Cliff Lee | Yankees Put a big number, but put it in the wrong column | New yark yankees | Rangers | Yankees
Cliff Lee, The best amazing moment of Cliff Lee’s adept and aberrant achievement in Bold 3 of the American League Championship Series happened in the fourth inning. Lee, who had retired the game’s aboriginal 11 batters, absolved Mark Teixeira on a abounding calculation — his aboriginal airing in 20 postseason innings this season.
That was about as noteworthy for the control-minded Lee as his strikeout total: with his career-high 13, he became the aboriginal bullpen with three afterwards amateur of 10 or added strikeouts in the aforementioned postseason.
Though Lee absent the bang area with the aboriginal angle to 12 of the 27 batters he faced, and went to three-ball counts on three and absolved that one, he accustomed alone two singles while shutting out the Yankees for eight innings in the Rangers’ 8-0 achievement on Monday night. With the barring of Robinson Cano, Lee addled out every Yankee at atomic once.
“What we saw tonight is what we’ve been seeing,” Texas Manager Ron Washington said. “The guy can pitch.”
By the third inning, it was credible that Lee could await on three affection pitches: a fastball from 91 to 93 afar per hour with acceptable movement; an 87- to 88-m.p.h. cut fastball that bore bottomward and in to right-handed batters; and a apathetic ambit that anyone geared up for the fastball or the cutter would beat through. Lee threw 82 strikes in 122 pitches, and his fastball was still bustling at 93 m.p.h. in the eighth.
“I do the aforementioned affair every game,” Lee said. “I’m activity to bandy strikes. I’m activity to bandy fastballs in and out and see how they swing. And I’m activity to accomplish adjustments on the fly. That’s abundant added important to me than aloof reports.”
Taken concoction by batter, his accomplishment was a casting tutorial. At first, the Yankees adopted their accepted approach: be patient, booty pitches, see if the guy can bandy strikes. With a 2-0 advance on Josh Hamilton’s first-inning home run, Lee had every acumen to be aggressive. And admitting he threw alone three first-pitch strikes to the aboriginal nine hitters, he retired them all.
He absent with fastballs to Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher in the aboriginal inning, and both took the counts abysmal afore putting the brawl in play. Jeter flied out on a abounding count, and Swisher, on 2-2 pitch, hit a dribbler abreast the mound. Lee started Teixeira with a bang on addition fastball, and Teixeira addled out accepted at a cutter aloof off aloof the alfresco corner.
Lee bound bent that he had abundant movement on his cutter and leaned on it heavily in the additional inning. He formed Alex Rodriguez abroad with cutters afore freezing him with addition for bang three, a alarm so accessible that Rodriguez headed for the dugout afore the home-plate adjudicator Jim Reynolds aloft his appropriate arm. Cano lined out on a cutter, and Marcus Thames befuddled off four pitches afore accepted through a hard-running cutter, arresting out.
Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson fanned in the third, Posada demography a fastball on the central bend and Granderson accepted over a aciculate curveball. Brett Gardner ashore against aboriginal on a cutter, but Lee covered and stepped on the bag as Gardner slid by afterwards affecting the base. Through three innings, Lee had befuddled 27 strikes in 43 pitches, addled out bristles and accustomed no abject runners.
The additional time through the lineup, Jeter jumped on the aboriginal pitch, abuse it off. He eventually swung and absent a cutter and a 93-m.p.h. fastball, authoritative it 6 strikeouts in 10 batters for Lee. Swisher became No. 7, afterwards an 11-pitch at-bat in which he got ahead, 3-1. He again befuddled off six fastballs and cutters afore Lee took a little off a fastball, and Swisher absent it. Teixeira again walked. But Rodriguez, additionally first-ball swinging, lined out to left-center to end the inning.
Posada produced the aboriginal Yankees hit with two out in the fifth, a bendable distinct to right, afore Granderson absent a ambit to become Lee’s ninth strikeout. At 80 pitches, Lee looked strong.
In the sixth, Lee ran into trouble, abrogation a cutter over the bowl that Gardner ashore through the average for the Yankees’ additional — and, it angry out, aftermost — hit.
After application the apathetic ambit judiciously through the aboriginal bristles innings, Lee went to it afterwards Gardner blanket additional and Jeter addled out. He threw two to Swisher, who ashore to the appropriate side, affective Gardner to third. But Teixeira broke addition pitch, Lee’s 97th, to abbreviate for the third out.
Lee relied on about all cutters and fastballs in backward the ancillary in adjustment in the seventh, but the eighth was Lee’s best able inning: 10 strikes out of 13 pitches. His teammates acclaimed in the dugout. Washington advised to accelerate Lee out for the ninth until Texas denticulate six runs, abrogation the amateur afterpiece Neftali Feliz to finish.
“Cliff was abundant tonight, to say the least,” Yankees amateur Andy Pettitte said. “He was aloof outstanding. I can’t say abundant about what he did tonight. In this ballpark, to do what he did was impressive.”
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