The always entertaining Bill Chuck, a self-described “Baseball Newstalgist” and creator of the Billy-Ball.com (www.Billy-Ball.com), sends along nine fun facts about Cliff Lee, in honor of his press conference on Friday. (Bill’s e-mail came on Saturday, but I was idle this weekend, at least blog-wise).
Here’s his offering:
For those of us who are trying to figure whether this coming season Cliff Lee or Felix Hernandez is the number one pitcher on the Mariners staff, there is no question that the Lee/Hernandez or Hernandez/Lee combo represents the best one-two starting duo in the majors.
As we ponder Lee’s joking declaration, “I want a 10-year deal for about 200 billion,” here are nine things to know about Cliff Lee:
1. In 2008, when Cliff Lee went 22-3, his .880 winning percentage was the sixth highest of all-time (Johnny Allen of the 1937 Cleveland Indians went 15-1 with a .938 winnings percentage. Preacher Roe had the same record as Lee in 1951.
2. Lee’s .634 winning percentage trails only Pedro Martinez (.687), Johan Santana (.670), Roy Oswalt (.662), Roy Halladay (.661) and Randy Johnson (.646) among active pitchers.
3. Lee has given up 134 homers in 1196.2 innings pitched, or about 1.01 homer per every nine innings, which about the same as Ben Sheets, Braden Looper and Carl Pavano.
4. Lee and Scott Kazmir each have exactly 900 strikeouts.
5. Paul Konerko has hit six homers off of Lee, the most of any batter. Lee has never given up a walkoff homer, but has given up three leadoff homers and eight grand slams.
6. Lee shares an August 30 birthday with such baseball luminaries as Adam Wainwright, Todd Wellemyer, Marlon Byrd, Tug McGraw, Bill Chuck, Ted Williams, Kiki Cuyler and Bucky Jacobsen.
7. Lee has never thrown a no-hitter or a one-hitter, but he did throw a complete game two-hitter on August 19, 2009 against Arizona as a Phil.
8. Lee was the winning pitcher in the very first game at the new Yankee Stadium defeating his former teammate CC Sabathia.
9. The acquisition of Lee is a good one for the Mariners if for no other reason than had he joined another AL club he probably would have faced the M’s and Lee has a 9-1 record against Seattle.
(Photo by Associated Press)