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“You can watch video. You can talk to them about what his out pitches are, what he likes to do when he’s ahead, and with runners on,” he said.

Then there’s Ross.

Ross had played a handful of games in the majors and had only two career hits when he faced Lee on Sept. 2, 2003. Ross struck out looking his first time up, but got more than even in his next at-bat, launching the first grand slam ever allowed by the young Cleveland lefty.

The game was memorable for Ross because of something else. In the late innings, he tripped over first base beating out a bunt, tore his knee, was carted off the field and done for the season.

Both Ross and Lee have come quite a way since then. They haven’t faced each other since the slam, either. Ross promises his team will be ready for baseball’s No. 1 postseason ace, having already solved the supposedly unbeatable Roy Halladay in the NLCS opener.

“It was the Halladay show a week ago after he threw the no-hitter against the Reds,” Ross said. “We’re not surprising anybody, believe me. Everybody knows how good our pitching staff is. But I think we prefer for everyone to talk about everybody else.”


AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley and Stephen Hawkins and AP freelance writer Michael Wagaman contributed to this report.