Abused - 1

No political message intended (this time) with the cartoon.  We're sure that the economy will do better than Cliff Lee's opponents...


=== Stamina ===

Not many guys make it through the 8th inning of a game in which they fired 10 strikeouts.  In the 8th inning of this one, on a 3-0 count we saw Cliff Lee heave a giant siigggghhhhh, gathering energy like Skeeve tapping an underground Magik line to impress Aahz.

Check the back foot on the next pitch.  It's the "tell" as to whether a pitcher is launching his CG forward with smooth power and with finish.

Lee's back foot came way up above his head, as it always does, cleats to the sky.  The ball sizzled in on the hands, a fastball jam pitch for a called strike one.

On 3-1, the TV camera again showed Lee take a weary gulp of air before setting himself.  He rocked way back, stroked the ball and the foot came up just as high, which is to say "very" high.  ... the ball was a well-located, low-in 91 fastball, and Hunter swung through it.

On 3-2, Lee took Hunter up the ladder, 91 at the letters, but in the zone.  Hunter lunged out to get it, topped it to the Gold Glover at third, and Lee galloped off the mound for the final time.


Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard are interchangeable pitchers but for one factor:  health/stamina.  Sometimes we forget that in Rotisserie, we count durability as a skill and it's worth a loootttttttta money.



Lee's up to 8+ strikeouts on the year, up from the 7.0 he ran the last two years.  Can he sustain it?

Sure he can.  Greg Maddux, in his prime, fanned 7 men a game with a lot less bite than Cliff Lee has.  Jamie Moyer consistently struck out close to 6 men per game despite a very minus fastball.


The key for all three pitchers is that they could/can change [the depth of the strike zone], and [the eye level], at will.

With most pitchers, the ball is coming through a pretty small area.  With Ian Snell, for example, the effective zone that has to be guarded is about 1 foot x 1.5 feet.  Even I can make contact guarding an area that small.

But imagine hitting a firefly that lights up, for 0.2 seconds, anywhere within a refrigerator-sized*, 3-D area.  Okay, you're covering 3 feet up-down, 2 feet side-side, and 4 feet front-to-back.  Here comes the light... .BOOM HIT IT!! whoops, too late.

They talk about hitting the ball in the "front" of the zone because, for the same swing timing, an 85 change hasn't gotten to you yet.  They talk about the ball being "deep" in the zone because, on a 91 fastball (after a bunch of offspeed), the ball looks very far back in the zone for the typical swing timing.


Part 2



Why a Cliff Lee start is even more of a pleasure to watch than a Felix start.  Just about everybody looks at it like that, we think...
Am sure Zduriencik is dying to make it happen, two Cy Young aces, one right and one left, and the rest of it wouldn't be too tough from there.

Jpax's picture

Plus the fact that Z 'found' 2 additional quality starters last year in Fister and Vargas.  Saw something in each, knew they could contribute in 2010 and did not panic into spending big bucks in trying to lure free agents or waste talented prospects in trading for some more accomplished 'name' starters.
When pitching is considered the 'coin' of the realm, it seems nothing short of amazing to me that Z has virtually gotten two outstanding starters and his closer for peanuts, as well as other servicable starting and relieving pitching.

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