After watching Cliff Lee spend Game 3 of the ALCS toying with the New York Yankees with great amusement (how cute of you to try to score runs off me!), Nolan Ryan must have been feeling smug.
He certainly sounded like it when asked how much it would cost to keep the pending free agent pitcher (as delivered by Howard Bryant of ESPN):
“Go across the hall and ask them. I think he got their attention tonight.”
I suppose there is a chance Texas, which will have some big TV money coming down the pike in a couple years, could make a serious bid to keep the left-hander, but the smart money has Lee in New York next season, as everyone knows the Yankees have the resources to outbid anyone when they really want a player.
Either way, you have to admire Ryan enjoying the moment and getting in a dig.
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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.
DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.
After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.
With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.