LEE VS. VERLANDER, REVISITED
Yesterday (last night, actually), I wrote a post comparing Cliff Lee and Justin Verlander in the month of June. As I noted, Verlander started his sixth game of June today against the Mets. While it wasn't his best start of the month, it was certainly a great performance.
By picking up his sixth win of the month, Verlander may have solidified his spot as the month's best pitcher. Here is his line from today's start against the Mets: W, 7 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 SO.
Here is a look at his final numbers in his six starts during the month of June, compared to Lee's five starts:
Verlander (DET): 6-0 2 CG (1 SO) 49 IP 29 H 5 ER 6 BB 54 K 0.92 ERA 0.71 WHIP
Lee (PHI): 5-0 3 CG (3 SO) 42 IP 21 H 1 ER 8 BB 29 K 0.21 ERA 0.69 WHIP
WHEN ARE THREE ACES BETTER THAN FOUR?
While I was looking up Lee's numbers, it occured to me that Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay haven't been too bad themselves. Here are the lines of the Phillies' three remaining aces in their last 24 combined starts* (eight each).
Lee: 7-1 63.1 IP 43 H 11 ER 14 BB 51 K 1.56 ERA
Halladay: 5-0 58 IP 57 H 17 ER 5 BB 50 K 2.63 ERA
Hamels: 5-2 58.1 IP 42 H 12 ER 9 BB 52 K 1.85 ERA
Now take a look at some other numbers I tweeted out last night while digging through the stats:
- Cliff Lee before May 16: 2-4 (9 starts) with a 3.84 ERA. Since then: 7-1 (8 starts) with a 1.56 ERA. Season: 9-5 with a 2.66 ERA.
- Lee, Halladay, Hamels are 17-3 in their last 24 starts (8 each). The Phillies are 20-4 in those games and have scored just 4 total runs in the losses.
- Two of those loses came in Hamels' last two starts. He gave up two runs ins each start and picked up the loss in both. In the first game, the Phillies scored 1 run, and in the second they were shutout.
- Roy Oswalt: 1-5 in his last 8 starts with a 4.09 ERA. Phillies are 2-6 in those games. He hasn't pitched more than 7 innings in a game once this season. I know he hasn't been 100%, but those are not good numbers.
- Vance Worley, on the other hand, is 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA. He has allowed 2 ER in his last 3 starts (18 IP).
So are the Phillies better without Oswalt in the rotation?
If Oswalt were 100%, it would be obvious. In all probability, this wouldn't even be a question. You have to assume that Oswalt's numbers would be much higher if he wasn't fighting through back pain.
But Oswalt isn't 100%, and Vance Worley has been pitching well. So where does that leave us?
*I didn't include Hamels' start today against the Red Sox, since he was lifted due to injury after the 4th inning. He was dealing, as usual, so I hope none of you have a big problem with not including it. It wouldn't have had any kind of negative impact on his stats.
THE BEST OF JUNE
As June comes to a close, here is a look at some of the top performers at the plate during the last 30 days:
Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin