Q. Would you just start off and tell us how big Cliff Lee was tonight?
Ron Washington: He was as big as you get. We needed him to go out there, because we knew that it was going to be a tough battle, and if it only took two runs we needed someone out there that can take it home, and he took it home.
I'm so proud of my team. I want to thank the -- I want to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays on the season that they had. I'm just at a loss for words because those guys in that clubhouse were so resilient. We needed Cliff Lee to do what he did, we certainly did, and we certainly played the type of baseball that we're capable of playing. Every part of the game that you can think of, we did. We ran the bases, we pitched, we played defense, and at the end we showed some power.
Q. The Rangers scored three runs, the first three runs, without getting the ball out of the infield, and you seem to have stolen a page from the Rays' book as far as using your legs and creating situations. Was that part of the two scores that you have on the groundouts?
Washington: Well, I think what happened out there tonight is you got a chance to see what the Texas Rangers can do. We didn't steal a page from anyone. That's the way we play. You just haven't seen it until tonight. We have run the bases before, we steal bags. We may not have stolen as much. We have a very aggressive team, and tonight we took advantage of some things, a ground ball double play Vladimir [Guerrero]. What else do we have to do but come around the bag and keep running? If it's a double play, the inning is over anyway.
Elvis [Andrus}, he was stealing the bag. It was a slow roller, threw it to the pitcher, he had a full steam ahead, and he just kept going.
[Nelson Cruz], he stole third a few times this year. Opportunity was there, we took advantage of it. You know, Shoppach threw the ball away, we ended up get another run.
But that's the type of game we play. There's nights when we've got to power our way through it and there's nights when we do it that way.
Q. Did you think about taking Cliff out in the ninth inning?
Washington: No, when he came off the field, I'm standing right there in the dugout where he comes in and he looked at me and said, 'I've got this.' He didn't say it in words, he just nodded his head, saying, 'I've got this.'
We had people behind him just in case, but Cliff, once you give him a lead, he takes it to the finish line. That's the type of pitcher he is.
Postgame interview with Cliff Lee
Q. The Rays have been a nemesis to you in the regular season, but you handled them in the post season like you do most everybody else. Is there a key to what you did in the two games that you pitched against the Rays in the post season?
CLIFF LEE: I didn't walk anybody. That was a huge part of it. Obviously a big part of their game is running the bases and being aggressive on the base path and making things happen with hit and runs and bunts and stuff like that. So by not walking anybody, it kind of eliminated some of that stuff. Yeah, just staying out of the heart of the plate, mixing speeds, just pitching, just working ahead and mixing it in and out, up and down, changing speeds and trying to keep them off balance. For me a lot of credit goes to our offense. In the games that I pitched, the first game we get a 5 1 lead or I don't remember what it was, we had a pretty marginal lead in the 4th or 5th inning so that was huge, and tonight we made things happen on the base paths and stole a couple runs. A lot of credit goes to those guys for the way they were running the bases. And once we got a lead, we never lost it. Bengie called an unbelievable game, did a great job behind the plate, and we made plays, and here we are.
Q. Was there a point where you felt like you hit your stride, hit your groove, or was it just from the very beginning?
CLIFF LEE: I had a feeling things were going to go well when I got the comeback second and third. There was one out and got the guy in the rundown and was able to get out of that with just giving up one run in that inning. That was big, a lot like the first game when I, in the first inning, got bases loaded, one out, and got out of that with no runs. Both of those innings were huge momentum builders for our team and we responded.
Q. Once the Rangers got a couple runs on the board, did your mental attitude, your feeling about the game change at all?
CLIFF LEE: Once you get for me when I get a two run lead, you want to get that first guy out. That's huge. If you walk the first guy or he gets a hit, they're one swing away from tying the game up. If you can keep that first guy off the base, the worst they can do is a solo home run and you're still winning the game. I really focused on trying to get the first guy out. A couple guys actually got on base, but I was able to work through it and keep them from scoring. I don't know, it was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. We're onto the next stage, and I can't wait to face the Yankees.
Q. The Rangers scored three runs. First of all, it's rare to see a team score from second base on a ground out, and you had a 2 1 game. Was there a little karma going on the way things were going at that point to see three runs score without the ball hitting the outfield?
CLIFF LEE: Yeah, like I said, a lot of credit goes to our base runners for being aggressive and forcing the action. That's what Tampa Bay has done all year. That's the kind of stuff that they do that enables them to win, and we took a page out of their book tonight. It was a lot of fun. Yeah, we basically stole a couple of those runs for sure with stealing third base with two outs, you throw it down the left field line, getting a grounder to first, scoring from second base, those kind of things are you don't see them very often, much less three times in one game. So a lot of credit goes to our guys for continuing to hustle and not giving up.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.