Cliff Lee is Great, But His Offensive Support Sucks
Breaking news: To win a baseball game - even with your best pitcher on the mound - a team must score a run. Even two.
Cliff Lee was good - not great - Sunday in a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Angels. He pitched another complete game, something he's done in all five starts for the Texas Rangers. Only Charlie Hough had a longer Rangers' streak (six in 1988), and Lee is the first pitcher since Toronto's Pat Hentgen in '96 to pitch eight innings or more in nine consecutive starts.
For all his impressive work - Lee's ERA as a Ranger is 2.91 - the new ace has in five starts just one win.
While he's been on the mound for 43.1 innings, Texas has scratched out just eight runs. That's about two per game.
Maybe it's because the Rangers, subconsciously, know they need only a run or two to support Lee and don't play as aggressive offensively? Maybe it's because Lee has opposed some good pitchers (the Angels' Jered Weaver twice, for example)? Maybe because the Rangers' offense is in a funk that's tip-toeing close to a slump?
Whatever the reason, it's frustrating for the Rangers to finally have an ace in the hole and compliment it with holes in their bats.
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