Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Cliff Lee just can't seem to catch a break.
Saturday, Charlie Manuel came out to the mound to take the ball from Lee with nobody out and a runner on first in the eighth inning. At the time, Lee's Philadelphia Phillies were clinging to a 5-4 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Three batters later, the lead was gone. And just like that, Lee's first win of 2012 had turned into another no-decision.
The 33-year-old southpaw has now made 12 starts, thrown 1,232 pitches and tossed 83 and 2/3 innings since his last victory back on September 26, 2011.
It's been a shocking drought for those of us who have followed Lee throughout his career. Lee is a three-time All-Star and took home the AL Cy Young award as a member of the Cleveland Indians back in 2008. He won 22 games that season and overall he's been victorious 119 times in 11 seasons in the major leagues.
Yet the baseball version of the movie "Groundhog Day" continues for Lee, who has now gone 264 calendar days without a victory.
A lot has happened in the major leagues since Lee's last W. Take a look:
- If you include the playoffs, exactly 400 different players have hit home runs.
- Josh Hamilton has driven in 76 runs, by far the most in the major leagues. Thirteen of those 76 RBI came in the postseason last October.
- Hamilton and Adam Dunn have both smacked 23 home runs. That also leads the major leagues.
- Speaking of Dunn, he has struck out an astounding 103 times in 226 at-bats since Lee's last triumph. Carlos Pena, the league's second-most frequent strikeout victim in that time, has whiffed 79 times in 223 at-bats.
- To Dunn's credit, he has also walked 50 times during that span. That's the second-highest total in baseball during Lee's drought. Reds slugger Joey Votto has the most walks with 54.
- Chicago's Starlin Castro has been arguably the most impatient hitter in baseball. He's walked just six times in his last 278 plate appearances.
- Dee Gordon has made 13 fielding errors at shortstop, the most of anyone in the majors.
- Gordon has made up for his troubles in the field by dominating the base paths. His 22 steals since September 26 leads the league.
- Atlanta's Michael Bourn has been caught stealing eight times, the most in baseball.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers were purchased for $2 billion last March. Lakers great Magic Johnson is now a part-owner.
- 334 major league pitchers not named Cliff Lee have won a game.
- Lance Lynn and R.A. Dickey have both notched double-digit wins since then. So has Lee's teammate, Cole Hamels.
- The Phillies have scored 42 times for Lee since his last win. That's an average of 3.5 runs per game. Philadelphia has averaged 5.2 runs per game for Hamels over that same span.
- Cleveland's Chris Perez has 21 saves. That's two ahead of baseball's second- most successful closer in that span, Baltimore's Jim Johnson.
- Philadelphia reliever Chad Qualls has blown six saves over that time, including one on Saturday with Lee in line for the win.
- The Boston Red Sox changed managers, got a new general manager (Ben Cherington) and lost an All-Star closer (Jonathan Papelbon) to free agency. Boston is 31-35 since September 26.
- Adrian Gonzalez, an All-Star first baseman for the Sox last season, has started 16 games in right field for Boston. In the first eight years of Gonzalez's career, he only played the outfield three times.
- Texas has been the most successful ball club during Lee's cold streak. They've tallied 50 wins in that time.
- On the other end of the spectrum, the Chicago Cubs have lost 43 times. That's the worst in the league.
- The Rangers have generated a league-best 439 runs since Lee's last W.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates have scored just 206 times throughout Lee's slide. That's the lowest total in the major leagues.
- Edinson Volquez has been baseball's wildest pitcher. He's walked 48 batters this season.
- Daniel Bard and Gavin Floyd have plunked eight batters each since Lee's most recent winning effort.
- Jake Arrieta has lost more games than anybody in baseball. He's come out on the losing end eight times. Despite his struggles, Arrieta still has three more victories than Lee does this season.
- Giants starter Tim Lincecum has completely forgotten how to pitch. He's 2-7 with a 6.00 ERA in 13 starts this year. Lincecum has also posted the worst WHIP (1.58) of his career in 2012.
- Justin Verlander has been the league's strikeout king. His 128 strikeouts since September 26 put him well ahead of Stephen Strasburg, who is second in the majors in punchouts (110) during that span.
- Pitchers Scott Baker, Danny Duffy, Daniel Herrera, Michael Kohn, Ryan Madson, Charlie Morton, Mike Pelfry, Joakim Soria, Tsuyoshi Wada, Brian Wilson, Blake Wood and Joel Zumaya have all undergone Tommy John surgery. Phillies reliever Jose Contreras will join this list soon.
Lee will have another chance to break his streak next Friday at home against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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