Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The MLB on TSC: The Human Torch Lights It Up (Again)

The Human Torch Cliff Lee is still on fire!

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Last night, Philadelphia Phillies co-ace Cliff Lee (9-5) pitched his 3rd consecutive shutout and his 4th of the season. His latest gem came against Josh Beckett and the mighty Boston Red Sox who many, including me, see this series as a preview of the 2011 World Series.

In the month of June, Lee has put up some eye-popping numbers that border on RIDICULOUS. He now has a a career-best 32 inning scoreless streak and is 5-0 with a (microscope please) 0.21 ERA in June. Ridiculous? Oh yeah!

Here's what the Elias Sports Bureau says about Lee's storybook month--

Cliff Lee was 5-0 with a 0.21 earned-run average in June. Since earned runs were first recorded on official scores (in 1912 in the NL, 1913 in the AL) only six other starting pitchers went 5-0 or better with an ERA that low in a calendar month: Guy Bush in August 1926 (6-0, 0.19 ERA), Fernando Valenzuela in April 1981 (5-0, 0.20), Nolan Ryan in May 1984 (5-0, 0.20), Mike Witt in August 1986 (5-0, 0.21), Orel Hershiser in September 1988 (5-0, 0.00) and Cory Lidle in August 2002 (5-0, 0.20).

Lee has thrown a complete-game SHUTOUT while allowing six or fewer hits in each of his last three starts. The last pitcher to have a three-start streak like that was Toronto's Roger Clemens in August 1998.

What a pitcher!

FIRST TO 50

With the win the Phillies (50-30) became the first team in the majors to WIN 50 games this season.

JOSE REYES AND TY COBB

Reyes photo courtesy of Getty Images
The New York Mets electrifying shortstop Jose Reyes played his 1000th career game last night in the Mets 14-3 whoopin' of the Detroit Tigers. Reyes went 4 for 4 in that game after going 4 for 5 in the Mets previous game, an 8-5 win against the Texas Rangers. With his 8 for 9 performance in the last two games, Reyes has upped his National League leading batting average to .349.

As for the 1000 games played--

Reyes has 98 triples and 360 stolen bases in his 1000 career games. The only other player in major league history to have that many triples and that many stolen bases in his first 1000 career games is the immortal Ty Cobb who had 106 triples and 291 stolen bases when he played his 1000th game in 1912. Pretty good company for Reyes, I must say.

Reyes now leads the NL in BA (.349), runs scored (64), hits (117), and triples (15). Did someone say MONSTER free agent contract?

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With Reyes leading the way the Mets are now a decent 40-39 on the year which is more than most of us expected.

BUT!!!!

If the Phillies and Atlanta Braves weren't in the same division, this disgruntled Mets fans might (just might) have started hoping and believing. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Let's see how things look in August.

JAKE PEAVY AND CC SABATHIA

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Last Saturday, Chicago White Sox starter Jake Peavy did something he had never done in his major league career. He made his first-ever relief appearance after 238 consecutive starts. Peavy and New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia were the only two active major league pitchers who have played in 200 or more games, all as starters. So now Sabathia is the only 200+ games pitcher left who has never made a relief appearance. CC has made 339 consecutive starts in the major leagues with a 167-92 career record and 50-19 as a Yankee.

Finally--

BACK TO "FIRST TO 50"

On the flip side of the Phillies-- the Houston Astros (28-52) became the first team in the majors to LOSE 50 games. This was the 6th time in their history (since 1962) that the Astros were the first team in the majors to lose 50. That's the most of any team during their existence.

C'MON 'STROS!

Stats courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN

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