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Lee earns AL Pitcher of the Month

Lee earns AL Pitcher of the Month

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.

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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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