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ALDS Game 5: Rangers at Rays

Oct 12, 2010, 11:00 PM EST

Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Rays
Tropicana Field hosts a rare do-or-die postseason game tonight.

We tend to think of these all-or-nothing, winner-goes-on, loser-goes home postseason games as commonplace. But really, they don't happen all that often. In fact, tonight's decisive game in St. Petersburg is only the fifth such showdown (Game 5 in a five-game series or Game 7 in a seven-game series) in the last six years.

And few do-or-die games have boasted a pitching matchup like this: Cliff Lee vs. David Price, a rematch of Game 1. Lee dominated that start, striking out 10 while walking none. Price was less effective, giving up four earned runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, though he did strike out eight without issuing a walk. He'll also be pitching at home, where he was 9-2 with a sparkling 1.96 ERA this season.

Of course, all hands will be on deck for this game, so don't be surprised to see anyone come out of the bullpen. Should be fun. I'll share some thoughts along the way, so check back during the game and please share your own thoughts in the comments section…

Where: Tropicana Field
Gametime: 8:07 p.m.
TV: TBS Radio: WTEM-980 AM
Weather: Dome

SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero

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  1. Anonymous - Oct 13, 2010 at 4:29 AM

    I like the how aggressive the Rangers were on the bases. While many are penciling in a Phils-Yanks Series, both LCS have the potential to go at least 6 games. Should be very entertaining and a dream for fans of good pitching. I've enjoyed your postseason updates. Thanks…

  2. Josh - Oct 13, 2010 at 4:57 AM

    Cliff Lee is absolutely incredible. It's too bad there is absolutely no way we could convince him to come here short of massively overpaying him (to the tune of 10 years $200m) because a 1-2-3 of Strasburg-Lee-Zimmermann would be one of the best ever.

  3. Sec3MySofa - Oct 13, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Nice that you're enthusiastic, Josh. Wouldn't even be the best in their own division, but keep a good thought.

  4. Tcostant - Oct 13, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Just to think how close the Yankees were to getting Lee at the trade deadline, I hope Texas beats the Yanks and goes to the WS!

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 13, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    Yanks in five. Rangers, just happy to be there, will win only Lee's start. Going to 5 in ALDS really, really hurts Texas.

  6. Anonymous - Oct 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    I don't know that it (going to Game 5) hurts Texas that much, because they were only going to get two games from Lee anyway (I believe that all of his postseason starts are on regular rest). Even last year in the WS the Phillies only started Lee in Games 1 and 5. I do note that he got knocked around a little bit the second start although the Phillies won anyway to send it back to NY for the finale. So the Rangers were going to have to win two games w/o Lee to advance regardless. It will be interesting to see how Ron Washington sets up his rotation for the series. John C.

  7. Josh - Oct 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Firstly, the Phillies' rotation [i]is[/i] one of the best ever. Secondly, Strasburg's peripherals while he was year were better than Halladay's. Thirdly, Cliff Lee is better than either Oswalt or Hamels. The only real question is whether Zimmermann can be as dominant as either of the latter two, and IMO he is certainly capable of that–but even if he isn't, the rotation still wins out by virtue of the superiority of the first two starters as long as he can stay close.

  8. Sec3MySofa - Oct 14, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Indeed, the Phillies top 3 are excellent pitchers, getting focused at the right time. "Ever" is a long time.Strasburg's "peripherals" were what, half a dozen games before he blew up? Durability is relevant, and actual success is always better than fantasy success, or potential. Every time. "Maybe"'s a baby.Zimmermann may have it in him to be a pretty good major league starter someday, maybe someday soon; we'll see. Until then, he's a promising project, that's all. That's quite a lot, actually, but until it exists, it doesn't exist.Maybe by 2013 or 2014, when SS is healed and strong, if he heals and gets stronger, Lee will still be healthy himself, and as good as he is now. Maybe Zimmermann will be, too. It could happen. The Phillies are unlikely to sit on their hands in the meantime, but who knows where they'll be by then? One thing is absolutely certain: there will be dominating starters available to them between now and then, and they might sign the right ones, like they seem to have done this year. But all this hypothetical stuff is just that: an academic exercise for the hot stove, because Cliff Lee is NOT going to pitch for Washington in my lifetime. He just isn't. The Nationals could trade Nyjer Morgan for Halladay, too — I mean, it would be legal — but that's just not going to happen.





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