Cliff Lee is pretty decent in the postseason

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 5 of their American League Division Series MLB baseball playoffs in St. Petersburg, Florida October 12, 2010. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Cliff Lee is a bad, bad mother when it comes to pitching the playoffs.

Once again, he went the distance in a postseason start as the Rangers knocked off the Rays 5-1 in the decisive Game 5 of the ALDS. With the win, Texas advances to the ALCS to face the Yankees. With the loss, Tampa now advances to its couch to watch the Rangers take on the Yankees.

Lee scattered six hits over nine innings while striking out 11 and walking zero batters. With his 11 Ks, he now owns the ALDS record with 21 strikeouts, surpassing the previous total of 16 held by the Big Unit (1995, 1997) and Mike Mussina (1997). Because he had to pitch on Tuesday night, he likely won’t start until Game 3 of the ALCS, while C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 and Colby Lewis Game 2.

The Rangers and Yankees split eight games during the regular season, which including a three-game sweep for Texas at home in September. Lee has beaten the Bronx Bombers twice in the postseason already, with both of those wins coming in the World Series last year.

And whether or not he beats them in the ALCS, he’ll likely be in pinstripes by December. He’s a free agent at the end of the year and Brian Cashman probably has wood just thinking about signing Lee to a seven-year, gazillion dollar contract.

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Hey, there’s the Rays’ offense!

Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Pena hits a two-run home run in the ninth inning, scoring team-mate Sean Rodriguez during play against the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of their American League Division Series MLB baseball game in Arlington, Texas October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

It took two games and the threat of elimination but the Rays’ offense has finally showed up to the ALDS.

Behind Carl Crawford’s 2-for-5 day, the Rays beat the Rangers 6-3 on Saturday to cut Texas’ lead in the series down to 2-1. Crawford also hit a long ball and made a great sliding catch to rob Josh Hamilton of an eighth inning hit.

Perhaps the biggest surprise from the game was that Carlos Pena actually found the stadium and showed up. He went 2-for-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and also walked twice. His single to right in the eighth inning tied the game at 2-2 and then his homer in the ninth gave Tampa a 6-2 cushion heading into the last half inning.

Matt Garza contributed to the win, although he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he could been. He gave up two runs on five hits over six innings while striking out four and giving up a home run to Ian Kinsler. For the longest time, it appeared as though Kinsler’s dinger would hold up and the Rangers would proceed with the sweep.

Texas will have another chance today at 1:07PM ET to finish off the Rays for good. Tommy Hunter will oppose Wade Davis, who finished the season with a 12-10 record and a 4.07 ERA for the Rays.

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