IN BRIEF: Lee's postseason mark perfect no more
Oct 28, 2010
Updated: November 5, 2010 12:44PM
SAN FRANCISCO -- El Duque's record is safe.
Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee was trying to run his postseason record to 8-0 Wednesday night in Game 1 of the World Series but turned in a rare October clunker during an 11-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Working on eight days' rest, Lee unraveled during a six-run fifth inning, allowing seven runs (six earned) and eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings. In his previous eight career postseason starts, Lee's high was five earned runs allowed in Game 5 of the 2009 World Series pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Yankees.
In his previous three 2010 postseason starts, Lee held opponents to a .118 batting average (2-for-17) with runners in scoring position. The Giants went 5-for-10 in those situations Wednesday.
''I saw the Giants work him pretty good,'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ''We left some pitches in spots we didn't want.''
Orlando ''El Duque'' Hernandez, the former White Sox pitcher, set a major-league record by going 8-0 with the New York Yankees from 1998 to 2000 to start his postseason career. Money ball
Pitcher Barry Zito (seven years, $126 million) and outfielder Aaron Rowand (five years, $60 million) own the richest contracts on the San Francisco Giants' roster, but that didn't earn them any special treatment for the World Series.
Zito was left off the Giants' World Series roster -- a clean sweep of sitting out this postseason -- and Rowand didn't crack the Game 1 starting lineup.
Zito, in the fourth year of that contract that pays him $18.5million this season, was 8-4 with a 3.51 ERA in mid-July, but fizzled down the stretch on the way to being 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA.
''It's not easy to leave anybody off because they all played a big part in us getting here,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''But we just feel like we're leaving it the same because it's working.''
Rowand -- a key member of the White Sox World Series champion team in 2005 -- is a career .413 hitter against the Rangers, but was bumped out of the Giants' starting lineup by leadoff hitter Andres Torres, who has recovered from a groin injury suffered during Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.Nice ring to it
Only veteran catcher Bengie Molina entered Game 1 knowing full well, no matter what happens during the 106th World Series, he's getting a ring.
''To know either way I get a ring is an amazing feeling,'' Molina said. ''I still want my Texas ring, though.''
Molina was traded from San Francisco to Texas on July 1 to make room for rookie Buster Posey in the Giants' lineup and to help work with a developing Rangers pitching staff.
''Those things can happen,'' Molina said. ''Baseball's not perfect. They did the right thing. Buster is a better catcher than I am. He did an unbelievable job with these kids. It hurt me for a little bit. But once I saw how good they're doing with him, it was the right thing.''
Molina's exit created a rough start for Posey and staff ace Tim Lincecum, who has credited Molina with helping him win the National League's last two Cy Young Awards. When Lincecum struggled through an 0-5 August, Molina reached out through a series of texts to offer advice and support to Lincecum.
''He was just reaffirming to me that I should be confident, don't forget what I've done and just keep remembering that because I'm still the same pitcher,'' Lincecum said.
The only other player to perform for both World Series teams in the same season was Lonnie Smith, who was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Kansas City Royals on May 17, 1985. Smith's Royals went on to win it all.
Molina's win-win situation was nearly accomplished by shortstop Nomar Garciaparra in 2004, when he was traded from the Boston Red Sox -- the eventual World Series champions -- to the heavily favored Cubs, who fumbled away the wild card down the stretch.