Less than 10 minutes after finishing his two innings, Cliff Lee wanted to get his interviews over with. He’d rather do things quickly than prolong the inevitable. Lee pitches the same way. He doesn’t tarry between throws, and he has no elaborate routine to get ready for the next pitch. For his two innings in Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays, Lee was the first on the field. He gave up one run. Lee, 35, is a stunning model of consistency. In the five seasons since his 30th birthday, Lee has a 2.96 ERA, striking out 1,033 batters compared to walking 163. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record 1,000 strikeouts and fewer than 170 walks in a five-year span after turning 30. “He always looks like he’s on the attack,” Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said. “He works fast. He does what we tell pitchers all the time to get better at: pound the zone, work fast. You’re talking about maybe getting a beer after an hour and 50 minutes.” Thanks to that incredible track record and the Phillies’ ineptitude, Lee’s name has been the subject of many a trade rumor the past two seasons. Lee says the frequency of the rumors makes it easier for him to ignore. Should the Phillies struggle again in 2014, expect Lee’s name to surface once more. “I don’t have control over it, so there’s no sense worrying about it,” Lee said.
Lee worries about nothing except his next pitch
Courier-Post | Feb 28