Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Chicago White Sox during Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 6, 2012.
Colby Lewis has always been a bulldog of a starting pitcher. The lovable term, used by baseball folks, describes a starting pitcher who will rack up the innings with moderate to good success. Guys like Roger Clemens aren't known as bulldogs, they're just awesome. Guys like Colby Lewis, Kevin Millwood, those are bulldogs.
Lewis has basically made himself a guarantee to reach the 200-inning mark every season, but this season so far, he's lived up to his billing as the team's Opening Day starter, which was seen more as an honor than a judge of talent back then. Now, it's looking like he might have the stuff to be a front-of-the-line starter. It probably won't last, but it sure is fun right now.
Lewis had another stellar outing on Sunday as the Rangers took their third victory over the Detroit Tigers, giving up two runs through seven innings to one of the best lineups in baseball.
It's no surprise Lewis is eating up innings, but he's doing it more efficiently this year. As a strikeout pitcher, Lewis is going to throw a lot of pitches, and he's also going to walk some folks. But not this year. In fact, through his four starts this season, Lewis has just one walk compared to his 24 strikeouts. He's now gone 25 2/3 innings without a free pass, less than four innings away from claiming the new club record for consecutive innings without a walk. He's sporting a 2.03 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP (walks and hits per nine innings), which is nearly a half-baserunner below his career WHIP.
If Lewis can continue to throw strikes and be more efficient, the Rangers might have to take a serious look at re-signing him in the off-season as it's basically been inevitable that the Rangers would let Lewis walk after this season as he'll surely earn some big money and the Rangers have a system littered with young pitching prospects.