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MLB World Series 2010: Texas Rangers Will Not Start Cliff Lee Three Times

Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan confirms this.

The Texas Rangers starting rotation for the World Series will be: Game 1 – LHP Cliff Lee, Game 2- LHP CJ Wilson, Game 3 – RHP Colby Lewis, Game 4 – RHP Tommy Hunter. LHP Derek Holland will continue to work out of the bullpen

You could make an argument for a starting ace going three times, but there’s pretty good evidence that making a guy pitch on short rest diminishes his performance level in the playoffs.

Still, I’m sure plenty of Giants fans are happy not to see Lee three times (although who knows what could change between Game 1 and Game 4). Grant of McCovey Chronicles is one of those people.

Now Lee is the closest that young baseball fans will get to vintage Greg Maddux. There was a time when Greg Maddux worked in the low-90s, just as Lee does now. Some might take offense at the comparison because Lee is a lefty and Maddux is a right-hander. Bah. Maddux wasn’t a right-handed pitcher. He just was. He turned every major league hitter into an American League pitcher, lefty or righty. He had an assortment of pitches that would befuddle right-handed hitters, and he had an assortment that would befuddle left-handed hitters. At no point was Maddux fair.

So far this postseason, Lee has been comparable. He just is. Watching Lee to this point in the postseason has been a subject in pity. The Yankees have a billion-dollar lineup that mixes historically great hitters with contemporary monsters. It’s a goofy lineup. When Lee faced the Yankees, the only appropriate reaction was pity. Those poor, poor souls. There was no way to imagine Lee getting hit without the Yankees recruiting a series of dinks, dunks, and broken-bat singles. He moved in, he moved out. He fooled hitters, he dominated hitters. He blew them away, he caught them looking for something else.