Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Texas Rangers FINALLY Do It!

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Rangers win series, 3-2

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Game 5: Rangers 5 - Rays 1

Cliff Lee: 9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 1.12 ERA

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TEXAS RANGERS!

After 50 LONG years the Rangers (est. 1961) have FINALLY won a playoff series.

With the Rangers series win, every single major league team has now won, AT LEAST, one playoff series. Yes, even the Washington Nationals, who won the NLDS in 1981, as the Montreal Expos.

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Cliff Lee (2-0) was once again magnificent. He pitched yet another 10+ strikeouts, 0 walks game. The Rays had no answers for his impeccable control.  Lee, no doubt, was the difference in the series, twice out-dueling Rays ace David Price.

For the record: In his two starts, Lee became the first pitcher ever to record 20+ strikeouts while issuing 0 walks in a playoff series. The best previous ratio was 14 strikeouts with 0 walks by the Braves' Kevin Millwood in the 2002 NLDS against the Giants.

The Rangers will now face their playoff-nemesis, the New York Yankees, who have ousted the Rangers in the ALDS in their only 3 prior playoff appearances.

A look at the Rangers playoff resume:

1996 ALDS - Yankees win series 3-1
1998 ALDS - Yankees win series 3-0
1999 ALDS - Yankees win series 3-0
2010 ALDS - Rangers win series 3-2 (opponent Tampa Bay Rays)
2010 ALCS - Rangers vs. Yankees

The Rangers-Rays series was truly historical. It was the first series in major league history where the road team won every game. The Rangers won all three games in Tampa Bay and the Rays won two games in Texas.

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The Rangers, who have never won a home playoff game (0-6), will open the ALCS in front of their home crowd.

How sweet it would be for the Rangers if they can get their first-ever home playoff win against their playoff bully.

We'll see....

Stats courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
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