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Cliff Lee Unable To Throw Off Mound, Might Miss Start

T.R. Sullivan is reporting that Cliff Lee was unable to throw off a mound on Saturday. Lee threw off flat ground and had been hoping he'd be ready to throw a bullpen session but his back did not allow it. He's dealing with a muscle strain in the lower back. Lee had an injection earlier in this week but he's still not at full strength. If he's unable to make his next start on Tuesday, Rich Harden - as Sullivan says - will likely get the nod.

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Lee is winless in his last five starts with the Rangers, allowing four, six, eight, five and four earned runs in each of those starts. 

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Even if Lee is feeling fine tomorrow or Monday, there's no reason to have him pitch on Tuesday. Same goes for Josh Hamilton. The Rangers are going to win the AL West, there's little doubt with that. They need Cliff Lee healthy and effective in the playoffs. Rest in September will probably go a long way ensuring his effectiveness for October. 

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