Cliff Lee strikes out 10 in seven innings of one-run ball

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Cliff Lee was somewhat underwhelming in his 15 regular season starts for the Rangers, going 4-6 with a 3.98 ERA, but he was his usual dominant self this afternoon back on the playoff stage.
Lee out-dueled David Price with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of one-run ball, with a Ben Zobrist homer accounting for the only damage. He left with a 5-1 lead and if the Rangers’ bullpen does its job he’ll improve to 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 43/6 K/BB ratio in six career postseason starts. He’s thrown at least seven innings in all six of those starts and has allowed more than one earned run just once.
Between the regular season and playoffs Lee now has a 195/18 K/BB ratio, which works out to an absolutely ridiculous 10.83 strikeouts per walk. Not only is that the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in baseball history, no other pitcher with 200-plus innings has ever reached double-digits.
And now he’ll be waiting for the Rays in Game 5 (or for the Twins-Yankees winner in Game 1 of the ALCS).

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.