Monday, September 1, 2008

Congrats Cliff Lee

A hearty Joe and Joe Sports congratulations out to Cleveland Indians lefty Cliff Lee. With a dominant 5 hit, complete game shutout on Labor Day, Lee became the first Indians pitcher to win 20 games since Gaylord Perry in 1974.

A couple of interesting notes on Cliff Lee's accomplishment:

The 34 year dry spell had been the longest active streak among MLB teams (obviously the expansion teams that have never had a 20 game winner don't count).

Gaylord Perry also won his 20th game on a 5 hit, complete game shutout. Weird.

Lee's 20th win came exactly one year to the day from the day he was recalled to the majors. After struggling with ineffectiveness and injury in the first half on 2007, Lee (who, at the time, was the owner of a 6.38 ERA) was sent to AAA Buffalo. On September 1st he was recalled when rosters expanded and pitched exclusively in mop up duty. Today, he is a 20 game winner and nearly a lock to win the American League Cy Young. Lee is leading the majors in wins and ERA. He is the owner of a win/loss percentage that has only been topped twice since 1959. Cliff Lee is having a truly remarkable season and his 20th win is an exclamation point, the 20th win coming exactly one year from his recall to the majors is a pleasant coincidence that reminds us that redemption can always be found the next time the rubber is toed.

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