Cliff Lee's bad season mercifully came to an end Wednesday as the Phillies lost to the Nats 5-1.
Memo to Cliff Lee: Please don't pay attention to what the Texas Rangers' offense has done for ace Yu Darvish lately.
There's been rampant discussion of the possibility of Lee being traded for by the Rangers before the July 31 trade deadline to help bolster a pitching staff that has been hurt by injuries and is relying too heavily on unproven rookies.
Lee, who helped guide the Rangers to not only their first postseason series win back in 2010, but also their first World Series appearance, chose to sign with the Phillies that ensuing off-season for less money because he thought it gave him the best chance to win a World Series.
After his team banged out 16 hits and stranded 16 runners on base and he faced the minimum number of hitters through six innings against Minnesota on Thursday night, Lee sounded off, despite his team's 3-2 win.
"We're the Philadelphia Phillies," said Lee, owner of a 2.55 ERA, to The Inquirer. "We should play better than we have."
The Phillies are below .500 and staggering along in the NL East, a top-heavy division featuring the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.
Make no mistake, Lee wants to win, and he's not doing it with the Phillies, at least not at the present time. He does have a rather large no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to block trades to 20 teams, with the Rangers reportedly being one of them.
But that doesn't mean he would do so.
"I don't have any control over that," Lee said of the approaching trade deadline. "I know that I want to win and I'll voice that to whoever. And that's that. I want to win here. That's why I signed here. And that's where my focus is."