Big League Stew - MLB

Through every postseason appearance of his career coming into Wednesday night, Texas Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee(notes) pitched with such ruthless dominance, he evoked comparisons to Sandy Koufax.

In a relentless fifth-inning bombardment during Game 1 of the World Series, the San Francisco Giants reminded the world that Lee is not impervious to major league hitting.

The Giants chased Lee with a six-run fifth, a pummeling that handed him his worst-ever playoff performance and keyed San Francisco's 11-7 victory.

Lee allowed seven runs — six earned — and eight hits, including five for extra bases, over 4 2/3 innings. Freddy Sanchez(notes) knocked him around all by himself, hitting three doubles in three trips before finishing 4 for 5.

"I missed up, I made mistakes and they hit them. It was unacceptable," [Lee said.]

So. Cliff Lee is just a man.

This season, Lee had allowed only two runs and 13 hits in three playoff starts, covering 24 innings. Further, in eight career postseason starts, Lee came in with a 1.26 ERA, a 67-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio and an opponents' .229 slugging percentage. Lee's teams had won all of his starts. Until now.

Koufax, the iconic lefty who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had an 0.95 ERA and a 61-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in eight career postseason games from 1959-1966. He retired after the '66 season, never having another chance to smudge a near-perfect playoff report card.

[Check out Yahoo! Sports' Steve Henson for more on the Giants knocking out Lee]

In his previous worst game, Lee allowed five earned runs in Game 5 of the World Series, but most of the damage came after the Lee's Phillies jumped on the Yankees for a big lead.

The Rangers jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second inning — and Lee's butcher-boy double was key to a run scoring — but the Giants didn't let Lee cruise on the mound for too long.

Sanchez hit an RBI double in and Buster Posey(notes) followed with an RBI single in the third to tie the score. Then came the fifth.

Sanchez hit another RBI double, but Lee almost limited the damage to that until Pat Burrell(notes) extended the inning with a two-out walk. 

Cody Ross(notes) and Aubrey Huff(notes) followed with run-scoring singles to make it 5-2 and Lee was done. Juan Uribe(notes) finished off the scoring with a three-run homer against reliever Darren O'Day(notes).

So much for another hotly anticipated pitching matchup — this one between Lee and Tim Lincecum(notes). Timmy allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

The Rangers made four errors — yeesh — and Giants closer Brian Wilson(notes) struggled before getting the final two outs in the ninth.

Follow Big League Stew (and @AnswerDave) all through the postseason on Twitter and on Facebook.

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