Baseball Prospectus Unconventional Wisdom

May 04, 2008

Indians lefty Cliff Lee has put up numbers—4--0, 0.28 ERA in his first four starts—that are usually only seen in Little League. BP's Rany Jazayerli searched through Retrosheet.org game logs going back to 1956 to identify another three-game stretch in which a pitcher each time threw 8+ innings and had at least eight strikeouts, while giving up no more than three hits and one walk, as Lee (right) did from April 13 to 24. There wasn't one. Lee's start recalls a vintage Greg Maddux. Lee's thrown 68% of his pitches for strikes (Maddux was in the 67% to 70% range in his prime), and 38% of Lee's whiffs have come on called strikes, matching Maddux's lifetime rate.

PHOTOPHIL CARTER/US PRESSWIRE (LEE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)