Cliff Lee was clobbered by his Texas Rangers teammates Tuesday night after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 to advance to the ALCS for the first time in their 50-year history between Washington and Texas.
That's a long time without winning a playoff series.
To celebrate their first postseason victory in franchise history, they gathered around the visitor's clubhouse donning red ALDS Champion t-shirts and goggles, toasting ginger ale in support of their recovering alcoholic/drug addict batting champ, Josh Hamilton.
That's right, the guys waited until the three-time All-Star left the room to pour champagne all over each other, which is awfully admirable. Hamilton was touched:
For my teammates to understand why I can’t be part of the celebration, for them to adapt it, it’s amazing. It shows a lot about them.Meanwhile, manager Ron Washington was offered pixie stix to party with.
Cliff Lee continued his postseason ridiculousness with 11 strikeouts in a six-hitter that sent the Rays packing. The lefty improved to 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA and three complete games in seven career postseason starts, compiling 54 Ks over 56.1 innings.
Ian Kinsler had a big hand in the win, nailing three hits including a two-run shot in the ninth to bust the game wide open.
Texas will host the defending World Series champion New York Yankees when they kick off the best-of-seven ALCS Friday night in Arlington. The Rangers are hoping to end a similar skid the Minnesota Twins have experienced, having been sqaushed by the Bronx Bombers in their previous three playoff appearances in 1996, ’98 and ’99.
One leg up for the Rangers: Lee beat the Yanks not once, but twice in last year’s World Series while with the Phillies.
And now we wait. Two whole days without baseball.
[AP] | [Josh Q. Public]