Texas Rangers

Cliff Lee, Where Have You Gone?

More importantly, you ever coming back?

I said yesterday I'd give the playoff ball to C.J. Wilson over Cliff Lee. Saw nothing in last night's 10-9 loss to Kansas City Royals that changed my mind. You?

Thought I'd never write this: The Texas Rangers lost a game started by Cliff Lee in which they produced nine runs and 16 hits.

I realize he was 4-0 in the playoffs and World Series last year for the Philadelphia Phillies, but right now - let's admit it - he sucks.

Lee was putrid again, coughing up leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 6-4, and allowing 10 hits and seven runs in only 4.2 innings. And it wasn't just last night. He's allowed at least four runs in each of his last five starts. In his last three starts, he's surrendered 17 earned runs in 15.1 innings.

Problem is, Lee is a control pitcher. When he misses his spots - middle instead of corner - he's very hittable. In his 11 starts with Texas, Lee's ERA is 4.69 and the Rangers are 3-8.

Those are the numbers of a Cliff Clavin, not your supposed ace.

That said, they shouldn't have lost the way they did last night.

Reliever Alexi Ogando was all over the place in the ninth inning. In getting to a 3-0 count on somebody named Yuniesky Betancourt, catcher Matt Treanor temporarily saved the game with a ridiculous snare of a one-hop pitch.

Then he, like, missed a pitch. I know it was low, outside and way off target. But Ogando's fastball that allowed in the winning run was very catchable. Right?