ST. LOUIS — All the talk about bad starting pitching from these two World Series teams — and the numbers to back it up — has taken the focus away from the hottest starting pitcher in the last two postseasons.
Who’s that, you’re thinking?
Colby Lewis, that’s who.
The Rangers’ Game 2 starter is the only starting pitcher on either team other than Chris Carpenter to do much this postseason. He delivered a gem in a crucial ALDS Game 3 in Tampa: One hit allowed, two walks, six strikeouts in a 4-3 Rangers victory that gave them a 2-1 series lead.
Lewis’ ALCS start in Detroit wasn’t nearly as good — but it wasn’t terrible either.
He trailed Doug Fister 2-0 in the sixth inning before giving up a solo homer and an RBI single and leaving with four runs and eights hits allowed — along with six strikeouts — in 5.2 innings.
That was Lewis’ first loss in six starts over the last two postseasons, and left him with this line: 4-1, 2.37, 38 IP, 25 hits, 36 strikeouts. Who needs to spend a boatload of cash to re-sign Cliff Lee when you’ve get those kind of numbers from one of your starters?
“It’s kind of all or nothing,” Lewis said of his postseason mind-set. “You go out there, and you don’t know if you’re going to get the ball again. You let it all hang out, and whatever happens, happens. You can’t worry about the what-ifs.”
The fact that Lewis will be making his third road start on Thursday in St. Louis also is no coincidence. He’s been far better on the road this season (9-5, 3.43) than at Rangers Ballpark (5-5, 5.54).
“Weather, stadiums, everything — you just adapt to it, and go have fun,” Lewis said.
Editor’s note: Tony DeMarco is a regular columnist for NBCSports.com who has been covering the big leagues since 1987. He’ll contribute to HardballTalk.com during the World Series.