Lee Blanks Yanks, Remains Unbeaten
Cliff Lee ... now 6-0.
Cliff Lee ... now 6-0.
Indians Ink
Posted May 8, 2008


The Indians' Cliff Lee continued his journey through Fantasyland with another unreal outing. The left-hander pitched seven more shutout innings Wednesday night as Cleveland blanked the New York Yankees, 3-0. The Tribe will play its last regular-season game today at Yankee Stadium, which will be replaced by a new ballpark in 2009. Lee just may make one more start there -- in the All-Star Game.

Lee (6-0, 0.81 ERA) shut down the Yankees' $200 million roster and improved one of the greatest starts to a season in history. He allowed six hits, struck out seven and no walks.

Let's list his overall numbers for emphasis:
Record: 6-0
ERA: 0.81
Innings: 44 1/3
Hits allowed: 25
Opp BA: .163
Walks: 2
Strikeouts: 39

Even more impressive has been Lee's record in four road starts:

Record: 4-0
ERA: 0.00
Innings: 30 2/3
Hits allowed: 15
Opp BA: .146
Walks: 2
Strikeouts: 28

"Cliff is in a groove right now,” manager Eric Wedge told reporters in an understatement as large as Lee's gigantic turnaround from the most disappointing year of his career in 2007.

"All that's behind me and I really don't want to talk about it anymore," Lee continually said during spring training when asked to explain his falloff to a 5-8 record, 6.38 ERA and demotion to the minors a year ago.

"I just want to focus on this season."

That, he has done, even surpassing the fine pitching he did for the Indians from 2004 through 2006, when he won a total of 46 games.

After his latest exceptional win, Lee preferred to continue looking ahead rather than try and dissect what had happened.

"I don't want to get caught up in it," he said. "I can't pat myself on the back. tonight doesn't matter anymore. I've got to focus on my next start."

The Indians' lineup didn't exactly knock the cover off the ball, but made the most of seven hits to push across three runs.

Victor Martinez, back in the lineup after missing one game with a stiff neck, drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Martinez (.337) went 0-for-3, however, to stop his 15-game hitting streak.

Casey Blake (.206) had an RBI single in the fourth and David Dellucci (.273) singled home a run in the fifth.

Jhonny Peralta (.229) went 2-for-4 and scored a run, Grady Sizemore (.265) was 0-for-2 but drew two walks and scored once and Andy Marte (.105) was 1-for-3 with a run.

Rafael Perez (3.86 ERA) gave up one hit and got one strikeout in a scoreless eighth and Rafael Betancourt (5.52 ERA) worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save.



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