ARLINGTON, Texas Colby Lewis did not receive the Joey Gallo-style love fest after earning his fifth win of the season, and 59th of his big league career. Lewis is 35, and at this point in his career and in his life he has been around long enough and gone through enough to know that just having the chance to play every day is all the love that he needs.
Having watched this guy pitch since he was a 22-year-old kid with a 95 m.p.h. fastball that caught the eye of teammate Alex Rodriguez, and see what he has become, is truly one of the more remarkable stories in the FW/d sports scene this century. Nobody in this town has endured more to keep playing like Colby Lewis, and to his credit he’s not stealing money and he is not a hack.
Everybody who follows the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball needs to accept that Colby Lewis will always be in the rotation, and he will pitch until the Earth crashes into Mars. He will never, ever die.
We all laughed when the Texas Rangers said Lewis would be with the team (again) in the spring, and then we were sad when they said he would be in the rotation. Any rotation that was counting on a guy this old who has endured countless is surgeries is kidding itself.
It is June, and Lewis is 5-3 with a 4.48 ERA in 11 starts. He is a pitching crop circle: nobody knows how, or why.
“I don’t look at my stats. Not to be rude, I don’t care. I just don’t,” he said. “You get caught in that stuff, you start competing for other things than what you need to be doing on the mound.”
Those are the words of a guy who gets it - just prepare, work, compete, take it like a job, and win. The rest will take care of itself. Or it won’t. I asked him how he knows if he is pitching well; if it’s like weight loss - it depends how the jeans fit.
“I just know how I good I feel and the rest are based on the results,” he said.
In 2013, Lewis underwent a hip resurfacing surgery that potentially was a career-ender. No big league pitcher had ever had this surgery to return. Lewis had done the surgery thing before, so going under the knife was nothing new. He had Tommy John surgery early in his career, which essentially robbed him of that monster fastball. He had other surgeries, too.
He returned last season, but was bad; he was 10-14 with a 5.19 ERA. But he made 29 starts, and by the end of the season he was not a joke. There was enough there to garner another look in the spring, and even Rangers GM Jon Daniels conceded he knew enough not to bet against Colby Lewis.
On Tuesday night, Lewis pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on six hits to earn the win against the White Sox.
“It’s being blessed, and being good at coming back from surgery,” he said. “Right now, I feel good and I’ll keep rolling.”
If it was anybody else, maybe we would be surprised. But by now we know Colby Lewis is a pitching crop circle - nobody knows how, or why.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760