In his Texas Rangers debut Cliff Lee pitched a full 9.0 innings, giving up 6 runs on 9 hits with two strike outs. He did not have his best stuff on the mound with him, but he fought through trying to bring home a win for the Rangers in his debut. The only problem was that the Rangers offense did not show up for him tonight and were only able to muenster up one run against the Orioles.
It was not the best looking debut that Lee could have giving the Rangers, but he stayed in the game through 9 full innings battling as hard as he possibly could even though he didn’t have his best stuff with him on the mound. I am excited about the potential that Lee can bring to the Rangers, especially once the post season starts. He was amazing for the Phillies last season helping them reach their second consecutive World Series appearance.
The Rangers seemed to get a pretty good deal for Lee, although they sent four players, they still got the Mariners to pay for part of Lee’s salary. They sent Justin Smoak as the highlight player coming from the Rangers and in his Mariners debut against the New York Yankees he went 0-3 with three strikeouts. If the Rangers go deep in the post season, the trade for Lee may go down as one of the best ever.
I currently live in Little Rock, Arkansas and have resided here since the early 90’s. There are three current pitchers in MLB who come from the Central Arkansas area. Lee would happen to be one of them and I have heard he makes his winter home about 15 minutes from my childhood home. Little Rock is about 5 hours from the Dallas area so Lee might enjoy playing so close to home.
A.J. Burnett of the Yankees also came from the Little Rock area and he has excelled off and on during his tenure in the majors, but he has been on a major league rooster for several seasons, so he has talent.
The last player is a rookie, Travis Wood who just made his MLB debut earlier this season and was making his third start tonight for the Cincinatti Reds against the Phillies and he carried a perfect game into the ninth inning. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz broke up the perfect game with a lead off double to start off the inning. The Reds ended up walking off in eleventh inning and Wood took a no decision in the game. There are not very many pitchers that have pitched 8 full perfect innings and although he lost the perfect game, he deserves to be recognized. Perfect game may have been lost, but the Reds ended up winning the game, so that is the main focus.
I actually went to the same high school and graduated two years before Wood graduated from there and ended up in the Minors. I am just amazed that three pitchers in the Majors would be playing in the majors all coming from the same respective area.