More on Cliff Lee

Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley notes in a recent discussion of where Cole Hamels ranks among other NL Cy Young hopefuls a few names ranked above Hamels in xFIP (basically, ERA based more on things a pitcher can control like strikeouts, walks, HBPs, and HRs rather than things a pitcher can’t control like on balls in play, further regressed to a league average HR rate based on that pitcher’s fly ball rate—Hamels was 8th at 3.31) and SIERA (basically, ERA based on walks, strikeouts, and ground ball rate—Hamels  was 7th, also at 3.31) whom the voters will likely exclude:

  • Adam Wainwright (3.06, 3.16): 3.90 ERA invalidates him from the discussion among most voters.
  • Cliff Lee (3.21, 3.21): 3.85 ERA also invalidates him like Wainwright.

Cole Hamels v. 2012 is 14-6, 2.94, with 8.81 K/9, a K/BB ratio of 4, a .232 opponents’ average, a 3.28 SIERA, and a 3.29 xFIP.

And Lee, who is 2-7, 3.78, is arguably outpitching him.

Lee leads the majors—not the NL, the majors—in K/BB ratio at an amazing 6.04.

He ranks sixth in the majors in xFIP at 3.13—behind only Strasburg, Wainwright, Greinke (as a Brewer and Angel), Dickey, and Price, and ahead of Clayton Kershaw (3.20).

He ranks fourth in the majors in SIERA at 3.08, tied with Wainwright, and behind only Strasburg, Dickey, and Max Scherzer.  (This doesn’t mean Max Scherzer is better than Verlander, any more than it means Lee is better than Hamels or Verlander.  It does however mean that Max Scherzer is having a hell of a year, and a career.  11.34 K/9 this season, as a starter, in almost 150 innings so far, bringing his career K/9 to 9.23 in over 750 innings?  Seriously?)

The Orioles can be outscored by 54 runs, win 23 of 29 one-run games thanks to a decent bullpen and dumb luck, and end up ten games over .500 and a half game out of the second wild card on August 22.  It’s what happened to Cliff Lee in reverse in 2012.  The Orioles still blow.  And Cliff Lee is still somebody’s Cy Young hopeful.


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