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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Colby Lewis tries to continue playoff roll

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis' postseason resume is impressive. The 32-year-old won Game 3 of the ALDS in Tampa, allowing one run on one hit (a solo home run) in six innings. Add that to his 3-0 mark and a 1.71 ERA that included wins over the Yankees in Games 2 and 6 (the clincher of last year's ALCS) and the club's only World Series win against San Francisco.

He flew to Detroit on Monday afternoon so he could get some additional rest and will start Game 3 tonight at 7:05 p.m. central time on 103.3 FM ESPN and Fox.

The pitcher shrugs when asked why he's so good when it counts the most.

"I try to treat it like a normal start and don't change things," Lewis said. "My routine is the same. If I stay even-keeled and play to my strengths, everything will be all right."

Lewis has battled a hip issue this season and inconsistencies. He had a 4.91 ERA in August and a 5.65 ERA in September. Yet, he finished the regular season with two straight quality starts (in Oakland and Anaheim) and continued that in the ALDS.

"It comes down to execution and he knows how to do that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He grinds it out and delivers."

Washington considers Lewis "a gamer," because of how he hasn't complained about his hip and has gone about his business.

"He's learned how to manage it," Washington said. "He has to watch how he's running and what he's doing on his off days, but he's figured that out."

Lewis said that he feels good and that adrenaline takes over this time of year anyway.

He also hopes to figure out how to pitch better against the Tigers. Two of his worst starts of the 2011 season came against Detroit. He gave up 13 earned runs on 20 hits in 7 1/3 innings. That's a 15.95 ERA. For his career, Lewis has a 7.48 ERA, though it drops to 5.79 at Comerica Park.

"You don't really worry about anything in the past," Lewis said. "Once it's over, it's done with and you just walk in the dugout and forget about it and move forward and perpare yourself for the next day.

"I've thrown some good games against them last year. It doesn't really matter, like I said, what has gone on this year. [Tuesday] is a new day and just go attack and try to get outs."

Interestingly, Lewis said he won't be looking back at any film of his past starts against the Tigers.

"I’m not really a big film guy," Lewis said. "I didn't look at any film before my last start in Tampa and had a good outing before that and didn’t look at it. I’m the guy that goes off the fly and how I feel and what feels good out of the bullpen. You try to do that and make those pitches work. You try to attack the zone."

Lewis will be pitching in a park that does offer space for fly-ball pitchers. The large center field can help keep balls in the stadium that might go out at other places.

"It helps," Lewis said. "It’s not Yankee Stadium with the short porch in right. It’s a bigger stadium. Our outfield is extremely fast. I think it serves us well. We have guys with a lot of power and it doesn’t matter what park we’re in."