Cleveland Starting Pitchers in All-Star Games before 2008
Bob Feller, 1939
Bob Feller, 1941
Bob Feller, 1946
Luis Tiant, 1968
Gaylord Perry, 1974
Charles Nagy, 1996
[Correction: Charles Nagy started the 1996 All-Star Game]
It had been
34 years 12 years since a Cleveland pitcher started an All-Star Game, and Cliff Lee made the most of the start. He was limited to two innings, but he struck out three in those two innings, including the first two he faced.
Just three months ago, though, the idea that Lee would ever make an All-Star team was laughable. While the Indians were playing for shot at a championship in 2007, Lee was off the roster, and not because he was hurt. The Indians optioned him to AAA in July after allowing seven runs in three straight starts, pitching performances a club in contention just can't tolerate. So Lee spent August and most of September in Buffalo.
Lee came to Spring Training needing to win a spot in the rotation, and came into a camp a completely different pitcher. He won back his job, and started the season on fire, allowing just four runs in his first seven starts; in five of those starts, he didn't allow a run. Despite the Indians struggling in the first half of the season, Lee entered the All-Star Break with an 11-2 record.
After the game, Lee would continue his fantastic pace, not losing his third game until his last start of the year. He would easily win the AL Cy Young award.