The Cliff Lee Effect: The Phillies Are Falling Apart

Widely hailed as a coup for Ruben Amaro and the Phillies, it appears that the Cliff Lee trade is not having the effect anyone expected it to have.  There are creeping concerns that the Phillies have gotten complacent now that they have the 2009 Cy Young Award winner on their roster.

And, there's good reason for these concerns.  Just check out the statistics:

Win percentage:  Before the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies had a win percentage of almost .600 (.592 to be exact).  Since the trade, the Phillies are on a historic pace to win 0 more games the rest of the season, as their win percentage is .000.  That's worse than the Nationals!

Runs scored:  Before the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies led the NL in runs scored with 537.  In fact, only two other teams in the league that uses the DH had scored more runs than the Phillies.  The Phils were averaging a torrid 5.5 runs per game.  But now, since the Cliff Lee trade, the team is averaging only 1 run per game.  And since the trade, they've been outscored by every team in baseball other than the Pirates, Rays, and Blue Jays -- all teams that have played half the games the Phillies have!

RS/RA percentage:  Before the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies had the best run differential in all of baseball at +83.  They scored 18% more runs than their opponents.  However, since Lee became a Phillie, the Phillies have been decimated by their opponents.  Opposing teams have scored 450% more runs than the Phillies have.  It's as if the pitching staff was made up of all Adam Eatons and the hitters were all Endy Chavez.

Runs against:  Cliff Lee was supposed to help the pitching.  Yet, he's done just the opposite.  Before the trade, the Phillies were giving up 4.6 runs per game, comfortably in the middle of the pack in the majors.  But, since the trade, they've given up almost a run more per game, at 5.5.  Giving up runs like this will completely neutralize the Phillies' greatest asset, their offense, which scores just a hair under 5.5 runs per game.  In fact, if the Phillies are giving up 5.5 and scoring just under 5.5, there's no chance of winning another game all season.

Cliff Lee seems like a nice guy.  He had a great year last year and was doing more of the same this year.  However, since his trade, he has completely destroyed the once proud 2009 Philadelphia Phillies.

With the non-waiver trading deadline still yet to pass, thank goodness we still have time to trade him away.

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