Of all the Texas Rangers pitchers other than newly acquired ace Cole Hamels, it's hard to think of one who a manager would trust more than veteran Colby Lewis. To this point, he is still the greatest postseason pitcher in Rangers history and has pitched in a lot of big games for the team in his six seasons as a starter.
On Monday night against the Tigers, Lewis was in another one of those games as he was trying to reduce the Rangers' magic number of 5 to clinch the AL West title after they lost two of three games in Houston over the weekend.
Lewis was moving right along in the early innings before the veteran met some trouble in the fifth. Lewis allowed a three-run homer to break a 1-1 tie with no outs in the inning before sandwiching another hit in between a lineout and a strikeout. He then allowed a double to put runners on second and third with two outs, drawing a visit from Rangers manager Jeff Banister. At that point, it seemed Lewis' day was done.
That was, until Banister had a talk with Lewis and determined he was good to face the next hitter in James McCann. Then, his day was over after Lewis allowed a two-out single to McCann to push the Tigers' lead to 6-1.
After the game, Banister said he trusted Lewis and was told he felt good, so he let him stay out there — a rarity for Banister who rarely visits the mound without making a change.
The move backfired, especially after the Rangers almost battled back. It makes you wonder if Lewis will be able to talk his way into staying in a game the next time Banister makes a mound visit.