A Paragraph With The Mariners – 50

Last one for the day. Couldn’t let yesterday’s 4-2 win pass without mentioning my hero Cliff Lee. In Texas, in that brutal, brutal heat, Mr. Lee got the Complete Game. He saved our bullpen (decimated by the Angels over the weekend), less the warm-up pitches Aardsma had to throw when Lee got into a little trouble in the 9th. He had a 4-0 lead going into that final inning, at only 90 pitches. But, you gotta figure, with the temperature the way it was, 90 pitches is more like 120. Still, he gutted out some tough throws – that they gutted into ground-ball singles, and found a way to preserve the victory. The thing I like best about Lee, though, is the way he pushes Felix to perform above and beyond what greatness he already achieves. Two years ago when we traded for Bedard, he was given the title Staff Ace before even throwing a pitch in a Mariners uniform. Felix proceeded to have his best season so far. Last year, Felix took immediate hold of the Staff Ace title and never relinquished it; yet still he was pushed by Jarrod Washburn’s hot first half. This year – at least for the last couple weeks – he’s had Cliff Lee as his “competition” as the team’s best pitcher. And for the last few starts at least, Lee has gone the day before Felix (on the mound today in another Must Win). If the team itself isn’t going to be competitive, I feel like Felix loses a little bit of that fire; but with Lee straight DEALING homey, I think we’ll see the best stuff Felix has up until the day Lee’s traded for prospects. I’m going to enjoy the next five or six weeks.

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