ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 22: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
As my colleague Josh Alper points out today, the slam dunk that the Texas Rangers appeared to be to win the AL West at this time last week is no longer.
After the Angels win and Rangers loss on Tuesday, the Rangers currently sit 3 1/2 games up on the Angels, and much of that Rangers loss can be put on starting pitcher Colby Lewis.
Lewis gave up seven runs and nine hits through six innings of work to the Red Sox. But that was just his second loss in his last 10 starts in which he's won four and had another gem against the Angels last week coughed up by the bullpen.
Before Tuesday night, Lewis had flashes of brilliance in his previous nine starts, a few so-so outings and one bad one when he lasted just four innings in a loss to the Tigers.
Alper points out all the similarities between Lewis' and Derek Holland's stats this year when the general Rangers fan might assume Lewis is so much better than Holland that it shouldn't even be a question of who should be left in a possible postseason rotation and who should be moved back to the bullpen.
And he makes some good points, but if I'm Ron Washington and I'm setting a postseason rotation today for an ALDS game tomorrow, I'm putting Lewis in the mix and moving Holland back to the pen.
Talk about inconsistent, well, Holland has been the perfect model of it as he's not even been able to string together three quality starts in a row, which really isn't that impressive of a feat.
Lewis has one game — the 4-inning affair in Detroit — in his last 10 outings that he hasn't gone at least six innings in. Even though they weren't all quality starts (6 IP, 3 or less ER), it still says something.
You can count Holland's outings that have lasted less than three innings this year just as easily as you can count his stellar complete game shutouts, a category that he is near the top of MLB in, amazingly enough.
What would you rather have in a postseason game? A six-inning outing with 4-5 runs allowed, or a two-inning start with 6-7 runs? Give me the former, and give me Lewis.
And finally, remember Lewis' postseason run back in 2010? I do. He was the best pitcher the Rangers had in the postseason, with Cliff Lee included in that group.
He was 3-0 with a 1.71 with 24 strikeouts in 26 innings with two wins over the Yankees, including the clinching Game 6, and the only win for the Rangers in the World Series.
Enough said. Game over.