Daily Notes: A More Better Cliff Lee?

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Boston at Philadelphia, 13:35 ET
2. Largely Superfluous Video: Cliff Lee’s May 15th Start
3. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
4. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Boston at Philadelphia, 13:35 ET
Cliff Lee Status Update
Here’s a status update for 33-year-old left-hander Cliff Lee, who starts this afternoon for Philadelphia: 37.0 IP, 26.2% K, 3.1% BB, 61.1% GB, 2.09 SIERA, 61 xFIP-, 1.1 WAR.

Regarding Lee’s Strikeout Rate, Where It’d Rank in Terms of His Career
Regarding Lee’s present strikeout rate, it would represent the best mark of his career were the season to end today. (He posted a 25.9% strikeout rate last season.)

Regarding Lee’s Walk Rate, Where It’d Rank in Terms of His Career
Regarding Lee’s walk rate, it’d be the second-best mark of his career. (He posted a 2.1% walk rate with Seattle and Texas in 2010.)

Regarding Lee’s Ground-Ball Rate, Where It’d Rank in Terms of His Career
Regarding Lee’s current ground-ball rate, it’d represent a decisive career-best mark. (In fact, Lee has never posted a ground-ball rate above the 46.3% he recorded last season.)

A Not-Shocking Other Thing About Cliff Lee
It will come as decidedly not a shock to the bespectacled and virile reader to learn — in light of the above, I mean — to learn that Cliff Lee currently owns what would be both the lowest SIERA and xFIP- of his career.

Facing Lee
Facing Lee is Boston’s Josh Beckett (41.2 IP, 98 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR). Everyone knows who he is.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
FanGraphs readers prefer Philadelphia Radio (link).

Largely Superfluous Video: Cliff Lee’s May 15th Start
Here, for no particular reason, is footage from Cliff Lee’s most recent start, May 15th against Houston (box). Notable pitches: all of them, mostly, although the slow curve at 1:32 will please fans of all ages and difficulty levels.

Other Notable Games
Atlanta at Tampa Bay | 13:40 ET
An observation regarding Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist: despite a .226 BABIP, he’s managed to post a 123 wRC+ and 1.4 WAR this season through 173 plate appearances. Other observation regarding Zobrist: his lowest WAR since 2009 (inclusive) is 3.9 in 2010, the fourth-best mark over that stretch.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Atlanta Radio.

Oakland at San Francisco | 16:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
German filmmaker Wim Wenders directed a film called The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick. This is sort of like that, except the penalty kick is watching Tim Lincecum pitch and the goalie is every Giants fan.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.1.

Regard, a magnificent and sortable table:

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Johnny Cueto CIN 5 3 6 6 9 NYA CC Sabathia 13:05
Josh Johnson MIA 8 4 4 4 1 CLE Derek Lowe 13:05
Kevin Correia PIT 1 1 4 3 8 DET Max Scherzer 13:05
Dillon Gee NYN 9 1 6 7 4 TOR He. Alvarez 13:07
Wei-Yin Chen BAL 3 5 6 4 10 WAS St. Strasburg 13:35
Josh Beckett BOS 5 6 7 4 10 PHI Cliff Lee 13:35
Tim Hudson ATL 6 8 7 7 8 TB David Price 13:40
Colby Lewis TEX 5 10 6 6 6 HOU Jordan Lyles* 14:05
Wade Miley AZ 5 4 4 6 2 KC Na. Adcock* 14:10
Jason Marquis MIN 0 2 5 5 10 MIL Zack Greinke 14:10
Jake Peavy CHA 5 4 4 3 2 CHN Paul Maholm 14:20
Blake Beavan SEA 2 4 2 7 0 COL Jeremy Guthrie 15:10
Ervin Santana LAA 5 3 6 5 8 SD Anthony Bass 16:05
Bartolo Colon OAK 4 4 5 4 7 SF Tim Lincecum 16:05
Kyle Lohse STL 4 10 5 6 4 LAN Ch. Billingsley 20:00

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Interesting info on Lee. However a) it’s five starts, and I would be surprised if he doesn’t have a few other comparable five-start stretches in his career, and b) those five starts came against the not-so-vaunted Giants, Pirates, Astros and Mets (x2).