Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cliff Lee
It's been a remarkable year for Cliff Lee. With more than three weeks left until the end of the regular season, Lee has done what no Indians' pitcher has done since Gaylord Perry.

Cliff Lee has won 20 games.

People have noted Lee has had success in the past. He won 18 games in 2005.

But even that Lee was different than the one who has been pitching this year.

Truth is, Lee's season has been the best by an Indian since Perry. Lee hasn't blown guys away the way CC Sabathia did (and is continuing to do). He just gets guys out.

It is both the ultimate joy and the ultimate frustration to watch him pitch. Every time he pitches, you feel like the Indians will win.

But at the same time, he's doing this -- winning 20 games, losing two, having an ERA barely above 2.3 -- in one of the most disappointing Indians seasons in recent memory.

But Lee can't control what the front office and his hitters have or have not done. Lee probably will win the Cy Young award. That will make back-to-back Indians Cy Young winners. I'm fairly certain we will never see that again.

In a season of frustration, Lee has done something none of us can believe. A guy who was sent to the minors last season is dominating in a way few have.

Imagine if he had done this last year. Imagine if the Indians had only been passable until midseason and Sabathia wasn't traded.

In the end, all we can do is enjoy the greatness every fifth day, unable to be sure if a season like this will happen again -- to Lee and the Indians.



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