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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Lee's postseason legend continues to grow



J. Meric/Getty Images
Cliff Lee has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his seven postseason starts.

The Texas Rangers' Cliff Lee is now 6-0 in seven postseason starts. Bob Gibson, Lefty Gomez, Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hernandez and Jack Morris are the only other pitchers in MLB history with six wins in their first seven postseason starts.

He’s the seventh pitcher to throw a complete game and strike out at least 10 in a series-clinching game, and the first since John Smoltz in the 1997 NLDS.

This was the fourth postseason start by Lee in which he struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter. Four other pitchers have done that in postseason history (Tom Seaver, Deacon Phillippe, Don Newcombe, Sterling Hitchcock), but each did it only once in their career.

Not only did Lee beat the Tampa Bay Rays twice in the series, but both wins were at Tampa Bay. He’s the sixth pitcher to win two road games in a series and allow one run or fewer in each start.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: Lee also became the first pitcher to start and win both the first game and a winner-takes-all game in the same postseason series since Kerry Wood did it for the Chicago Cubs in the 2003 NLDS against the Atlanta Braves.

More from the Elias Sports Bureau: Conversely, David Price was the losing pitcher in games one and five. He’s the sixth starting pitcher to lose both Game 1 and a winner-takes-all game in the same series, and the first since the Braves' Jaret Wright in the 2004 NLDS against the Houston Astros.

More on Lee’s performance:
• First complete game in a winner-takes-all situation since Curt Schilling in the 2001 NLDS.

• Fourth winning pitcher to throw a complete game and strike out at least 10 batters in a winner-takes-all situation, and the first since the St. Louis Cardinals' Bob Gibson in the 1967 World Series.

• Fifth pitcher to throw a complete game and not walk a batter in a winner-takes-all situation, and the first since the Cardinals' Danny Cox in the 1987 NLCS.

• His 11 strikeouts are the most in a winner-takes-all game in postseason history.