We are nearly through the month of June and the only person who is hotter than the weather outside is Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee. Last night, Lee pitched his third straight shut-out against the Boston Red Sox – only allowing 2 hits – en route to his fifth straight victory; he is 9-5 on the season. However during the month of June, Lee has been bringing his A-game as he is 5-0, has an ERA of 0.21, and actually became the fifth pitcher to pitch at or under a 0.21 ERA while playing at least 5 games in a calendar month since World War II; impressive stuff!
The Lefty has taken a little time this season to find his groove in this stellar pitching staff, but has now shown that he is comfortable, ready to produce throughout the duration of the season, and has asserted himself as a cornerstone that the Phillies could use. Lee has four complete games as of now, second in the NL to his teammate Roy Halladay who has been the guy in the Philadelphia rotation ever since he arrived from Toronto. Curiously, the last time that Lee had 3 complete games in a row was when he was a part of the Cleveland Indians in 2008 when he won the Cy Young Award…interesting. Although Lee is likely not the pitcher that will win the Cy Young when the 2011 season is over with.
To reiterate, despite the poor start from this Philadelphia Ace, he has really cranked it up in the month of June. He started with a 4-5 record, however now the Phillies have found their ‘second-best’ pitcher and look to keep the pace up to win their division. The Phillies will finish their series against Boston – one of the MLB’s hottest teams – and after Lee will re-take the hill to start his journey in July against the Blue Jays – Roy Halladays Ex-Team – on the third.
Cliff Lee will probably garner as much attention as he has had during June, however will he back up his last 3 great performances in the month of July? For Baseball’s sake, Lee will hopefully continue his June outburst for the rest of the summer; but against the talented hitters in the league, that is much easier said then done.