clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Game One Hundred Thirty-Six: Cliff Lee Wins #20



Highest WPA Lowest WPA
Cliff Lee .349 Franklin Gutierrez -.023
Shin-Soo Choo .119 Jamey Carroll -.016
Ryan Garko .032 Jhonny Peralta -.016

Once the Indians scored in the second, Cliff Lee had all he needed. What followed was a pitching clinic; he made the powerful Chicago lineup look like weaklings. Lee's success in this game and all season started with his fastball; he established his fastball location early in the game and used his secondary pitches in an effective supporting role. By the middle innings he was getting weak grounders early in counts by changing up on hitters geared for his fastball. That economy allowed him to get the shutout, clinching his twentieth victory himself.

Cliff Lee is the 56th Indian to win 20 games in a season, but the first 20-game winner since the five-man rotation (meaning fewer starts per season) came into vogue; Gaylord Perry, the last Indian to win 20, started 37 games in 1974. And if the season ended today, he'd have fourth-best* adjusted ERA (ERA+) for a season in team history. The closer you examine Lee's magical season, the better it looks.

*After last night's game, he's now tied for second-best (189 ERA+).