I thought we had better fans than that. I mean, it’s the first time I’ve given up more than five runs. I walk a guy, and now they boo me?
It was disappointing.
I don’t blame him. Lewis didn’t have a great start today, that was obvious. His single-game expected ERA with seven strikeouts, three walks and two home runs would be just over seven runs allowed, so the fact he gave up six before even getting to the sixth inning was a tad unlucky, and you saw some of that bad luck with the defensive lapses that led to runs scored. But the total runs allowed weren’t far off in the end, and that’s not a good start.
But one bad start isn’t the point. Colby Lewis has been fantastic this season. Prior to today, he had a 3.40 ERA despite playing a lot of his games in Arlington. That is exactly in line with his 3.40 FIP. FanGraphs estimates him as having been worth just under four wins more for the Rangers this season than a replacement-level pitcher (like Randy Wolf) would have been worth. That’s an All-Star-caliber season already with more than a month left to play. StatCorner, giving him credit for what sort of quality of contact he’s gotten against hitters, ups it to just over five wins, which is what Joey Matschulat calls “elite.” That would rank 6th on the all-time franchise pitching list at Baseball Reference (which has him 31st with pretty much the same total as FanGraphs).
In other words, Colby Lewis in 2010 has been an elite, Top of the Rotation Pitcher having one of the best seasons a pitcher has ever had for this team. And yet he gets under-appreciated with moments like Josh Lewin (who I love) today casually mentioning him as merely in the argument for the third best pitcher with Tommy Hunter. That’s laughable and offensive from the play-by-play man. And then the booing because he just didn’t have a good day. He’s right to be mad.
But, I also don’t think he should be saying it, even if he’s right. Fans don’t necessarily know what’s going on. They pay a lot of money, get drunk, sit in the heat, and their team loses. They get angry and don’t think about whether or not the pitcher is having a great season, if they even know that in the first place, and they boo. It happens, and while it is stupid, Lewis has to understand that. I agree, I wish the fans were better and more appreciative of what he’s done for this team this year. Even if he’s right, by speaking up about it, the only thing he can do is invite controversy. The only thing he can do is create annoying blog posts like this one, and create unneeded drama about the team. It’s not going to get fans to realize, “oh, we were wrong,” and then look at how good Colbyashi has been. It’s only going to get them to hate him more.
It’s unfortunate, Colby. I hear you, I really do. And I hope you understand the Rangers have some die-hard fans that you’ll find places like this who understand how awesome you’ve been this season and appreciate it and love you. And if you’re one of those silly fans, I hope you read this and start to appreciate Colby Lewis in 2010 and never boo him again.
But, right as you may be, and as much as I agree, there’s just no reason to say that and create even more vitriol.