In two postseason starts now, Cliff Lee has yet to issue a walk but has 21 K's. Add that to his regular season numbers, and he is now at 228.1 IP, 18 BB's, and 206 K's. Thats an 11.4K/BB ratio! (his regular season ratio was 10.3).
Historically, that's pretty good.
Brett Saberhagen* put up an amazing 11.0 in the strike-shortened 1994 (177.1 IP, 13 BB's, 143 K's), and Jim Whitney had a 10.0 in 1884 (336 IP, 27 BB's, 270 K's). Besides those two, no other pitcher has ever had a 10 K/BB ratio in a season! In fact, there are only three other pitchers who have ever even had a 9 or better (Whitney again in 1883, Schilling in 2002, and George Bradley in 1880).
What's even more amazing about Lee's 2010 season is that he didnt just drastically reduce his BB rate (0.8 BB/9 in 2010, previous low was 1.4 in 2008). He also increased his K rate (7.8 K/9 in 2010, his highest rate since 2004) and had the lowest hit rate of his career (8.3 H/9).
What does 2011 hold for Cliff Lee? Can he maintain something close to his 2010 K, BB, and H rates? Can he get his GB/FB and XBH% rates closer to his 2008 levels? Could he repeat the dominance of his 2008 season? If not for his back problems which led to a terrible August, he would have nearly repeated his 2008 numbers.
*side-note: I believe Saberhagen, in 1994, is the last pitcher to have more Wins than BB in a season (14 Wins, 13 BB), which is also kinda cool. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.