Lee, Sheets to start All-Star Game
By Jon Heyman, SI.com
Posted: Sunday July 13, 2008 11:23PM; Updated: Monday July 14, 2008 1:49AM
NEW YORK -- The stars have aligned for the Indians' Cliff Lee and Ben Sheets of the Brewers, who will start Tuesday's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, SI.com has learned.
The left-hander Lee is the logical choice for American League All-Star Manager Terry Francona. He's been the best pitcher in that league all season.
The right-handed Sheets is also having a superb season, but his appointment may have been aided to some degree by fortuitous timing, as both Brandon Webb of Arizona and the Giants' Tim Lincecum pitched Sunday and Reds sensation Edinson Volquez pitched Saturday.
Volquez was ruled out as an All-Star starter by Reds manager Dusty Baker, who told the Reds media, "(NL manager Clint) Hurdle said he would get him an inning in the middle. He wanted to start him but he has some wonderful options.'' Webb and Lincecum would not be in position to start the game.
Lee, 12-2 with a 2.31 ERA, pitched Friday, which gives him enough lead time, and is the most obvious candidate to start after his superb first half.
Sheets, who was informed of his starting assignment on Sunday night, is 10-3 with a 2.85 ERA and hasn't pitched since Wednesday, which gives him more than enough time.
All the All-Star starters, including the pitchers, will be announced at Monday morning's press conference by Francona and Hurdle.