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I'm Getting Pretty Sick Of Cliff Lee Starts

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Now, I'm certainly not sick of Cliff Lee, because he's awesome. And I'm certainly not sick of this Rangers season, because it's awesome. I mean, even after tonight's debacle, they continue to run away with the division, they scored four runs in a game started by Francisco Liriano,  the Magic Number still went down, and they just won a series against the Twins. Home or not, that's fantastic. That would be fantastic even if Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler got to play.

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But what I'm sick of is the feeling I get for the three hours or so Cliff Lee games go on. In those games, the Rangers are a horrific 3-7, and the constitute some of the worst games of the season. Getting shelled the day after the trade hoping to salvage a split against the lowly Orioles. Blowing a two-out ninth inning lead against the Red Sox to miss out on a sweep. Losing a 6-0 lead in a game where he struck out 11 Yankees (my vote for the worst). And then tonight wasn't a stomach punch of a game, but on the heels of his last two starts it was sure distressing (I'm happy they made it pretty close, though).

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And the problem isn't much on Lee. Yes, at times, he hasn't been great. No pitcher is ever always great, it happens. Overall, though, he's probably the best pitcher in baseball, and if he's not, it's because Roy Halladay is going to the Hall of Fame and still pitching like it. But, somehow, every time he's on the mound for the Rangers, it's something horrible. If the offense doesn't give him any support, then the defense fails him, or he's just less than his usual awesome self or there's just some crazy bad luck. And it's not like it's rational or there's any one person to blame, I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of bad luck and happenstance and wasting having such an outrageous pitching talent on my team for the first time in my life. It's a sickening part of what is otherwise an amazing season and I hope it changes. The rational part of my brain "knows" it should, but every start it becomes harder to be rational.

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Oh, and for those who remember, yes, I was opposed to the Cliff Lee trade and, though I don't think about it when I look at his K/BB ratio, I still am (though Justin Smoak has been making me feel better, too). But, this is absolutely not proof I or anyone on my side was correct, it's just proof unfortunate and unexpected things happen in baseball.

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And, also, Francisco Liriano is great.

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So, I guess, here's to the next Cliff Lee start going like every Cliff Lee start should.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.