Numbers: How Cliff Lee beat the Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- ESPN Stats & Information has this look at how Cliff Lee beat the Rays in Game 5 of the ALDS. Check it out:
* For the first three innings, Lee stuck to his Game 1 plan: Pound the plate with 4-seam fastballs. He threw his 4-seamer 73 percent of the time in the Game 1, and 64 percent of the time through the first three innings of Game 5.
The difference was command. For the first three innings, that fastball went for strikes only 59 percent of the time, compared to 76 percent in Game 1. He threw first pitch-strikes to only six of the first 13 batters he faced, including just three of nine with his 4-seamer. The pitcher who led all of baseball with a 69.5 first-pitch strike percentage wasn't getting ahead. So, Lee adjusted.
* After the first time through the order, Lee changed his approach: Get ahead with the cutter and finish them off with the curveball. From the fourth on, he threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of 20 hitters, including eight of 11 on his cutter. He didn't throw a curveball the first time through the order, but threw a season-high 19 - including 14 with two strikes - from the second time on. He threw six curves alone in the fifth inning, one short of how many he threw in all of Game 1. He had a season-high five strikeouts on his curveball.
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