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Game Chat: Lee Can’t Win in States, Tries in Canada

Jun 16, 2012, 1:08 PM EDT

Phillies take on Blue Jays in game two of their series in Toronto. Cliff Lee still looking for win number one.

Cliff Lee’s inability to earn a win through 10 starts this season is actually quite impressive. We’ve seen all kinds of mediocre pitchers over the past week — Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Nick Blackburn, P.J. Walters — but all of them had wins. Heck, Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick have wins, too. What Cliff is doing, it’s special.

Obviously, it’s not all the pitcher’s fault. He’s held the opponent to two or fewer runs in half of his outings, but the Phils’ offense let him down each time. That said, Lee (0-3, 3.18) hasn’t always been stellar, either — he’s also allowed four or five in three of his starts.

Lee hasn’t been bad, but not always All-Star caliber like we’ve come to expect. Here’s the good news though: he started off on the slow side in 2011, too, entering last June with a 4-5 record and a 3.94 ERA. He finished 17-8 with a 2.40. And while Cliff’s fortune’s turned around right as the calendar month turned over, he hadn’t missed three starts with an injury, either.

Cliff will get it going soon, maybe even today. His last trip to Toronto wasn’t a big success though. On July 3, the Blue Jays touched Lee for 10 hits, seven runs, and six earned — including three long balls — in the loss. With Rickey Romero (7-1, 4.15) on as the opposing pitcher today, Lee needs to be better than that if he wants to pick up his elusive first victory.