I went to see Cliff Lee pitch in Baltimore on August 21. I expected to see a dominant performance from my favorite pitcher but was left disappointed as Lee gave up 8 runs, including 4 HRs. This led me to notice that since Lee was traded to Texas, he has been a very mortal pitcher.
But why is he struggling? What I find interesting is that he still seems to have his control but is giving up runs more frequently. His K/9 with Texas is 8.0 and his K/BB ratio is 12. He is throwing 71% strikes which is up a little from his career strike ratio of 66.6%. Obviously this is a smaller sample size so I expect him to regress to 66% or so soon, but it seems as though he still has control.
Is he just being unlucky? His BABIP is .325 compared to an average of .272. Also, his FIP is 3.19 with Texas while his ERA is 4.69 (xFIP of 3.25) .
So does anyone have any insight into why Lee is struggling? Is it anything more than just a string of bad luck? Thanks for all insight.