Cliff Lee Continues to Struggle after Cy Young Season Last Year

Jacob WalkerCorrespondent IMay 12, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 16:  Cliff Lee #31 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the New York Yankees during opening day at the new Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. This is the first regular season MLB game being played at the new venue which replaced the old Yankee Stadium as the Yankees home field.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Cliff Lee is a great pitcher who can really help the Indians get things going. Without him, the Indians would not have even got to .500 on the season. He is a great left-hander who has dynamic off-speed stuff, along with a solid fastball.

Cliff had a shaky start to the season this year by getting pounded by the rangers for seven runs. The main reason was he was not locating his pitches where he wanted them to go, and he was leaving some pitches up in the zone and the Rangers jumped all over him.

But since then, Cliff has a 3.45 ERA and has much more control over his pitches. But like last year, he is not getting a lot of run support from his team; the Indians are hitting so-so this year, with a .264 AVG and 161 runs.

Also, the bullpen is not helping Lee and the starters out, by allowing a ton of runs in the six through nine innings.

Perez has a 15.19 ERA, Sowers has a 12.60 ERA, Kobayashi has a 8.38 ERA, Lewis has a 8.31 ERA, Smith has a 7.11 ERA, and Kerry Wood has a 6.55 ERA—terrible for a bullpen.

The total ERA for the bullpen is a 9.69 ERA, which is terrible, seeing as the Indians were looking for help in that area from Wood. He has been helpful in getting saves, but if he could get his ERA down, he would be able to get more saves. Wood has five saves this season.

Overall, the Indians are far away from returning to the team they were in 2007, when the went to the AL Championship game. Maybe with some offseason moves, the Indians can get some big bats and get another good relief pitcher to complement Wood in the bullpen. Also, Pavano was a good pickup, but the Indians need one more good pitcher to shore up their rotation.