ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers LHP Cliff Lee thrives on big games. So, naturally, he said Sunday that he was excited about the opportunity to pitch in a winner-take-all Game 5.
"We're in the playoffs," Lee said. "It's down to one game to decide whether we move on. This is exactly where I would want to be, in a situation like this. I had no control or choice on the matter, but to end up here and to end up in a 2-2 series -- it is win or go home at this point, yeah. It is playoff baseball at its best here."
Lee doesn't care where the game is played, either.
"I don't care whether I pitch at home or on the road," Lee said. "It really doesn't matter that much to me. If you had your pick, obviously you would rather pitch at home. But for me it's not that much of a difference really. I feel like I'm able to filter out the crowd and the effect that has and just focus on the catcher's mitt and trying to get each hitter out."
Lee is 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA in six postseason starts. That includes a sterling performance at Tropicana Field in Game 1. Lee allowed one run on five hits in seven innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks.
BTW, Lee pitched in just one postseason elimination game in 2009. That was Game 5 of the World Series and he beat the Yankees. Lee gave up five earned runs in seven innings, but earned the W. He allowed just two runs before the eighth inning and was taken out after putting runners on base. The Phillies scored eight runs in the win for him.