The first Getting Blanked Show in this new, post-deadline world! Without any trades to talk about, how will we fill our time? By talking about pitchers, of course! Allan James Burnett, Cliff Lee, Worst Strasmas ever and Matt Harvey/Tim Lincecum discussions precede some stat learnin’ about WPA.
Insanely talented with an impish grin is no way to go through life, son. Oh wait, it actually sounds like a terrific way to go through life. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Stealing bases off a clearly distracted pitcher while pitching seven shutout innings of your own, helping your threadbare roster put up a much-needed W? Just keep doing you, Cliff.
Pitcher wins might be as relevent as a fax machine in 2012 but, like sending copies of one’s genitals to unknown numbers, that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had. Cliff Lee is off to a terrific start to the season, pitching about as well as anyone in the National League.
Unfortunately for Cliff, he plays for the Phillies. The ageing Phils find scoring runs a real challenge, especially when he is on the hill. The Phillies have given Cliff Lee just sixteen runs of support in his nine starts. Total. One of the lowest numbers in baseball.
As such, Cliff Lee is winless on the year, despite already posting close to 2 Wins Above Replacement by both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. By ERA, FIP, and xFIP, Lee ranks as one of the best pitchers in the National League but his record doesn’t show it. He’s one of the only pitchers to go winless through nine starts with an ERA under 3.00.
Could Cliff Lee and the Phillies keep this up? Could he actually post more Wins Above Replacement than pitcher wins?