Colby Lewis: Looking to continue to improve
By David Cash
The Texas Rangers managed to collect their first of September on Sunday with Derek Holland on the mound and hope to continue that trend with Colby Lewis tonight. Lewis had hip surgery last year has been working all season trying to figure out the new hip. Throughout spring training many said that the old Colby Lewis was gone and he wouldn’t be the same.
That’s saying a lot because Colby Lewis a huge part of the Texas Rangers 2010 and 2011 playoff runs. It was very tough seeing Lewis go down in the 2012 season after it appeared he about to help the Texas Rangers in another magical playoff run.
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During the first half of the season Lewis was roughed up for 13 runs (10 earned) over 2.1 innings on June 10 against the Angels. It was a game that quickly got out of hand when Lewis allowed 7 consecutive players to reach base. Many including myself wondered if after that game he was done. It seems a lot of time after an outing like that something has happened to a player. Something happen that day or at least that seems to have been the turning point.
"“I’m just back to being me,” said Lewis. “I feel like [the Rangers] are not worried about my health being an issue. They are letting me pitch and I’m welcoming that.” (Dallas News)"
After that rough outing Lewis has bounced back and steadily show improvement almost back to what he had in 2012. He’s been able to command is pitches and the game almost in the same manner he did back before his surgery. A lot of that can be contributed to him continuing to work to learn how to pitch with his new hip and doing additional work between starts. About a month ago Lewis started to throw bullpen session between his starts and worked with pitching coach Mike Maddux. Together have have been able to find things they can adjust and help Colby improve his pitching from start to start. Also, this has improved his endurance and reduced his soreness.
Stats before and after the All-star break *
- 1st half – Record of 6-6 with 6.54 ERA, 1.821 WHIP, 7.8 strike outs per 9 innings, 2.81 Strike to walk ratio over 16 games /84.0 innings
- 2nd half – Record of 3-6 with 3.88 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 6.6 strike outs per 9 innings, 2.93 Strike to walk ratio over 9 games /60.1 innings.
* Don’t compare the win-loss record. The Rangers offense has been horrible and not producing enough run-support
Another thing to note over the second half of the season is that Lewis has recorded 2 complete games, a shutout and worked an average of 6.67 innings per game (first half only 5.25 innings per game). All of this is very good news for not only Colby Lewis, but the Texas Rangers. The Rangers will be looking for starting pitching in the offseason and with as many holes as they’ll need to fill, the less they need the better.
Lewis is looking more and more like a good option for next season. As the hated Los Angeles Angels come into town tonight to open a 3-game set it will be up to Lewis to tame them. Lewis has struggled against the Angels this season giving up 23 hits and 16 earned runs over 8.1 innings (2 games). The Angels are currently the best in the West and the majors and it won’t be easy. Also, the Angels have been red hot at the plate posting 46 runs in their last 5 games.
It will be a tough night for Colby Lewis, but he has shown that his a different pitcher since they nailed him for 13 runs back in June. This will be a good test for Lewis and at the Rangers to see what they can expect going into next season.