|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Cliff Lee||.405||David Dellucci||-.085|
|Travis Hafner||.146||Victor Martinez||-.066|
|Grady Sizemore||.094||Jhonny Peralta||-.038|
Once again, it was Cliff to the rescue, helping the Indians prevent an Athletics sweep. After watching three straight Indian starters struggle to throw strikes, it was rather refreshing to see Lee, even in tough conditions, forcing Oakland batters to hit their way on. The Athletics don't have a lot of power in their lineup, so their traditional patient approach is that much more important to their offensive success. That patient approach worked against Carmona yesterday, who allowed just two hits but walked eight, but not against Lee, who pounded the strike zone.
In some ways the weather was on Lee's side: the wind was whipping straight in, which combined with the cold made it virtually impossible for anyone to hit the ball in the air with any authority. But Cliff didn't really need the wind, as he was missing bats; he struck out eight, most of them swinging. While his velocity didn't seem appreciably better, opposing hitters reacted as though Cliff's fastball had much more life on it than in the recent past.
But even with Lee's eight strong innings, the game wasn't broken open until the bottom of the eighth, when Grady Sizemore and David Dellucci came through with two-out hits to turn a Joe Borowski save opportunity into a Rafael Betancourt mopup outing.