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Tigers Pound Lewis

Final - 6.6.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R
Detroit Tigers 3 0 4 2 0 1 1 0 2 13
Texas Rangers 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 7

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Nothing like a blow-out loss at home to help douse the excitement of your fans after an awesome road trip.

Colby Lewis just refuses to stay good in 2011. The velocity problems he had earlier in the season showed up again, and they were coupled with a total lack of command. Lewis struggled to find the zone, and when he did, he struggled to miss bats and often found too much of the plate. That resulted in ten hits, a walk, and four home runs -- most of them towering -- on the night, with nine earned runs in just three and a third inning for one awful start.

Here's what Colby Lewis looked like against lefties tonight:


Those aqua marine squares are balls right smack in the center of the plate that lefties turned in to hits. Three of them home runs (the fourth is in the upper right, up and in to Avila). That's awful, those home runs accounted for 7 runs, and just like that you see what was wrong with Mr. Lewis tonight: too much plate. The Tigers stacked the lineup with five lefties against him, and that worked out to perfection on a night when he was just off.

It was a bad night for a pitcher to be off, too, because Brennan Boesch was on. After a soft single and a walk, Boesch made the game 3-0 Tigers before an out was even recorded with a shot to the upper deck. After it looked like Lewis was settling down, Boesch began the third with another home run for his second of five hits, including a double to go with the homers.

Lewis was pretty much the one bad sign tonight, though. Michael Kirman surrendered a couple of runs, but that came over three and a third innings with only three hits and a couple of strikeouts. Also a walk, so it wasn't great, but it was another reliever being at least fine, and four swinging strikes in that time is nifty. The two runs were charged to Kirkman, but they were allowed by Yoshinori Tateyama, who gave up a double immediately out of the pen, but didn't allow a base runner for the rest of his inning and a third. That's some good pitching and just two earned runs given up over just shy of five innings from two guys who have been looking good since being called up, and that buys one more day in a row that the Rangers bullpen looks alright.

Darren Oliver (two runs over one inning) did not look alright, but that's nothing we didn't already know about, and likely a cause most have given up on. If he doesn't see righties in tight games and the rest of the pen keeps up their recent history, it could be okay.

Unfortunately, Lewis's awful start wasted another great day from the offense, but that also means yet another thing that wasn't bad tonight. Ian Kinsler broke out with three hits, a triple, and a walk, and Nelson Cruz had two home runs, reasserting that the rust is off and he's going to be just fine. On a night like this, you usually win when your starter was very bad. And Colby Lewis was very bad. Hopefully, there will be more of these where he's not.

At least the draft was fun, huh?


FanGraphs Win Expectancy


Biggest Failures (What is this, I don't even. . . ?)

  1. Colby Lewis -40%
  2. Elvis Andrus -10%
  3. Yorvit Torrealba -9%

Alfonso Marquez's Strikezone from Brooks Baseball



Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.