Cliff Lee turns the Yankees into the Padres

With the Yankees strong favorites to win the world series, 60% before last night’s game according to Baseball Prospectus, the Phillies needed a strong start to the series to get them on the right track. And boy did they get that from Cliff Lee tonight.

Against the best offense in baseball, he pitched nine innings and allowed just six hits and one run. He also struck out ten batters, while walking zero. Let’s take a look at how he was able to locate his pitches:


(Note: the previous chart was mislabeled, so I fixed it)

121 pitches
66% strikes
13% swinging strikes
27% grounders/BIP

He was pounded the strike zone with all of his pitches and was able to get a bunch of swings and misses. Only 27% of his balls in play were on the ground; however 20% of the balls in the air were pop ups and he was able to get a bunch of shallow fly balls as well.

All in all, an amazingly impressive start from Cliff Lee against a Yankees offense that really was quite amazing all year. After the win, the Phillies’ now have a 60% chance of winning it all.

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  1. LarryinLA said...

    To follow up on Mr. Young’s comment, looks like the change-up was completely ineffective.  No swinging strikes with it at all, only 3 in the nominal strike zone.  Not sure how many were called strikes, though the total pitches outside the zone seems to be fewer than the number of balls called.  A label for called strikes, or called balls (not that there are other kinds) would help.

  2. Devon Young said...

    I can’t help but notice his change up was often out of the strike zone. I think I like that. The batter times your fastball and then you throw him a speed he probably won’t adjust to and even if he does… he would just be swinging at something he won’t hit well.

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