The Texas Rangers made some history Tuesday, and at the same time shut the door on the Division Series portion of the Major League Baseball postseason.
The Rangers won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history, defeating Tampa Bay in a winner-take-all Game 5 of the ALDS. It also marked the first time in history that the road team has won every game of a series.
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee kept the Rays at bay all night Tuesday. He improved to an impressive 6-0 in his postseason career.
The Minnesota Twins were among the teams rumored to be interested in Lee as the trade deadline approached this year. I thought the Yankee Slayer himself would have been a good fit, but I admit I was reluctant to give up too much because at the time Lee was traded from Seattle to Texas, the Twins weren’t playing very well.
The difficult thing about any trade for Lee is it would have done nothing to improve the usual dormant offense the Twins march into the playoffs with, no matter how formidable the lineup looks.
I mentioned this stat on “Dizzo’s Den” tonight, but it’s worth repeating. In their last nine playoff games dating back to 2006, the Twins have scored a grand total of 20 runs. That’s barely over two per game. I don’t care if your rotation is Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson in the playoffs. You’re just not going to win playoff games scoring that few runs.
By comparison, the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies have each scored at least 40 runs in their last nine playoff games. The Boston Red Sox have scored 33 in their last nine postseason games. It’s a big difference.
There’s no doubt Lee would have helped the Twins out a lot. Maybe they win Game 1 at least. But Minnesota’s postseason woes run a lot deeper than just the need for a bona fide ace. Sure would have helped though.