Expectations aim high on Cliff Lee after debut in Spring Training
Cliff Lee recently kicked off his Spring Training exhibition in the Grapefruit League against the Detroit Tigers. The maestro who was cheered on by the Philadelphia Phillies’ supporters
made his way from the Texas Rangers on the offseason. The pitcher has been picking up hype in the crowds and the news media as he has been termed the hottest asset in baseball, at the moment.
The player is slated to kick off his campaign against the Houston Astros on the 2nd of April in his first 2011 Major League Baseball outing. However his unofficial debut against
the Tigers came early and it was a match losing performance. Nevertheless, Cliff was backed by the supporters and their excitement pushed Lee to talk about it in the post match press conference.
Cliff started off by talking about the fans’ excitement. He said that he felt he was not trapped by the energy. Rather Lee feels he’s more focused in getting the Phillies to win most of
their games. However Cliff did acknowledge that it felt good to see the supporters backing him up and getting rowdy over his return. He quickly turned the attention to the team by stating that the fans were robust over the team, as it was now stronger than
Lee elaborated on the fans’ excitement levels by claiming they now had a reason to be content. He assured the press of his opinion when he said that he felt that way a few times in the
past when he visited Philadelphia.He clarified that the same sensation was present today. Cliff finished his conversation on the fans by saying that this was a good thing as he wasn’t getting booed this time around.
Lee pitched two innings against the Tigers. He allowed one hit, one walk, two runs, while striking out three hitters in the process. The match was lost by the Phillies 6 – 2.
“It was my first time to face hitters. Obviously I wish I didn’t hit a guy and walk a guy. Just working on locating fastballs was the main thing for me today. I threw a few cutters. That
was really the best pitch working for me today. It was good to get the first one over with. I wish the results were better, but it is what it is.”
The fans will not hold this result to scrutiny when Lee comes in to pitch in the Major Leagues. The player isn’t worried about the mass expectation either. His focus is on getting the
team to the playoffs.
“Every team I’ve been on, we’ve been expected to do great things at this time. Everyone is 0-0 and has an equal chance. Every team in baseball should be expecting good things and get to
the postseason. It’s what everyone should be thinking. This team is no different than anyone I’ve been on.”
Many have claimed that the Phillies are ably ready for the World Series challenge this season. Though Jayson Werth is no longer part of the outfield unit, Lee has taken his place in the
ever strong pitching rotation. With Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt premiering in the club’s rotation, there is a big chance for the push for the title this season.