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Wednesday June 29, 2011 8:08 pm

Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay competing for pitching’s top honor




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB

Cliff LeeWith Cliff Lee’s win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, he capped what was one of the best months for a pitcher in baseball history and all-but-guarantees he’ll be selected as NL Player of the Month for June. He posted a 5-0 record with an unbelievable 0.21 ERA in 42.0 innings pitched with 29 strikeouts, giving up one earned run on 21 hits and eight walks for a 0.69 WHIP. Opposing batters had a .151 clip against him.

Lee now has three-straight complete game shutouts and a career-high 32 scoreless innings pitched, but when it comes to NL Cy Young conversations, he’s now merely thrown his name into the mix. His biggest competition at this point is Philadelphia Phillies teammate – and defending NL Cy Young Award winner – Roy Halladay. Over the winter, these two headlined what was touted as being part of the best starting rotation to never throw a pitch, and for the most part, they have delivered.

Halladay and Lee are both in the top-five in wins, strikeouts and ERA, and are one-two respectively in innings pitched. Halladay has five complete games to Lee’s four, but all four of Lee’s have been shutouts while none of Halladay’s finishes were without a blemish. Halladay’s WHIP sits at 1.03 and Lee is right with him at 1.07. If these guys can continue this pace for the next three months, it’ll create one heck of a storyline through September.

As we hit the official halfway point of the season, the Phillies hold a commanding lead in the NL East; a division they have won for each of the past four seasons. This year, however, they’re on pace to have a better record than any of their previous division-winning teams, and that’s thanks in no small part to the one-two punch that is Halladay and Lee. And it’s no stretch to think these guys will be neck and neck for a Cy Young Award as well.

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