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Is Cliff Lee for real?

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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby jondunc » Thu May 08, 2008 10:17 am

J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!

See, I think this is a pretty common misconception that people have, that is that you have to pitch mid-90s heat or have some unbeatable pitch to be dominant. Right now, Lee has a low 90s fastball that he is throwing with pinpoint accuracy and a moving curve that he is also locating. Add to that that a solid changeup, the fact that he's a lefthander and that he's working quickly and with a strategy, and doesn't it all make sense? Getting hitters out is not about velocity, IMO, it is about location and speed variance in your pitches.

That said, you're right in that what he's doing shouldn't equal a .81 ERA, he is obviously also getting lucky. However, if he continues to pitch as he is (and it's looking more and more like he will), he will produce numbers much better than league average.
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby J35J » Thu May 08, 2008 10:20 am

Spartans Rule wrote:
J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!


Let's not forget that arguably the best pitcher of our generation had pretty ordinary stuff, but amazing command of it.

Lee's pitching like Maddux in his prime right now.


Thanks for the laugh! :-)
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby J35J » Thu May 08, 2008 10:29 am

jondunc wrote:
J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!

See, I think this is a pretty common misconception that people have, that is that you have to pitch mid-90s heat or have some unbeatable pitch to be dominant. Right now, Lee has a low 90s fastball that he is throwing with pinpoint accuracy and a moving curve that he is also locating. Add to that that a solid changeup, the fact that he's a lefthander and that he's working quickly and with a strategy, and doesn't it all make sense? Getting hitters out is not about velocity, IMO, it is about location and speed variance in your pitches.

That said, you're right in that what he's doing shouldn't equal a .81 ERA, he is obviously also getting lucky. However, if he continues to pitch as he is (and it's looking more and more like he will), he will produce numbers much better than league average.


:-° Not really what I said at all. I'm familiar with what it takes to be a great pitcher and what Lee is doing should equal success but not dominance. He has a pretty solid curve and an ok change and an avg at best fastball. He is locating pretty well which is why he is having success but he only thew 13 curveballs to the Yankees all night...the rest was mostly just fastballs and no one can hit him. :-? Not everything he throws is pinpoint, I've seen a number of missed spots that no one has yet to capitalize on....there isn't anything I've seen yet that should indicate Cy Young potential...which is what he is doing at the moment. I just think its all going to come crashing back to earth sometime fairly soon. He's a good pitcher....3.5 ERA and 1.25 WHIP type but I'd be suprised if he finished the year with a whole lot better than that.
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby Yoda » Thu May 08, 2008 10:59 am

J35J wrote:
Spartans Rule wrote:
J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!


Let's not forget that arguably the best pitcher of our generation had pretty ordinary stuff, but amazing command of it.

Lee's pitching like Maddux in his prime right now.


Thanks for the laugh! :-)


Yeah it is a common misconception that Maddux had ordinary stuff. That is far, far, far from the truth. He was able to dial it up to mid 90s with great movement. Not to mention great command.
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby Yoda » Thu May 08, 2008 11:01 am

J35J wrote:
jondunc wrote:
J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!

See, I think this is a pretty common misconception that people have, that is that you have to pitch mid-90s heat or have some unbeatable pitch to be dominant. Right now, Lee has a low 90s fastball that he is throwing with pinpoint accuracy and a moving curve that he is also locating. Add to that that a solid changeup, the fact that he's a lefthander and that he's working quickly and with a strategy, and doesn't it all make sense? Getting hitters out is not about velocity, IMO, it is about location and speed variance in your pitches.

That said, you're right in that what he's doing shouldn't equal a .81 ERA, he is obviously also getting lucky. However, if he continues to pitch as he is (and it's looking more and more like he will), he will produce numbers much better than league average.


:-° Not really what I said at all. I'm familiar with what it takes to be a great pitcher and what Lee is doing should equal success but not dominance. He has a pretty solid curve and an ok change and an avg at best fastball. He is locating pretty well which is why he is having success but he only thew 13 curveballs to the Yankees all night...the rest was mostly just fastballs and no one can hit him. :-? Not everything he throws is pinpoint, I've seen a number of missed spots that no one has yet to capitalize on....there isn't anything I've seen yet that should indicate Cy Young potential...which is what he is doing at the moment. I just think its all going to come crashing back to earth sometime fairly soon. He's a good pitcher....3.5 ERA and 1.25 WHIP type but I'd be suprised if he finished the year with a whole lot better than that.


I think he is just hiding the ball really well right now as hitters are way late on his fastball a lot of times. I don't think he missed a lot of spots though. He only walked 2 in 6 starts so his command has been nearly perfect.
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby Yanks Ruined It » Thu May 08, 2008 11:31 am

I think the year he spent in the minors taught hime how to pitch, before he just threw, he seems to be more relaxed now and he wasnt before, whoever his piching coach was in the minors should be given the cy young this year, what a job ;-D Oh!! he also picked up a slider that looks great
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby mkultra » Thu May 08, 2008 11:44 am

J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!


They were commenting during his outing against the Yanks about how effective he is at hiding everything about his delivery until the last moment. I can see that being incredibly frustrating for hitters.
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby J35J » Thu May 08, 2008 11:47 am

mkultra wrote:
J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!


They were commenting during his outing against the Yanks about how effective he is at hiding everything about his delivery until the last moment. I can see that being incredibly frustrating for hitters.


Yeah, I could see that being an issue if he was mixing in alot of different pitches but the couple of times I've seen him this year its 80% fastballs so I'm not sure what there is to hide? I don't know, like I said, I'm baffled. Kudos to Lee though, he is out of his mind right now! ;-D
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby jondunc » Thu May 08, 2008 4:25 pm

J35J wrote:
jondunc wrote:
J35J wrote:Lee is absolutely baffling me....I mean he is shutting teams down with little more than a 90-92 mph fastball and will mix in a curve.....teams just aren't hitting him. I don't get it? :-S His stuff is barely much more than avg...he is hitting his spots which is good, obviously, but just hitting your spots with avg stuff shouldn't equal a .81 ERA or whatever it is now? Crazyiness!

See, I think this is a pretty common misconception that people have, that is that you have to pitch mid-90s heat or have some unbeatable pitch to be dominant. Right now, Lee has a low 90s fastball that he is throwing with pinpoint accuracy and a moving curve that he is also locating. Add to that that a solid changeup, the fact that he's a lefthander and that he's working quickly and with a strategy, and doesn't it all make sense? Getting hitters out is not about velocity, IMO, it is about location and speed variance in your pitches.

That said, you're right in that what he's doing shouldn't equal a .81 ERA, he is obviously also getting lucky. However, if he continues to pitch as he is (and it's looking more and more like he will), he will produce numbers much better than league average.


:-° Not really what I said at all. I'm familiar with what it takes to be a great pitcher and what Lee is doing should equal success but not dominance. He has a pretty solid curve and an ok change and an avg at best fastball. He is locating pretty well which is why he is having success but he only thew 13 curveballs to the Yankees all night...the rest was mostly just fastballs and no one can hit him. :-? Not everything he throws is pinpoint, I've seen a number of missed spots that no one has yet to capitalize on....there isn't anything I've seen yet that should indicate Cy Young potential...which is what he is doing at the moment. I just think its all going to come crashing back to earth sometime fairly soon. He's a good pitcher....3.5 ERA and 1.25 WHIP type but I'd be suprised if he finished the year with a whole lot better than that.

Let me clarify what I meant. Yes, the speed of his fastball is average. But, an average fastball with pinpoint accuracy is no longer average at all. I haven't seen him miss any spot by more than two ball widths and never in a dangerous spot. You're right, he did throw only 13 curveballs, but each one was in a high leverage situation and he got swings and misses on ~1/2 of them (at least two for Ks). Again, it's just really unusual to have control this great and that's what I see separating him from the league right now. In the end though, I agree with you, he's a 3.5/1.2 guy (though it's getting to point that his season numbers will almost surely be better than that this year).
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Re: Is Cliff Lee for real?

Postby Field » Thu May 08, 2008 5:10 pm

For some reason his start reminds me a lot of Chris Young's from last year, even though I know that they are two completely different pitchers. :-S All I know is that I'm glad to have him on my team. Marcum, Volquez and Lee have been WW gold for me so far this year.
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