Thursday, October 20, 2011
Colby Lewis hopes to remain road warrior
By Jeff Caplan
ST. LOUIS -- Is it more than coincidence that Colby Lewis started Game 3 on the road in the last two series and now with the Texas Rangers opening the World Series on the road he's been bumped up to Game 2?
The numbers certainly suggest such a strategy even if manager Ron Washington isn't interested in acknowledging it as so.
"I'm sure," Lewis said. "Last year my home stats were better and this year my road stats are better. I didn't ask about it, but yeah."
Lewis was a .500 pitcher at jetstream-fueled Rangers Ballpark and 9-5 on the road. His home ERA of 5.54 is more than two points higher than his road ERA (3.43) and he gave up nine fewer home runs on the road than at home.
Today's Game 2 start will be Lewis' third consecutive on the road. He was excellent at Tampa Bay (six innings, one run, one hit -- a solo homer) and he got beat up at Detroit (5 2/3 innings, four runs, eight hits -- two homers). The Rangers will need him to be the pitcher of the 2010 postseason against the St. Louis Cardinals to avoid an 0-2 hole before heading home for at least two games and potentially three.
"It just was coincidence," Washington said of Lewis' road starts. "I think the fact that he has those splits, I keep getting reminded. It's not anything I look at because at this point I trust every one of my guys. And if I had to pitch Colby in Texas, he pitches in Texas. He beat the Yankees last year in Texas. I think you throw all that out the door. It may come into play at some point, but right now we're just trying to get the best pitchers we have out there. Right now Colby is one of our best. And he's throwing the second game and it so happens the next time he throws is back on the road."
That is true. Lewis is one of the Rangers' best, but that's not saying a lot so far this postseason.
After Wednesday's 3-2 loss, C.J. Wilson lost for the third time this postseason in a game that could have gone either way. Lewis will go against Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia, who is 0-2 with 5.74 ERA this postseason. If there was ever a time for Lewis to turn in a road warrior performance, this is it.
"Last year somebody said that my splits were the exact opposite that it was this year," Lewis said. "I don't know, I think just a new year things are different. Things change year to year. I'm not really worried about it."