Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Cliff Lee continues dominant season
Cliff Lee threw his sixth shutout this season in a 9-0 win over the Atlanta Braves -- he had five shutouts in his entire career entering 2011. It’s the most shutouts by a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton also had six in 1982, when he won the NL Cy Young Award.
We detailed Lee's Cy Young candidacy in this space before his start Monday.
He’s only the third Phillies pitcher in the past 50 years to throw at least six shutouts in a season, joining Hall of Famers Carlton and Jim Bunning, who each did it twice. The eight that Carlton threw in 1972 are the most by a Phillies pitcher over that span.
Lee also recorded his 200th strikeout Monday, making this his first season with 200 K's.
He’s the fourth Phillies pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) with six shutouts and 200 strikeouts in a single season. The other men on that list are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He's the fifth National League lefty with six shutouts and 200 strikeouts in a season in the expansion era (since 1961), joining a list with another impressive name.
The last pitcher with six shutouts in a season was Randy Johnson in 1998, and the last National League pitcher to pull it off was Tim Belcher in 1989.
Lee has 11 scoreless starts of at least seven innings pitched, easily the most in the majors and the most since John Tudor and Dwight Gooden both had 11 such starts in 1985. The last pitcher to have more than 11 in one season was Bob Gibson -- he threw 13 in 1968, the year he finished with a 1.12 ERA.
Lee has won seven straight starts, one away from his career long, which he’s done twice in his career.
He’s thrown 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, just his second-longest streak this season. He had 34 in a row in June and July.
Elias tells us that the last major league pitcher with two scoreless innings streaks of at least 29 2/3 innings in the same season was Don Sutton in 1972 (29 2/3 and 35.0).