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Halladay Who? Lee Shuts Down Yankees as Rangers Go Up 21 – SportsUntapped.com
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Added October 19th, 2010 by Chalk

Halladay Who? Lee Shuts Down Yankees as Rangers Go Up 2-1
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Sure, Roy Halladay opened the postseason with that not-so-impressive no-hitter against the Reds, but Cliff Lee went into New Replica Yankee Stadium and won his third straight road start of these playoffs in spectacular fashion. While Halladay was spotted a 4-0 lead after two innings, Lee worked eight innings with only a 2-0 cushion over the Yanks, and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out 13.

The Rangers offense added six runs in the top of the ninth to make the final score a 8-0 laugher, and to give the Rangers a two games to one series lead over the Yankees, but Lee’s performance was historic. Here’s the incredible company Lee now keeps:

  • First pitcher ever to have three games with 10 or more strikeouts in one postseason
  • First pitcher to work more than six innings and hold the Yankees to only three baserunners
  • Second pitcher ever to strike out 10 Yankees in a playoff game while allowing two or fewer hits (first was Pedro Martinez, 1999 ALCS)
  • Third pitcher to strike out nine or more innings over eight shutout innings with one or fewer walks (Don Drysdale, 1963 World Series; Randy Johnson, 2001 World Series; plus, Lee did it himself in last year’s World Series)
  • Fourth pitcher to strike out 13 or more Yankees in the postseason (Sandy Koufax struck out 15 in the 1963 World Series; Carl Erskine 14, 1953 World Series; Bob Gibson 13, 1964 World Series)
  • Fourth pitcher in postseason history to strike out 13, allow two or fewer hits and pitch at least eight innings (Tim Lincecum did it last week, Kevin Brown in 1999, and Roger Clemens in 2000)

Even Nolan Ryan, Hall of Fame pitcher turned Rangers team president, is completely in awe of what Lee has done:

He’s just phenomenal with the performances, and he’s so consistent. You hate to say that’s what your expectation is of him, but that’s what it is because he’s been so consistent that way. He’s the most consistent pitcher I’ve ever seen. He’s walked one guy in twenty-something innings. That’s unbelievable.

For those of you keeping score at home, in two games at the Devil Rays and one game at the Yankees, Lee has pitched 24 innings while giving up just two earned runs, 13 hits and one walk — with 34 strikeouts. Add that to how good he was last year for the Phillies, who insanely traded him in the offseason, and Lee’s career postseason stats are:

  • 8 starts, 7-0, 1.26 ERA, 64.1 innings pitched, 40 hits, 7 walks, 67 K

The only bad news for the Rangers is that they should really be up 3-0 in this series — having led Game 1 5-0 before allowing the Yankees to score six unanswered runs to steal Game 1. “I don’t think we’re in trouble,” said Yankees skipper Joe Girardi said. “It’s not like we’re down 3-nothing and trailing in the bottom of the ninth.”

Girardi should at least be very worried, having seen his team fall behind by at least five runs in each of the first three games. But the Yankees will only have to face Lee one more time in the series, so they can still win the series by winning the other three games. They’ll have their first shot at doing that Tuesday night as they send A.J. “Carol” Burnett out for his first start since October 2. The Rangers start Tommy Hunter, who lasted only four innings in losing ALDS Game 4 at home to the mighty Devil Rays.

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