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LEE CONTROLS THE SERIES
From Elias: Cliff Lee struck out 11 in Game 5, after recording 10 strikeouts in the series opener, and he did not walk a batter in either game. Lee's total of 21 strikeouts is the highest for any pitcher in a postseason series in which he did not issue a base on balls. Lee broke the mark set by Atlanta's Kevin Millwood, when he had 14 strikeouts and no walks against the Giants in the 2002 NLDS.
Lee has won four postseason games in which he struck out at least ten batters without issuing a walk (two with the Phillies last October and two for Texas this year). Only two other pitchers have ever won a postseason game with no walks and double-digit strikeouts: Pittsburgh's Deacon Phillippe in the 1903 World Series and San Diego's Sterling Hitchcock in the 1998 NLDS.
LEE BEATS PRICE IN GAMES ONE AND FIVE
From Elias: Cliff Lee defeated David Price in Game 5, as he did in the ALDS opener. It was the third time in major-league history that one starting pitcher defeated the same opposing starter in both the first and decisive (winner-take-all) games of a postseason series. It also happened in the 1973 World Series (Oakland's Ken Holtzman over the Mets' Jon Matlack) and the 1981 N.L. East Playoffs following the split season (Montreal's Steve Rogers over Philadelphia's Steve Carlton).
REGULAR-SEASON WINS DON'T COUNT IN OCTOBER
From Elias: David Price (19-6 during the regular season) was the third pitcher to go 0-2 in a Division Series after winning as many as 19 games during the preceding regular season. Randy Johnson did it for Seattle in 1997 (20-4) and again in 1998 with Houston (19-11 for the Mariners and Astros), as did the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang in 2007 (19-7).
JUST LIKE BABE AND LOU
From Elias: Ian Kinsler concluded the scoring in the top of the ninth inning of the Rangers' Game 5 victory with his third home run of the series. Nelson Cruz, who narrowly missed a homer earlier in the game, also hit three home runs in the Division Series. Cruz and Kinsler became only the second pair of teammates in major-league history to connect for at least three homers apiece in a postseason series of five-or-fewer games. The other pair was Babe Ruth (three homers, all in one game) and Lou Gehrig (four homers) in the Yankees' four-game sweep of the Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.
From Elias: Elvis Andrus had a pair of hits in Game 5 and his eight hits against the Rays tied Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler for the most in the series. At age 22, Andrus became the youngest player to post the most hits (either tied or outright) in a postseason series since the Mets' Gregg Jefferies was 21 years old when he tied for the series lead with nine hits in the 1988 NLCS against the Dodgers.
HUSTLING HOME FROM SECOND
From Elias: Elvis Andrus scored the game's first run when he scampered home from second base on Josh Hamilton's 3-1 groundout in the first inning and Vladimir Guerrero did the same in the sixth inning, when Ian Kinsler beat the throw to first base on a failed double-play attempt by the Rays.
Before Tuesday, no player had been driven in from second base on an RBI-groundout to an infielder in a postseason game since Paul Blair in Game 5 of the 1970 World Series. Blair scored from second in the eighth inning when Boog Powell grounded out, 3-4-1. Reds first baseman Lee May fell over blocking Powell's smash, which was then picked up by Tommy Helms who threw to Ray Washburn for the putout on the slow-footed Powell as Blair came all the way around to score.
SLOPPY IN THE FIELD
From Elias: There were three errors committed in Game 5 and a total of 31 errors in the 15 Division Series games that were played throughout the majors this year. That's the most errors in the Division Series in any season since the inception of the wild-card in 1995. (The old record: 30 errors in 18 games in 2003.) It's also the first time that there has been an average of at least two errors per game in the Division Series since 1995. (Note: there were 35 errors in 18 games in the Division Playoffs of 1981 - a format adopted for just that one season in the wake of that year's lengthy players' strike.)
NO HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE
From Elias: Home teams have a 4-11 record during this year's playoffs. That's the lowest combined winning percentage (.267) for home teams during the Division Series in any year since the inception of the wild-card playoffs. Over that span (1995-2010) there were only three other years in which home teams had a losing record in the first round of the postseason: 2001 (8-10), 2002 (8-9) and 2004 (7-9).
RANGERS FINALLY WIN A POSTSEASON SERIES
From Elias: The Rangers notched the first playoff series win in their franchise's history, which dates back to the Washington Senators, who entered the American League in the 1961 expansion. That gives the Memphis Grizzlies the unwanted distinction of being the oldest current franchise in any of the four major North American team sports that has never advanced in the playoffs. The Grizzlies entered the NBA for the 1995-96 season, when they were located in Vancouver.
THREE-POINT NIGHT FOR JONES
From Elias: David Jones tallied two goals and one assist for the Avalanche in their shootout win in Detroit. Jones' three points were the most by a Colorado player in a game against the Red Wings - regular season or playoffs - since Feb. 14, 2004, when Peter Forsberg recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in a 5-2 Avs victory at Joe Louis Arena.
200 CAREER GOALS FOR DATSYUK
From Elias: Pavel Datsyuk scored the 200th goal of his NHL career in the Red Wings' shootout loss. Datsyuk, who's played exclusively for Detroit, is the 15th man to score 200 or more goals for the Red Wings, a list that includes three of his teammates: Nicklas Lidstrom (237 goals), Tomas Holmstrom (214) and Henrik Zetterberg (206). The only other NHL team with more than one player on its current roster who's scored at least 200 goals for that club is Tampa Bay (Vincent Lecavalier 327, Martin St. Louis 263).. Louis