ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis pitched an eight-inning gem against the New York Yankees to clinch the American League pennant. Had things not worked out so well, Cliff Lee was waiting in reserve for a Game 7.
When Lewis takes the mound in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday at Rangers Ballpark against San Francisco Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez, he knows there will be no safety net. A third consecutive loss would put the Rangers in a nearly insurmountable hole.
"I mean, we've got to win either way. That's just the way it is," Lewis said. "We have to win four out of five, so there's really no room for error. It's just a situation where we're back at home and we played really well here, and I'm looking forward to it."
Lewis produced the best major league season of his career in his return from two seasons in Japan. He's carried it over into the postseason with a 2-0 record and a team-best 1.45 ERA. He's given up just 11 hits in 18 2/3 innings.
However, unlike his last deep outing against the Yankees, Wilson didn't last as long as he'd prefer in his first two starts. While he gave up little in Game 2 of the ALCS, he got his pitch count up and had to exit early. He walked three and lasted 5 2/3 innings, but the Texas bats provided a five-run cushion.
In Game 3 of the ALDS, Lewis left with a shutout after allowing two hits, but he walked five and lasted just five innings. The Tampa Bay Rays got to the Rangers' bullpen and avoided a three-game sweep.
With the damage the Giants have inflicted on the Rangers' bullpen, the Rangers' World Series hopes could hinge on how long Lewis can keep himself in the game.
"They're doing a really good job at taking advantage of mistakes," Lewis said of a Giants lineup that entered the series hitting .231 but has scored 20 runs on 22 hits in Games 1 and 2. "It's a situation where we've just got to go out and play good baseball and take care of it and score some runs."