Cliff Lee tossed a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 win over the Reds on Friday night. He scattered six hits while striking out seven and of course, walking none. Incredibly, the left-hander has walked only four batters over 77 2/3 innings this season.
Just to put things in perspective, Daisuke Matsuzaka exceeded Lee’s walk total for the entire season by issuing five free-passes in one inning against the Royals last month. Meanwhile, Lee hasn’t walked a single batter since June 2 against the Twins, a span
of 28 innings.
As we start to inch our way towards the All-Star break, it’s time to start thinking about his chance to make history. After Friday’s brilliant outing, Lee has a ridiculous 16.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio (67/4) through his first 10 starts. There’s still a while to go here, obviously, but if he keeps it up, Lee would be in a stratosphere all by himself. Bret Saberhagen currently holds the all-time record by posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11 (143/13) with the Royals in 1994.
Things might not have went as Jack Z planned this season, but at least Lee’s trade value is increasing by the minute.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.