ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 19: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning on April 19, 2014 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Colby Lewis isn't 100 percent yet, and that's clear. It's also expected. He's made four starts after coming back from a 21-month big-league hiatus while recovering from two surgeries — an elbow surgery and a hip resurfacing surgery no other big-leaguer has ever come back from.
He's 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA, so in other words, he's been painfully mediocre, but it's OK.
Lewis showed some signs of improvement in his last start in Anaheim with his deepest outing of the year, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two runs while striking out six and walking just one. His control was better than it's been all year and he didn't allow a home run.
On Wednesday, Lewis gets his fifth start of the season and at this point, he could still be pitching for his spot in the rotation with Derek Holland's return looming on the horizon. He needs a good outing, but the challenge is going to be a big one against a loaded lineup full of studs with the Rockies.
Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Justin Morneau and even Corey Dickerson, lately, have all been hitting the cover off the ball this season. There are not many breaks in the Rockies' lineup.
The plus-side here is that Lewis gets the Rockies away from Coors Field, where they bombed Martin Perez and Robbie Ross Jr. the past two days.
Lewis needs a good outing and would like to get to 100 pitches. He's obviously been irritated with Washington every time he's been pulled this season, especially in his last outing when he was inexplicably pulled at 87 pitches needing just one out to get out of the sixth inning for the first time this season.
If Lewis can give the Rangers six innings on Wednesday, it'd be a win for everyone — for Lewis, and most importantly, perhaps, the tired, overworked Rangers bullpen.