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Lee earns AL Pitcher of the Month

Lee earns AL Pitcher of the Month

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CLEVELAND -- From September callup in 2007 to 20-game winner in '08, you could say Indians hurler Cliff Lee is having a good year.

And he had an especially good August.

Lee was named the American League's Pitcher of the Month for August on Wednesday after he went 5-0 with a 1.86 ERA in five starts in the month. He averaged 7 2/3 innings per start, tossed one complete game, walked seven and struck out 20.

This is Lee's second Pitcher of the Month Award this season. He also won it in April, when he went 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA in five starts to open the season.

Yes, you could say it's been a consistent season for Lee, who has won nine straight decisions and is 20-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 27 starts and the odds-on favorite for the AL Cy Young Award.

"You see a guy focused from pitch to pitch and disciplined in his handling of his emotions," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's done a great job."

Lee does his job with the simplest of strategies.

"I just want to go as deep in the game as I can and try to put up zeroes," he said recently.

It's not a strategy that leads to very colorful quotes. But it's worked all season, and it worked particularly well in April and August.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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