Colby Lewis was simply a monster on Monday night — an innings-eating, run-denying monster.
Lewis turned in seven strong innings, allowing just three hits and a run against the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals, once again one of the best teams in baseball.
Despite losing Yu Darvish and Derek Holland right out of the gates this season, the Rangers' rotation has actually been the strength of the club, and its collective ERA in May is the best in the AL, and a lot of that is because of the veteran righty.
Lewis is now a year removed from his comeback from an unprecedented hip resurfacing surgery, and since the all-star break a year ago has been one of the better starters in the AL — sitting in the top third in ERA in that time.
This season, he's sporting a 2.40 ERA, good for a top-five number in the AL, and he's doing it with supreme efficiency. Once a pitcher who relied heavily on strikeouts, Lewis was known as a guy who would maybe get you six innings and walk a handful along the way.
Since that surgery, he's become a better pitcher and become more efficient. He's now a near lock to give you seven innings, and his walk totals have come down dramatically since the all-star break a year ago.
“Health-wise, it’s the best I’ve ever felt,” Lewis told The Dallas Morning News. “I think it’s one of my better starts to a year. It only took a couple of surgeries and a few years to get there.”
That's the thing, Lewis is finally pitching pain-free for the first time since he returned from a stint in Japan for the 2010 season with the Rangers. His chronic hip problem was always a pain, he just learned to pitch with it. Now, he's learned how to pitch again, this time without any pain, and the results speak for themselves.
Before the season began, it seemed this would probably be Lewis' swan song in a Rangers uniform with the depth of the staff building up and some prospects waiting for their opportunities, but now Lewis could be a part of the future for a few more years.