Posted by: Jeremy | October 19, 2010

Master of his domain

Lee struck out 13 Yankees over eight shutout innings

Apologies, Doc — Cliff Lee is now officially the greatest that ever did it and the greatest that will ever do it. The biggest big game pitcher in the history of big games. The man. Lee’s incredible two-year run of playoff dominance continued last night at Yankee Stadium, where the Texas lefty struck out 13 Yankees and gave up two lonely singles over eight innings in an 8-0 win, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the ALCS. Since debuting in the postseason last year with the Phillies, Lee is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight starts.

Lee struck out at least 10 hitters for the third time in this year’s playoffs, making him the first pitcher in history to reach that number at least three times in a postseason. In the ALDS against Tampa Bay, he won both his starts, striking out 10 over seven innings in Game 1 and 11 in a shutout in the series-clinching Game 5, with both games ending in 5-1 Texas wins. In 24 innings this year, he’s now fanned 34 hitters and given up just two runs.

If you missed the game, don’t let the 8-0 final deceive you — though the New York bats were rendered useless by Lee, starter Little Andrew Pettitte did everything to give the Yankees a shot, pitching in with seven strong innings of his own and giving up just five Texas hits. One of those five, however, was a two-run shot off Josh Hamilton’s bat in the first inning, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead that stood intact until the ninth, when they tagged six runs on Boone Logan and David Robertson to blow it open. Nelson Cruz, Benjie Molina, Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus all drove in runs in the inning with hits.

Now in the driver’s seat with a 2-1 series lead, the Rangers are handing the ball to 24-year-old Tommy Hunter in tonight’s Game 4. In 22 regular season starts this year, Hunter went 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA, but he was chased after just four innings in a 5-2 loss to the Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS. In the other corner, Joe Girardi seems set on his original plan — believe it or not, he’s putting the ball in the hands of A.J. Burnett. Yes folks, that’s A.J. Burnett, of A.J. sucks fame. The A.J. Burnett that lost 15 games in 2010 and hasn’t pitched in 15 games. Can’t wait to see how that turns out.

The Rangers and Yankees get going at 8:07, which comes after the Giants and Phillies renew acquaintances in Game 3 of their series at 4:19. With the set split at a game apiece, San Francisco sends Matt Cain to the hill against Philly lefty Cole Hamels.



  1. It does suck that we’re looking at the least interesting W.S. matchup though.

  2. A New York-Philly series would be interesting (again), but I’m always for new blood being in there. If it’s San Fran-Texas, I’d say they both earned it…

  3. […] 4.19 and 1-1, 5.73) and get Texas to its first World Series in franchise history. If New York wins, Cliff Lee is waiting in the wings for Game 7, which would be set for Saturday […]

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