ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 20: Pitching coach Mike Maddux #31 of the Texas Rangers and catcher Robinson Chirinos #61 meet with starting pitcher Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 20, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Seattle won 6-2. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
The watch is still on to see Texas Rangers veteran starter Colby Lewis register his first quality start of the season. For those wondering, a quality start is tallied when a starting pitcher works at least six innings and gives up no more than three earned runs. It's not an ideal way to judge starting pitching, but it's somewhat reliable.
And no, Lewis hasn't had such a start yet this season after sitting out a year and a half before making his return to a big-league mound in April on the heels of elbow surgery in 2012 and hip resurfacing surgery in 2013.
He's had some gritty, competitive outings, and then he's also laid some stinkers.
After Monday night's pitching debacle led by Nick Martinez and Scott Baker, the Rangers can't afford one of those stinkers on Tuesday night. The Rangers won't have an available long man as Scott Baker threw nearly 100 pitches on Monday night. Lewis is either going to have to be good and go six innings while keeping his team in the game or get his brains beat in and take the punishment that comes with not having his good stuff, if that should happen. There won't be any rescue if he has trouble getting through the second inning.
If all was well in the Rangers' pitching staff, Lewis would maybe already be out of a rotation spot. On the season, he's 4-4 with a 5.77 ERA, and has basically stuck to a good outing-bad outing-good outing-bad outing pattern. That pattern was broken in his last outing when he tossed his second straight bad game, giving up five earned runs in less than six innings of work for the second straight time, even though the Rangers were able to win 8-6 in his last outing against the Orioles.
Lewis would love nothing more than to turn in a quality start on Tuesday night, and the Rangers would be right there with him in that sentiment.