The A's will face 25-year-old Cliff Lee, and I have to say that I'm becoming a big fan of his.
His numbers last year impressed me, despite his 3-3 record. He started 9 games and pitched 52.1 innings. Opponents batted .220/.300/.371 (avg/obp/slg) against Cliff, and he struck out 7.57 per 9 innings.
I liked his numbers enough to draft him late in my fantasy draft. I actually dropped him early on to make room for someone, but have since been wise enough to pick him back up.
So far this year, Lee is 5-0 with a 3.21 ERA. Interestingly, he's started 9 games and pitched 53.1 innings, so his 2004 stats are easily comparable to his 2003 numbers. In fact, the numbers are very similar. Batters have hit .232/.338/.338 against Cliff this year and he's striking out 7.09 per 9IP.
Since so many of the stats are similar, I'll point out the differences in Lee's performance between last year and this year.
->Doubles allowed are way up from 5 to 13.
->HR are down from 7 to 2.
->BB are up from 20 to 28.
->K's are down from 44 to 42.
->SLG is down from .371 to .338
->OBP is up from .300 to .338
(Those last two changes virtually cancel each other out in OPS - .671/.676)
All of which is to say that Lee was pretty good last year, and he's pretty good again this year. While I hope the A's beat him tonight, Cliff is an "Andrew guy."