Saturday, October 1, 2011
Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison in Games 3-4
By Richard Durrett ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said veteran Colby Lewis will start Game 3 of the ALDS and Matt Harrison is slated for Game 4, if necessary.
"It's Colby's turn," Washington said. "They are in order. Harry through the last game in Anaheim and Colby the one before that."
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Lewis brings some experience to the rotation, having started during the 2010 playoffs. He won Games 2 and 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees and was on the mound for Game 3 of the World Series, the club's only win in the Fall Classic over the San Francisco Giants.
This season, Lewis has battled hip issues and has been inconsistent. Unlike last year, when he pitched better at home, Lewis' road splits are better. He was 9-5 with a 3.43 ERA away from Arlington and 5-5 with a 5.54 ERA at Rangers Ballpark.
But Washington said the decision to start Lewis in Game 3 came down to the order that was set last week. Derek Holland pitched well enough down the stretch to get the No. 2 spot and then the club went from there. Lewis, though, allows the Rangers to break up the left-handed starters and provides some experience in the first ALDS road game of 2011 for Texas.
"I do like his experience, but more than anything else we've had enough time between starts that he's ready to go," Washington said. "His last time out, he threw six excellent innings. So he'll open up in Tampa."
Lewis gave up two runs on three hits in six innings in Anaheim last week in his final tuneup. He proclaimed himself ready at that time for the postseason.
The 32-year-old made one start against the Rays in 2011 and pitched eight shutout innings on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
Harrison, 26, got a chance to get in his first postseason action in Friday's 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He got two outs and allowed a hit and a walk in the ninth inning. His scheduled start in Tampa this season was skipped, so he only pitched in two innings of relief against the Rays in the regular season.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.