Good thing for Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers on Monday night that they were playing the Houston Astros and their Triple-A caliber lineup.
Lewis saw his pitch count get elevated in a couple of innings without his best stuff, and still managed to work 5 2/3 shutout innings with a season-high eight strikeouts.
After the game, Lewis said he felt great about his stuff in the bullpen prior to the game, but when he hit the field he didn't feel he was as effective. But again, against the Astros, it doesn't really matter.
“This is one of those games that didn’t translate as well as I thought it would from the bullpen to the game,” Lewis told reporters. “I was still able to mix the ball in and out — the slider was pretty sharp tonight — and I kept them off balance. Overall it was a good night.”
Regardless of the opponent — who the Rangers have shut out three times this season already and won 10 straight games against at Minute Maid Park — Lewis has to be encouraged by what was his best outing of the season. He still needs to work on his efficiency as he hit a season-high 108 pitches but failed to get out of the sixth inning, but the results are coming.