ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles on June 5, 2014 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
God love him, but Colby Lewis is in a serious funk since returning from a near-two year absence from the big-league mound.
Making his 10th start of the season on Thursday night for the Texas Rangers, he was spotted an early 5-0 lead after two innings, and he couldn't make it stand up. By the time he left the game after five innings, he had allowed five runs on seven hits and left the game with a tie instead of a lead.
It marked the 12th straight start for Lewis, dating back to July 2012, in which he hasn't registered a quality start — minimum six innings, maximum of three earned runs. The 10-start streak this year is the longest such single-season streak of his career.
If the Rangers had options, Lewis would likely be the odd man out right now, as he's basically fighting Nick Martinez for fifth-starter status, but they don't have any more options, so for the time being, Lewis' spot in the rotation seems to be safe despite his struggles.
He's now sporting a 5.77 ERA and is allowing opponents to hit a robust .342 against him with a .396 on-base percentage — far from ideal numbers for any pitcher.
Rangers manager Ron Washington was complimentary after the game, sticking by his veteran like Wash will do oh so often.
“I thought he was great,” Washington told reporters. “He made the pitch to get out that inning. We just couldn’t make a play. He still had a lot left. You saw a lot of heart out there. That team can swing the bat. They were down 5-0, but they never stopped coming. It’s unfortunate that we put enough runs on the board to get the win and he didn’t get the decision.”