Cliff Lee can relax. Josh Bell is not in the Orioles' lineup today. The last time Lee pitched against the Orioles, here with Texas on August 21, 2010, he got ripped for eight runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3.
Bell hit two homers to right-center, driving in five runs off him. Ty Wigginton, his current teammate, and Luke Scott also homered off him that day.
Today Lee can get his revenge when he faces Jason Hammel here in the series finale at Camden Yards.
In his career against the Orioles, Lee is 4-2 with an ERA of 4.25. He was 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his first five career starts against Baltimore, but the Orioles have come up with 14 earned runs against him over 14 2/3 in his last two starts.
This season, Lee is 0-3 but with an ERA of 2.92. It must be hard to have that ERA and no wins. Lee, in fact, is the first Phillies pitcher to remain winless over his first nine starts of a season with an ERA under 3.00 since the National League began keeping track of earned runs. That dates to 1912.
The Phillies have scored just 16 runs while Lee has been in the game this year, and his 2.33 run support average ranks third lowest among all major league starters.
The Phillies are just 3-6 when he starts this year. By contrast, the Orioles are 8-3 when his mound opponent today, Hammel, has started.
A couple of other notes on Lee: His 1.99 ERA since June 1 of last year is best among all major league starters. Justin Verlander is next at 2.27.
Lee leads all ML starters in percentage of first pitch strikes (72 percent) this season. He is 0-0 with a 2.17 road ERA in four starts. He is 21-21 with an ERA of 3.81 in 54 career starts against the AL East.