SportsNation Blog Archives Cliff Lee
Deals at the MLB trade deadline?
The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching, and teams are looking to find good deals in a thin market. Jake Peavy has gone to Boston, but he might not be the only one on the move; Cliff Lee, too is on the market. The rest of the field lacks big names, but given how tight some playoff races are this year, it may not take acquiring a Hall of Fame talent to make a difference.
Papelbon calls out reeling Phillies
Just two years removed from the National League Championship Series and three from their second straight World Series trip, the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves 49-56 and on the list of deadline sellers. Think this sits well with outspoken closer Jonathan Papelbon? You guessed it: No. "I definitely didn't come here for this," he said. It's safe to say Phillies fans feel similarly.
The Phillies seemed to be letting their age finally catch up with them, but a 7-3 record in their last 10 games might be giving fans pause. Cliff Lee capped off their excellent run Wednesday with a three-hit shutout, and though it was agains the hapless Marlins, SweetSpot's David Schoenfield is seeing reasons for Philadelphia to be buyers at the trade deadline. They're just below .500, but even a single cold streak from one of the teams ahead of them could make them contenders for a wild-card spot -- or, wonder of wonders, the top spot in the fragile National League East.
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Despite a weak offense and a near-unfathomable 1-7 start from Cole Hamels, the Phillies have managed to keep treading water. If their bats wake up, they could be quite dangerous.
Who says there isn't any drama in baseball? All right, pretty much anyone looking at the standings in any race that isn't the AL West. But Labor Day offered hope of at least one chase that may go down to the wire. Cliff Lee recorded his sixth shutout, the most in more than a decade, as the Phillies beat the Braves. The team's lead is safe in the NL East, but does either Lee or Roy Halladay lead the NL Cy Young race? Rank baseball's best pitchers.
The leader after Labor Day?
Lee has the shutouts, but Roy Halladay leads the NL with seven complete games, Clayton Kershaw with 222 strikeouts and Kennedy with 18 wins.
Is the staff living up to the hype?
Lee, Halladay and Cole Hamels are rolling along, but Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton have just 24 starts and eight wins between them.
Who gets the ball in October?
Lee is 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 76 career postseason innings. Halladay is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 22 postseason innings.