Why It's Okay the Rays Lost to Cliff Lee

ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 12: Pitcher Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 5 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on October 12, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Right after the Game Five ended, Dave "Cliff Lee Is My Homeboy" Cameron posted this interesting nugget about two left-handed postseason greats:

Sandy Koufax, career postseason:

57 innings, 32 hits, 10 runs, 2 home runs, 11 walks, 61 strikeouts

Cliff Lee, career postseason:

56 1/3 innings, 32 hits, 11 runs, 1 home run, 6 walks, 54 strikeouts

And then just yesterday, we get this quote from Joe Maddon (emphasis mine):

"To recap this, you win the American League East and you go into a five-game division series against a team that matches up well against you based on their starting pitching and then you lose. So you don't just go crazy and think everything was wrong,'' he said. "From my perspective it's really been a great year. I have no regrets. I woke up really good this morning. I'm very proud about our group. Everything about our group is spectacular this season. We just got beat in a short series by a very good lefthanded pitcher that they could have named Sandy.''

Unless Maddon was making some joke or reference that I'm totally missing, I'm assuming he's referring to fellow Sandy Koufax. Either that means Joe Maddon reads USS Mariner, which I somehow doubt, or he's just on top of the numbers...as always.

Also, Maddon makes a great point: there's no shame in losing in a short series to one of the best postseason pitchers (so far) in MLB history. There's no sense over-reacting or freaking out about five games, especially when the team won 96 games over the course of the regular season. Our final mission came up short this year, but we still have plenty to be proud of. History has a selective memory, but this is a team the Tampa-St. Pete area should remember for a long time.

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