Clearly, Colby Lewis has been watching "Field of Dreams" a lot lately.
That mysterious voice that told Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones to "go the distance" has also been talking to Lewis lately, as the Texas Rangers starter tossed a complete-game victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday five days after going the distance in a 2-0 loss to the Oakland A's.
Lewis has always been a workhorse for the Rangers — what baseball folks like to call a "bulldog". He's now up to 89 innings in his 13 starts, averaging just shy of seven innings per start this season. He's on pace to work a career-high 233 innings this year after 201 and 200.1 in the past two seasons.
He's now got his ERA down to a nice 3.17 after flirting with a perfect game on Tuesday, taking the perfect outing into the sixth inning before giving up a single to Aaron Hill. The start was the deepest a Rangers starter had taken a perfect game since Kenny Rogers in 2002, when he took a perfect game seven innings in Cleveland.
The most important thing about Lewis' outing, of course, was that is saved the bullpen for what is sure to be a rough stretch ahead with guys like Scott Feldman and any mixture of Robbie Ross and Michael Kirkman coming up in the rotation. The Rangers will need a similar effort from Matt Harrison, who tossed a complete-game shutout against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.
Lewis said he and the rest of the staff have to simply step up in the absence of Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz and most recently Alexi Ogando, who are all on the disabled list.
"We've got to go out there and take the ball every five days," Lewis told reporters after the game . "That's what I worked hard on in between starts is preparing the body and going out there and taking the ball. It keeps the core of the rotation intact."
What else would you expect a bulldog to say?