laffey (not bad for a rookie), francisco (is the best yet to come), shoppach ( little disappointed more like a B-), casey blake (doing what he is suppose to), kobayashi (getting better - overall fairly consistent)

C's - peralta - because of his defense, perez - inconsistent

D's - Garko, delucci, gutierez, betancourt,

F's - Cabrera (thats why he is in the minors) , Joe Blow - thats why he is unemployed

Incomplete - Victor, Hafner, Westbrook, Carmona, barfield

Who cares - Mastny, lewis, mujica,

Who did I miss ?

wedge and shapiro - D- poor talent judgement

Ron Vallo said...

moose: Ithink you forgot Jorge Valendia, other than though s good job. I pretty much agree with all of them. But they better hope to get something out of lewis and maybe mujica, or the pen is a HUGE problem next year. mastny never seems to take advantage of his chances.

bobbie: sounds like a good time anyway.

bobbydb19 said...

Just heard that Cliff is starting All-Star game. Nice!