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Starting Pitchers Model of Efficiency Over Weekend

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Colby Lewis improved to 3-0 and dropped his ERA to 1.93 Saturday night.

    Twenty-nine strikeouts. Three walks.

    Three starts. Three wins. No surprise.

    The Texas Rangers saw arguably their best three-game stretch by starting pitchers of the season over the weekend when they swept the lowly Houston Astros in dominant fashion behind three great starts from Yu Darvish, Double-A call-up Justin Grimm and Colby Lewis.

    Darvish, working on extended rest on Friday night, had his best game since his 8 1/3-inning gem of shutout baseball against the New York Yankees back in April, striking out 12 batters and walking just two to cut down on the free passes, which had been his Achilles' heel for much of the season.

    The next night, Grimm made his major-league debut and gave up a solo home run in the first inning before settling in to go six innings in 88 pitches, give up three runs, strikeout seven and walk zero. The no walks was, without a doubt, the most impressive part of his outing considering his admitted nerves coming into the game and upon hearing he'd be starting in place of the injured Alexi Ogando.

    On Sunday, the Rangers' rock of the rotation came through once again, going seven innings and allowing one run with 10 strikeouts and a walk five days after a complete-game victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the season, Lewis now has an incredible 84 strikeouts to just 12 walks in 96 innings pitched.

    Tonight, Matt Harrison will take the hill against one of the worst teams in baseball in the San Diego Padres, after winning his past five starts and going at least 6 2/3 innings in all of them with a chance to extend the quality streak.