The main focus in this game, due to another off night in May, is Colby Lewis. Once again he gave up a lot of extra base hits. But, once again, his control was pretty good. My question after watching him is if he is actually throwing too many strikes allowing hitters to zone in on pitches in hittable zones. If you don’t keep them guessing, it could spell trouble.
So, I looked into it.
Here are Colby’s pitches from in April when he was 3-0:
A lot of strikes but look at the left side of the strike zone. Those blue and light blue squares are hits and hits that drove in runs. They may have been slightly inside or outside, but they were around the middle of the plate. You know what Major League hitters do with pitches in the middle of the plate. The variance is not there and that is why Lewis is hit hard, or not hit at all. Sometimes a walk is better than allowing a big hit. And, while strikeouts are nice, the two true outcomes that Lewis has going right now isn’t always the best approach. Sure, when it works it’s great as it was in April. But in May, it has gotten the opposite results.
Lewis, truly, is somewhere in between. And you thought I was going to talk about his fielding. Pfft.
On the other hand, the Rangers did have some good at bats and some solid contact that fell just short of either going out of the ballpark or were hit right at somebody. David Murphy’s blast in the first. Adrian Beltre later on in the game. Mitch Moreland’s lineout to Eric Hosmer which turned into a double play. The Rangers were hitting the ball, and it was going over the fence or it was getting by. You can’t expect those breaks all season and this was some of that regression.
On the other hand, the Royals have struggled a little bit this year, but they are not as bad as they have played. This was supposed to be the Royals coming out party but they haven’t had it, but they are good enough to compete against the top teams in the league as they showed the last two nights against the Rangers.
After one two game series, the Rangers look to recover against the Oakland Athletics before heading on the road to Houston and Seattle. Oakland split their series with the Los Angeles Angels and are quite surprisingly the team closest to the Rangers in the American League West, albeit four games behind. A numerical look at this series and a closer look at the Oakland one will come before first pitch tomorrow.
(First picture from TexasLeaguers.com, Second from BrooksBaseball.net)