Cliff Lee is one of the best pitchers in baseball...and he is only getting better.
Four year ago, Lee came out of absolutely nowhere and, as if by flipping a switch, became one of the best pitchers in baseball. One year removed from a 5-8 record and a 6.29 ERA, Lee turned in a Cy Young performance, going 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA.
More importantly, Lee virtually stopped walking batters. After having walked 36 batters in 97.1 innings the year before, in 2008 Lee walked only 34 batters in 223.1 innings. He was a whole new pitcher.
Well, in 2011, Lee has transformed himself once again. For the first time in his career, Lee is a strikeout pitcher, striking over a batter per inning for the first time in his career.
Frankly, we do not get it.
Let's take a look at where Cliff Lee ranks amongst the top 10 strikeout pitchers in baseball.