I’ll never forget Cliff Lee‘s first start with the Phillies.
He was just acquired from the Indians amidst a flurry of rumors that had the Phillies close to getting Roy Halladay. While his arrival carried excitement many fans couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed for missing out on Doc. I was one of those fans, having only seen Lee from afar, and having considered him more of a good pitcher with a great season instead of a great pitcher.
His July 31, 2009 start against the Giants quieted all nerves. Lee ran out to the mound in his own patented fashion, did that bizarre fake pitch to the outfield that we learned was part of his routine, and prepared to face leadoff man Randy Winn.
First pitch was right over for a called strike. Winn then swung and missed at Lee’s second offering. In what felt like rapid fire succession, Lee then caught Winn looking with a fastball perfectly placed on the inside corner. It wasn’t a debatable pitch or one an ump usually calls a ball on an 0-2 cou...