It's not as easy as it sounds to pitch well when you're staked with a large lead.
Yet, in a couple of his recent starts, Colby Lewis has done just that, tossing two complete games, including a shutout, in two of the Rangers' biggest wins of the season. There was the complete-game shutout earlier this month against the White Sox, and then Wednesday's outing against the Mariners when he won 12-4 and pitched a solid nine innings while throwing a season-high 112 pitches.
The win improved Lewis' record to 9-11 and dropped his ERA to 5.44. Over Lewis' last eight starts, he's sporting an ERA of 3.71, which is about on par to where he was in his Rangers prime, before his two injuries that required two season-ending surgeries.
The Rangers would like to have Lewis show he can be a back-end rotation piece in 2015, and he's inching closer to doing just that as he's showing that he still has some endurance in his aging, surgically repaired body. He's certainly a front-office favorite, as evidenced by the back-to-back one-year deals they've given him based on nothing more than speculation he could bounce back from an unprecedented hip surgery, much less elbow surgery.
With a month left in this wasted season, it's starting to look like Lewis is on track to do both.