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MLB Playoffs: Rangers Defeat Rays, League Championship Series Next

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Cliff Lee (second from left) of the Texas Rangers celebrates his team's victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the ALDS in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Cliff Lee (second from left) of the Texas Rangers celebrates his team's victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the ALDS in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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In addition to the Rangers winning their first playoff series ever, the following MLB firsts were accomplished with their win last night:

  • The Rangers were the only MLB franchise to have never won any postseason series (before last night).
  • It was the first postseason series in MLB history where the road team won all the games.

Clearly, pitching is king in the postseason; in addition, the Rays lost last night's game and the series with some shoddy defensive play. But no one was likely to beat Cliff Lee last night -- he was outstanding. I think the Rangers will find a way to keep him. And although Lee will likely be able to pitch only twice in a seven-game ALCS, that alone gives the Rangers a shot.

Also, I was going to post this but BCB'er eths beat me to it in this FanShot about the possible expansion of the playoffs, which would also eliminate regular season tiebreaker games in favor of NFL-style tiebreakers. What do you think?

Hang in there. We're baseball-less until Friday, when the ALCS begins.