Am I talking about Roy Halladay? Nope, but I did write about him yesterday in Is It Safe? Today I’m going to discuss the history making run that Cliff Lee has provided, and if you think I’m using hyperbole, which I have to admit I do fall into on occasion, your wrong. Lee threw 8.2 scoreless innings against the Reds Wednesday night, and with the victory in that outing he moved to 5-0 on the month. That’s not historic you say? You’d be right there. However, he also posted a 0.45 ERA for the month. I’ve got your attention now don’t I? When you combine that effort with his work in June (5-0 with a 0.21 ERA) – now we’re cooking you might be thinking. In fact, Lee’s two months of near perfection have enabled him to become just the third pitcher in the history of baseball to have two separate months in one season in which a pitcher has won at least five games (without a loss) while producing an ERA under 1.00. How amazing is that? Oh, in case you were wondering who the other two men were, here you go.
Bob Gibson (1968): 6-0 with a 0.50 ERA in June and July. Yeah, he went 12-0 with a 0.50 during that stretch. Talk about amazing.
Walter Johnson (1913): 5-0 with a 0.24 ERA (April) and 6-0 with a 0.81 ERA (July).
Now you see why I led off the piece with this news.
Since the All-Star Break Ryan Braun is hitting .357 with nine homers, 27 RBI, 35 runs and 12 steals in 42 games. Yeah, he’s good.
For those of you in NL-only leagues, Chris Heisey was activated from the DL today (he had been out with an oblique issue). I’m not sold that the Reds will play him every day, but with 12 homers, 38 RBI and 36 runs in 217 at-bats he is on a pace that would net him 28 homers, 88 RBI and 83 runs scored over 500 at-bats.
How unlucky has Felix Hernandez been this year? Last year he went 13-12, and this season he is currently 13-11 with the month of September to go. Still, in his 11 losses he permitted three or fewer earned runs six times. However, that likely wouldn’t faze Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum of the Giants who have been criminally supported by their offense. I hope you’re sitting down before you read this – it’s pretty amazing
Zero ER Allowed
MadBum 2-1 in 3 outings
M. Cain 4-0 in 5 outings
Lincecum 5-1 in 7 outings
How do you lose games when you don’t give up an earned run. Giants’ hitters should be especially proud of themselves.
One ER Allowed
MadBum 4-3 in 10 outings
M. Cain 3-1 in 6 outings
Lincecum 6-0 in 9 outings
Two ER Allowed
MadBum 2-1 in 4 outings
M. Cain 1-2 in 6 outings
Lincecum 0-2 in two outings
What are the trio’s records in those games in which they’ve allowed two or fewer earned runs? How about 27-11. What that means though is that if they allow more than two runs the trio is just 4-21 on the year.
Jesus Montero is finally up with the Yankees. A prodigious hitter with a luminous future, scouts predict that Montero will be a middle of the order bat for years to come. The 21 year old catcher likely won’t see much time behind the plate, his defense lags well behind his bat, but he should see a fair amount of work in the DH spot, at least against left-handed pitching. He’s a must start at this point in AL-only leagues, and if you are desperate from some offense at your second catcher spot in mixed leagues you can take a flier on Montero and probably not end up looking too stupid.
By Ray Flowers