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Colby Lewis, 2014 Texas Rangers
For four innings on Monday, Colby Lewis was plenty good. For five innings, he was more than serviceable. After that, he fell apart with no help from his defense behind him, but Monday night was plenty encouraging for the veteran right-hander making his first appearance in a big-league game since July 2012 — a 21-month hiatus.
Lewis' night fell apart in the sixth inning against the Mariners as he was running out of gas and was on the wrong end of a few errors and a couple of other plays that easily could've been ruled errors. In the end, he last 5 1/3 innings, gave up eight hits and was charged with three earned runs with four strikeouts and no walks. A very pedestrian night, but for Lewis, it had to be considered a victory — at least the clearing of a massive hurdle.
Lewis had elbow surgery in 2012 and was set to retun for the Rangers in 2013 until he was shut down to undergo hip resurfacing surgery. The surgery is basically a milder form of a hip replacement where instead of giving the patient a new joint, they just resurface the bad one. Even though it's much less harsh than a hip replacement, it's still a big deal for a professional athlete, so much so that Lewis became the first professional baseball player to ever play after the surgery.
After the game, Lewis, being the intense competitor he is, said he wanted more from his performance but admitted it was nice to be back out on the mound at Globe Life Park.
"It was a stepping stone, but I definitely wanted a different outcome," Lewis told reporters. "I expect myself to go a little bit deeper in the game, but it is what it is, and move on and five days from now get the ball and go after it."
Lewis' manager was far less critical of his outing, as Ron Washington was just happy to see the greatest postseason pitcher in Rangers history back on the mound.
"I thought he was outstanding," Washington said. "I really did. He didn't walk anyone. He pounded the strike zone. The runs they got off him, they earned it by hitting the ball. He had a good breaking ball, was able to spot his fastball. [We're] happy to have him back."