Cliff Lee has posted the lowest walk rate in 77 years

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Cliff Lee won’t be pitching on short rest this postseason. He also, if regular season form holds up, won’t be issuing many walks.

From the Elias Stats bureau, via Buster Olney, is this fairly astounding factoid: Lee walked only 18 batters in 212 innings this year. That translates to a walk rate of 0.76 per nine innings. That’s the lowest walk rate for any
pitcher with 200 or more innings since 1933, when Cincinnati’s Red Lucas walked 18 guys in 219 innings.

Given how different the game is now — guys take a ton more walks these days — Lee’s mark is more impressive in my mind.  Not that saying so sullies the memory of Red Lucas, because really, how can any of us think about Red Lucas in a way other than that which the media and historians have been pounding him into our consciousness for the past several decades?

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.