Blog Entry

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

Posted on: May 6, 2011 10:37 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 11:10 pm

By Evan Brunell

LeeCliff Lee dazzled the Braves on Friday night with 16 strikeouts, although he walked away with a loss as Derek Lowe took a no-hitter into the seventh; Atlanta eventually edged the Phillies 5-0.

On 117 pitches, Lee was at his finest as he coughed up just one walk although nine hits allowed did him in as he gave up a single and two doubles in the third inning to account for three runs before the bullpen coughed up two more.

But let's pay attention to these 16 K's, which account for 26 percent of his 60 strikeouts on the season and pushed him into baseball's leader in strikeouts. He edged the Cubs' Matt Garza, who punched out seven earlier Friday, and also passed teammate Roy Halladay, who has 57. The 16 whiffs were a career-high for Lee, whose previous high was 13, set July 7th of last season for the Rangers, shutting down Oakland.

He also has two 12-strikeout games to his name, both coming this season on April 14 and 25th. One of his five 11-strikeout performances come from 2011 as well -- so four of Lee's seven starts have seen him register personal highs. So why is this happening all of a sudden?

Well, to start, Lee's domination of the NL is nothing new. His highest K/9 rate prior to this season season came with Philadelphia in 2009 when he registered a 8.36 mark. But that doesn't even hold a candle to his current K/9 rate, which is 11.65 percent after Friday's game, putting him on a staggering pace for 314 punchouts over the season.

The last 300-strikeout season came in 2002 when both Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling struck out 334 and 316 batters, respectively. Johnson reached at least 300 whiffs five times in his career, Schilling three times and Pedro Martinez twice. If Lee can reach the 300 mark, he will become the fourth pitcher since Nolan Ryan's exploits in 1989 to see the number.

Oh, and he's the first Phillies pitcher to strike out 16 in a game since Schilling in 1997.

Of course, it's no guarantee that Lee will reach 300. But it's clear that so far this season, he's striking out batters like never before.

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Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 4:44 pm

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:38 pm

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

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Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:07 pm

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

hey eye on should have been

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 5:32 pm

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

Atlanta eventually "edged" the Phillies 5-0. Really?  Come on, a little credit somewhere to the Braves.  16 strikeouts is impressive, but I also think I saw an inning that he struck out the side, and....oh yeah...the Braves scored 3 with hits, good hits.  Isn't the goal to win the game? Strikeouts after these runs scored, so no bullpen to blame, no errors behind him, etc.

The Phillies are very good. The starting pitching staff is good.  The Phillies should be there all year.  But there is too much love for these guys.  D. Lowe isn't a strikeout pitcher, but he got something better last night - the win!
What do you expect from bloggers and not actual journalists?  This is the kind of stuff you see on bleacher report, but heh, he was just talking about Lee's career high of 16 strikeouts.  I see what the guy is saying, but it's a little early to talk about 300 strikouts for a guy who has never struck out more than 185 in a season.  Let's talk in August if he has already eclipsed the 250 mark in strikeouts by then.

Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 2:21 pm

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

You Braves fans are right, talking about perspective.  The Phils are still 3 1/2 up on the Bravos and despite the loss,  Lee didn't get licquored up and arrested.  How's that for perspective?

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: May 7, 2011 10:56 am

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

Thank you, Jasbob. It amazes me how far people will go to create controversy. This article is not about the Braves, Lowe or even Lee himself. It's about Lee's 16 K's.

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2011 10:32 am

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

And steveis, no joke u would take lowes no run start over lee's 3 run start. that is a moronic statement. However lowe was on the verge of letting up some runs when he got pulled. 

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2011 10:29 am

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

If u would actually read the article, u would see that the writer is not implying that Lee had a better start than Lowe. He is not saying that the phillies are better than the braves. He is not even focusing on last night's game at all. He wrote this show Lee's impressive strikeout pace that he is on to start the year. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 9:52 am

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

Oriema .. you hit the nail on the head. 

I could not have said it better. It would be like writing about Gene Garber getting a shut down save on the night the Braves ended Pete Rose's hit streak. 

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 9:43 am

Lee's 16 strikeouts put him on historic pace

Lee's 16 strikeouts  ___ WOW!!!!   As you say and imply in your article, The Braves barely edged out the Phillies for the victory.  From the tone and tenor of your article I assume that the whole story here was Cliff Lee and his 16, yes, count them, 16 strikeouts.    Is it too early to give out the Cy Young Award?   It's a good thing that I am neither a writer or editor.  I would have missed the entire story. I incorrectly would have focused on Derek Lowe's 6 inning no hit performance (which is especially interesting in light of his off the field recent issues, the resurgence of Chipper Jones. the steadfasr contibutions of Martin Prado, the most underrated hitter in baseball, O'Fleraty's strike out of he side, Johnny "no hit" Venters' 0.51 era, the healthy and solid starting staff of Hudson, Hanson, Lowe, Jurrgens and Beachy, the emergence of Craig Kimbrell and the Braves' 6 game winning streak making them the hottest team in baseball.

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